The Six Cocktails You Need to Know to Understand All Cocktails Ever

This is the premise for “Cocktail Codex”, the James Beard Award-winning book Death & Co.’s Alex Day and Nick Fauchald, David Kaplan and Devon Tarby. The authors suggest that you get a grasp of these six drinks and then you can create endless variations.


These include the Old Fashioned and Martini, Sidecar, Sidecar, Whiskey Highball, Sidecar, Sidecar, Sidecar and Flip. Each drink has at least one of these ingredients. The core flavor is the predominant one. Balance adds sweetness, acidity or both to the core. Seasoning adds another dimension or complements the core.


Much like “Salt Fat Acid Heat,” Samin Nosrat’s best-selling cookbook-turned-Netflix series, “Cocktail Codex” advises readers to take a holistic, scientific approach to flavors. Understanding how elements such as bright, tangy juice balance rich, heavy ingredients will allow you to swap in other acid sources, like grapefruit juice or yogurt, for endless iterations.


Are you ready to experiment? This infographic outlines the six essential ingredients of Cocktail Codex’s root cocktails and three variations.


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