The Best in Holiday 2012 Gift Finds: Cocktails with Bompas & Parr – like no other cookbook

The Best in Holiday 2012 Gift Finds is an ongoing series until December that celebrates the practical to the extravagant, the unusual to the commonly needed items of everyday life.

From food, wine and spirits to beauty, clothing and even home goods and appliances, we have been trying and testing and ultimately weeding out the good stuff you should consider for giving this holiday season. Take us shopping with you.

You must check out the new drink and cookbook, ‘Cocktails with Bompas & Parr,’ the British duo who launched ‘Jelly with Bompas & Parr’ earlier.

This book is a photo filled feast of hors d’ouevres and drinks paired to really put out a fabulous spread. There are fascinating hints and tips for the aspiring mixologist along with revamped classic cocktails and new drink ideas.

Why we love it:

The book is loaded with fascinating snippets of cocktail history, spirits knowledge and the perfect primer for the novice as well as the seasoned entertainer.

Sam Bompas and Harry Parr have merged art and food since founding their company in 2007, by exhibiting at the Barbican, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Salone Del Mobile; and have even made custom jellies for Heston Blumenthal and chef Gordon Ramsay.

The book includes historical facts surrounding cocktails, the universal cocktail principle, bar snacks and advice on basic equipment. This is a delightful to read book, and is a wonderful inexpensive education in creating a perfect party with intriguing food and paired cocktails, with easy to follow instructions and great photo art.

They have been featured in the New York Times and on the Martha Stewart Show for giving jelly a 21st-century makeover.

Favorite holiday punch I’ve made (page 106) is their True Friendship Punch, a brandy, rum, whisky, orange curacao heady brew fizzled up with lime juice, citrus fruit slices, bitters, cucumber skin and fresh herbs and spices to your taste. It’s a great party drink to prepare and can be meted out with sparkling water.

In this book, the two take us on a journey through the yummy world of fizzes, smashes, juleps, shrubs, and the like. We get top-notch guidance on presentation, ingredients, getting the ice perfect (important overlooked feature), and of course how to do it up just right for setting the party.