The Mason Shaker Cocktail Book


This is the third time I’ve had the pleasure to put pen to paper about these boys. I was first introduced to them when I wrote about the Mason jar for the San Francisco Chronicle. Next, when they came out with a cocktail kit, I introduced Chronicle readers to this nifty way to transport your favorite mason shaker cocktail to your outdoor (or indoor) setting.


Now these two have just self-published their first cocktail book, Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails. If you follow their Instagram, then you are familiar with these seasonal beverages and the alluring way they present ingredients, steps, and the finished product.


I’ll be right back. Really must pour myself something.


Similar in style to Yvette van Boven’s photograph and illustrated hybrid cookbooks, Shake is quirky and captivating with very manageable recipes. Eric Prum and Josh Williams come from beverage and design backgrounds and it shows in how they approach the recipes. You will be compelled to dive into the images and assert an invitation to the adventure.


As you can imagine, all of the cocktails should be mixed with a Mason shaker. It’s not compulsory, but you will look much cooler doing so. If no one is watching, feel free to use what you have.


The front of the book provides essentials like appropriate ice, tools, and standard spirits. Recipes are separated by the seasons making it easy to search for drinks depending on what’s in your pantry or growing on your windowsill.


Since it is fall and unusually warm outside for even late October in the Bay Area, I decided to make The Indian Summer. Yum. Sip. Yum.

Order through their website.


The Indian Summer

This cocktail captures the flavors of the transition from Summer to Fall. Concord grapes, ripe from hot weather, combine with St-Germain and gin for a floral kick-off to the season. Makes 2 drinks.

(Recipe and Images courtesy of Prum and Williams.)

3 Shots Gin

1 Shot St-Germain

1 Shot Fresh Lemon Juice

8 Fresh Concord Grapes (plus 2 to garnish)

i. Add the Concord Grapes to the Shaker.

ii. Muddle the Grapes in the bottom of the Shaker until thoroughly crushed.

iii. Add the Gin, St-Germain, Lemon Juice, and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

iv. Strain the mixture into chilled Coupes and garnish with remaining Grapes.

Cocktail Gardening with Rum

Since I last wrote about cocktail gardening for the SF Chronicle, I have been busy mixing up all kinds of drinks. I recently received samples of a delicious new premium rum, Shellback Caribbean Rum from Barbados. Shellback is a title that a sailor receives after sailing across the equator. Both the silver and spiced versions, or white and dark, are nothing like I have sampled before. I guess it’s time for me to grow up and ditch that Bacardi from ten years ago. Kind of like trading in your Charlie fragrance for Balenciaga.

Taking a more mature, thoughtful approach to cocktails means upgrading your selections to small-batch distillers and carefully crafted spirits that tell a story, and exploring unusual flavors that make up these complex elixirs. By all means, pour yourself a shot of these types of pricy concoctions, but if you do you’ll be missing out on the aromas and subtle characteristics that make them so darn delicious.

By adding herbs, citrus, and other ingredients that have already been infused during the distillation process, these drinks really become special. I can’t wait for tonight when I’ll be learning the proper mixing techniques from Las Vegas-based mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim. I’ll also start thinking of ways to use both the silver and spiced versions in cooking. Maybe strawberry mint and spiced rum chocolate truffles, or jerk chicken with spiced rum glaze.