Tropical Standard (book)

Tropical Standard, by Garret Richard and Ben Schaffer is hitting the shelves. You can—and should—order it from the usual places. I am excited to have my advance copy, and I was one of the draft readers telling @ben everything he was doing wrong and generally driving him to question his life choices. (That’s the extent of my skin in the game, beyond being a fan, and Ben still seems to be talking to me, which is gracious of him.)

This book is interesting because:

  • it focuses on new techniques for elevating mixed drinks that have been proven over the last decade of Garret Richard’s career
  • these techniques are quite exciting, because they’re all accessible and broadly applicable
  • it documents a big pile of Garret’s highly refined recipes that some of us have the pleasure of indulging in over the last decade—now others can make them, too!
  • the book is kind of the sequel to Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence and documents some of the techniques developed at Existing Conditions
  • it’s one of the rare intermediate-level cocktail books

I believe this is an important book, one of the most important of the year.

Topics explored:

  • managing dilution, texture and aeration
  • flash blending
  • different ways 0f shaking drinks
  • blending drinks (“frozen” drinks)
  • did I mention managing dilution?
  • use of shaved ice, creating using ice molds (ice shells and cones), lining glasses with ice
  • tropicalizing stirred drinks
  • infusions
  • emulsification
  • aromatics
  • acid adjusting juices to perform like lemon and lime
  • sugar adjusting ingredients (perhaps the most demanding topic in the book) to optimize sweetness, and yes, manage dilution
  • creating useful syrups and cordials that build on the above
  • applying all the above (example recipes)

I preordered it some time ago, both hardcover & electronic, so I always have it at my fingertips! Can’t Wait!


Pre-ordered! You had me at “intermediate level.” This looks great.


Martin, thanks for your succinct explanation of what it’s all about. And thanks to all for the support. We’d love to have everyone’s feedback when they’ve had a read.

Today Garret and I were the subject of the Imbibe podcast, where we also attempted to justify our existence. Paul, like Martin, managed to summarize it better than I’ve been doing.


Really looking forward to seeing this on my home screen of my iPhone & my coffee table! This book is long overdue, not more than a couple weeks away from May so I can finally dive in!