Money for Something, Drinks for Free

Many restaurants are fiercely protective of their recipes. The rationale, I guess, is that if you knew how to make that outrageous duck confit poutine or that sublime gingerbread Twinkie with pumpkin cream cheese filling, you’d never come back.

Which is stupid. People who dine out do so because they like the experience as much as the food. That’s why the chefs on, say, Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives are willing to walk through the creation of their menu items step by step in front of the cameras. They know that the number of people who try to re-create those recipes at home will be dwarfed by the throngs that will make a special trip just to eat in their restaurant.

So Dave Krick knew exactly what he was doing when he created the Drinkbook for his Red Feather Lounge in Boise, Idaho. The lounge’s cocktail menu is a thing of beauty, laid out like a Pantone paint swatch book and fastened together with a brass brad. But it’s more than just a menu; each of the 42 drinks inside — from the basic to the exotic — includes not just an ingredients list but also a complete recipe for making it, including how it’s to be mixed and served, and how potent the finished beverage will be.

Want a copy of this libations cookbook for yourself? Just ask your server. Or download the PDF from the Red Feather website.

When I first saw the Drinkbook, I thought it would make a great, free recipe guide for twentysomethings just setting out on their home-entertaining adventures. But get real: Nobody, at any age, is going to go to the trouble of cooking up cardamom syrup for a homemade Lovelocker cocktail (drink swatch #015), or keep a supply of maraschino liqueur on hand in case of a craving for The Last Word (swatch #009). Much better to have the mixologists at Red Feather do it for you and to share the experience with friends.

And just to sweeten the deal, Red Feather offers a Drinkbook Club, with discounts and incentives to keep the tipplers coming back.


2 thoughts on “Money for Something, Drinks for Free”

  1. I’m delighted to learn of Red Feather’s cocktail swatch. Thanks for the enlightenment. And I’ll share a tiny bit of my own: My bar cabinet includes both green chartreuse and one rectangular bottle of maraschino liqueur (better than it sounds!), for the purpose of making the very drink you mentioned, The Last Word. So there’s one of us out here who keeps that one hand. I do have to believe that when I purchased the bottle, I reduced the citywide supply of maraschino liqueur for sale from one bottle to none.

  2. Hello there, I would just like to point out that this menu was conceptualized and designed by Kevin Kelpe, Dave Krick’s former business partner (until Oct. 2013), and that Kevin created most of the drinks, produced the menus, and basically went all-around bad ass on Boise’s drink scene for about a decade. We owe a lot of what has happened with drinks in Boise to Kevin. When he left the Red Feather, well, let’s just say that the artist’s touch had left the building. The menu is even gone, now, with its place taken by a butchered version of Kevin’s previous menu, the Little Black Drinkbook.
    Nice post! And I agree with your comments. Just though, you know, credit due…

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