"The tropical cocktail conjures exotic visions of swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches, gentle ocean breezes, and libations served from hollowed out pineapples," writes James Beard-honored mixologist and author Kim Haasarud in her latest book, 101 Tropical Cocktails.
And on August 22, Chow Bella and Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe will co-present a book-signing event at which Haasarud will talk about the latest addition to her "101" cocktail series, shake up a few drinks, and sign copies of the book.
The book, which was released in May, is a collection of classic cocktails including the Mai Tai, Dark and Stormy, and Zombie, as well as blended drinks -- and you can bet that means a Piña Colada and Tropical Margarita. Haasarud will introduce readers to the world of rum through the variety of styles, flavors, and regions while also including other alcohols to round of the collection of recipes.
Haasarud is known for her carefully crafted cocktails, which often take inspiration from market fresh ingredients such as muddled fruits and other unique ingredients. She began her career while bartending her way through college, but soon realized the job had become a way for her to put her creative juices to work.
She has worked as a beverage consultant for well-known groups including PF Changs, OMNI, Z'Tejas and Houlihan's and has been commissioned by hundreds of restaurants and wine and spirit companies to create specialty cocktails throughout the years. She has served as a judge on Food Network's Iron Chef America and has been featured in radio, print, and television both locally and on a national scale.
Other books in the "101" series include 101 Margaritas, 101 Sangrias, 101 Champagne Cocktails and 101 Blended Drinks. In addition to 101 Tropical Drinks, this year she will be releasing 101 Shots.
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Haasarud will be at Changing Hands on Thursday, August 22 at 7 p.m. to sign copies of the book. She'll also demonstrate how to make two cocktails, a traditional Mai Tai and a Coconut Water Colada, both made with Cruzen Rum.
Stay tuned to Chow Bella for more details and a contest!