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Unvarnished  By  cover art

Unvarnished

By: Eric Alperin,Deborah Stoll
Narrated by: Eric Alperin
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Publisher's summary

A Kitchen Confidential for the cocktail profession, Unvarnished is a fly-on-the-wall narrative peek at the joys, pains, and peculiarities of life "behind the stick."

When it opened a decade ago, the acclaimed Los Angeles speakeasy The Varnish - owned, designed, and managed by award-winning cocktail aficionado Eric Alperin - quickly became the stylish standard bearer for modern bars. Unvarnished is a candid, voice-driven, no-holds-barred look at the workings of a bar, and the foundation of The Varnish’s success: attention to hospitality and an abiding belief in the nobility of service.

Alperin and veteran bartender and writer Deborah Stoll push back against the prevailing conceit that working in the service industry is something people do because they failed at another career. They offer fascinating meditations on ice as the bartender’s flame; the good, the bad, and the sad parts of vice; one’s duty to their community as a local; the obsessive, compulsive deliberations of building a bar (size matters); lessons from Sasha Petraske - Eric’s late partner, mentor, and the forefather of the modern day classic cocktail renaissance - and the top 10 reasons not to date a bartender. At the book’s center are the 100 recipes a young Jedi bartender must know before their first shift at The Varnish, along with examples of building drinks by the round, how to Mr. Potato Head cocktails, and what questions to ask when crafting a Bartender’s Choice.

A sexy, gritty, honest look at the glamour-less work of a glamorous job, written with the intimate honesty of The Tender Bar, the debauched inside view of Kitchen Confidential, and the social commentary of Waiter Rant, Unvarnished will take its place among these classics of the service set.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Eric Alperin and Deborah Stoll (P)2020 HarperAudio

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One of the most accurate accounts of being behind a bar

I have spent more than 25 years behind a bar. Working in fine dining, all the way down to dive bars… this book, this author and his first hand account; anyone who has done this and has a S/O that just doesn’t understand should recommend this read.

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Great listen

Highly recommend listening to Eric Alperin’s reading of Unvarnished. Hearing the recipes and stories directly from the man himself lends another layer to an already fascinating tale of LA bar BTS. Lots of fun insider tips and tricks that anyone can use or just enjoy. Kinda like being at the bar again after lockdown.

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Audio Gold!

This is a wonderful telling of life in front, behind, and beyond the bar. Read by the author, it is endearing and surprisingly adventurous, with a candor that reveals fascinating details about what went into delivering one of the most exquisite nightlife experiences in this lifetime. It describes hospitality taken to the level of art, and is rendered with the humility and civility of a present day gentlemen with all his strengths and vulnerabilities. A fine book suitable for all, and especially valuable to young social and service oriented entrepreneurs.

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