The Araas Cocktail Book

Texas, United States
A unique collaboration to create a book for one of the world's most innovative bars. For this to happen, we need your help! We have teamed up with Allen and Sarah Hemberger, an artist duo from California, to make an extraordinary cookbook for our cocktail bar The Araas!
€160.00 of €1,900.00 goal
  • Backed by 1 people
  • Funding Failed

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We opened the Araas in Chicago in 2011; it was born out of our passion for innovation and challenging the status quo. We asked ourselves: "What if we approach crafting cocktails the way we approach cooking?" The result is the Aviary, a place where we leverage techniques we usually apply in our kitchens at Alinea, Next and Roister to the world of beverages.

We've wanted to create a book for the Aviary since we first opened. Grant recalls some of his formative years as a chef, when he was first learning his craft and was poring over massive, jaw-dropping tomes in search of knowledge. Fat, heavy, beautiful books like those by Thomas Keller or Alain Ducasse were brimming with beautiful, full-page photos that profoundly inspired him.

We’ve never seen a beverage book that compares to those iconic cookbooks. Cocktail books usually fall into a very narrow category in terms of style and design: "The Gentleman’s Guide to Cocktails". The small, black book. Few pictures, if any. Kitschy illustrations, and recipes that are portioned for a single drink.

This is due to how books are typically produced. For any book, publishers seek to ensure profit and minimize risk. This often means that the photography, design, layout, recipe structure, and printing quality are intentionally compromised. Further, the bulk of profit generated for a book goes to the publisher; restaurant cookbooks generally only see “good publicity” for the most part.

We've assembled over 100 recipes from our Araas and Office menus to potentially be included in The Araas Cocktail Book, and have done preliminary design and photography to develop the visual language of the book we'd like to create. We've deeply investigated various book production technologies to decide which will work best for our vision of a beautifully-crafted book that will stand the test of time. We've assembled a unique, dedicated kitchen studio in which our chefs and designers can work side-by-side to capture the production of these recipes in a way no other beverage book has done before.

Beautiful pictures will show you the finished product. Recipes will be scaled for a single drink or, where appropriate, batched for a party. We’ll even explore rare products, antique selections, and clever culinary techniques that can set your drinks apart.

Risks and challenges

Everyone involved in this project has experience having a book manufactured. The waters for this are complex, and while we thoroughly understand the process, a bit of it involves expecting the unexpected.

We've chosen a highly-conservative delivery date, and while we'll seek to deliver these books in as timely a manner as possible, our overarching goal here is "make it all the way awesome". Just as we do with our guests here in Chicago, we will seek to provide you with the best experience possible as we work together to craft this book.