With a little mathematical mixology, Palm Beach’s award-winning designer and haute host Mark Addison has concocted Cocktail Chameleon, ($50, Assouline). This beautiful book delivers the recipes and history behind 12 classic cocktails, including the bloody mary, Collins, Old-Fashioned and margarita, with 11 creative riffs on each. The end result equals 144 drinkable recipes.
With these cocktails—all photographed in Palm Beach and featuring glassware from local stores like Blue Provence, Mary Mahoney and Christofle—Addison lets his imagination run free with martini twists, such as the Black Forest, the pumpkin spice and the bacon melontini. Addison’s tome is sure to keep the conversation lively, the libations flowing and your guests returning to the bar.
Mix and Mingle
How does an event producer and designer suddenly become the authority on high balls and tumblers? “Believe it or not, in college, my nickname was “Marktini” because I was known to whip up a drink from anything that was available, and, trust me, in those days, there were some slim pickings,” says Cocktail Chameleon author Mark Addison. After moving to New York City to pursue a theater career, Addison ended up executive producing parties for celebrities, charity fundraisers and corporate product launches. Handling everything from the location, the flowers, the menu—and, yes, the drinks—he made it his trademark to create a signature concoction at each event. “A successful cocktail is all about proportions and requires a deft hand with sweet, tart, bitters and spirits,” says Addison.
He hopes Cocktail Chameleon will live in everyone’s wet bar—though it’s pretty enough to rest atop a coffee table. Dividing his time between Palm Beach, Vermont and Manhattan, Addison is often found hosting parties and classes around Palm Beach, including a cocktail class this month at Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy. “I want to demystify the cocktail, help people connect with their inner mixologist and, most of all, have fun.”
“The colors alone in in this cocktail remind me of spring. It’s great for anytime of day, and since it’s a white sangria, it’s Palm Beach-home approved,” says Addison.
1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
1 cup elderflower liqueur
2 oz. orange liqueur
1 lb. green and red seedless grapes, thinly sliced crosswise
10 nectarine slices
½ cup strawberries
½ cup raspberries
Combine all ingredients in the pitcher, then cover and refrigerate for four to eight hours.Fill the glasses with ice; then divide the sangria and the fruit among them. Garnish each cocktail with an edible flower.
Garnish: 10 edible flowers
Glassware: 10 white wine glasses
Yields: 70 oz., serves 10