GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Spring 2021

Is it that time again? Yes, it is! Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to think about some new books to read while enjoying your favorite cocktail, wine, beer or spirit. GSN presents our quarterly round up of recommended titles debuting this season.

Schumann’s Whisk(e)y Lexicon by Stefan Gabányi Rizzoli (March 23, 2021) This critically acclaimed guide to whiskeys of all types is back in print with its comprehensive coverage of every conceivable whiskey in precise, detailed, easy to understand yet delightful to read descriptions. While specially designed for quick and easy reference, the book is tastefully produced and handsome in its own right–the perfect gentleman’s gift. Featuring over a thousand entries, this handbook discusses the world’s leading and lesser-known whiskeys, making it an ideal source for the aficionado and the budding novice alike. Every traditional type of whiskey is included: Scotch single malt, blends, vatted malts, single grains, and Irish, as well as those from the new world (bourbon, rye, and Canadian). The book also takes a serious look at trendy new whiskeys emerging from Japan and continental Europe and explores how unique flavors are created through variations of ingredients, distilling techniques, and aging. Organized alphabetically in the style of a dictionary, the volume is rounded out with additional advice on serving, collecting, and storage. Every manner and nuance of whiskey is discussed between the book’s elegant covers.

Hawai’i Beer: A History of Brewing in Paradise by Paul R. Kan The History Press (April 5, 2021) Home of luaus and surfing, the islands of Hawai’i have been riding a wave of beer making in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The last state in the Union has not been last in creating amazing beers full of the Aloha Spirit. Like the people who settled all over Polynesia, Hawai’i’s beer brewers have been dreamers, adventurers and pioneers. From Captain James Cook’s emergency beer that nearly inspired a mutiny in 1778 to today’s explosion of celebrated craft breweries, the unique geography and culture make the islands a true beer lover’s paradise. Join brewer Paul Kan on an adventure through the history of beer making in a tropical wonderland.

The Little Book of Tequila: Slammed to perfection Orange Hippo! (April 6, 2021) Following hot on the heels of whisky, vodka and gin, tequila has become the latest spirit to be revolutionized, gentrified, and beautified in the last ten years. Every day a new small-batch, craft, artisan, tequila brand opens its doors to a loyal and thirsty following of blue agave lovers desperate to get their hands on this nectar of the Aztec gods. The days of slammin’ and shootin’ shots with a lick of salt and a suck of lemon have passed, and replaced by a definitive twenty-first century glow-up, swapping shot glasses for champagne flutes. Indeed, there is a lot more to tequila than meets the eye, and The Little Book of Tequila has researched itself into sweet oblivion to give its readers more than an eyeful of this mysterious and delicious spirit.

The Infused Cocktail Handbook: The Essential Guide to Homemade Blends and Infusions by Kurt Maitland & Adam Sachs Cider Mill Press (April 6, 2021) Pump up the flavors of spirits and mixers with The Infused Cocktail Handbook, the essential guide to homemade blends and infusions. The illustrated recipes explain which ingredients go best when infusing vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, rum, and sherry and cover a range of globetrotting flavor profiles, from Earl Gray tea to lemongrass, cardamom, and walnuts, as well as gummy bears and bacon. With The Infused Cocktail Handbook not only will you know how to make your very own signature cocktails, you’ll save money doing it.

Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave by Robert Simonson Ten Speed Press (April 6, 2021) From riffs on classics such as the Mezcal Mule and Oaxaca Old-Fashioned to new favorites such as Naked and Famous or Smoke and Ice, discover how to use mezcal and tequila to create cocktails in nearly every classic cocktail formula—from flip to sour to highball—that highlight the smoky, edgy flavors of these unique and popular spirits. Robert Simonson, author of The Old-Fashioned and The Martini Cocktail, covers a broad range of flavors with doable, delicious recipes that are easy to assemble, most only requiring three or four ingredients. This comprehensive, straightforward guide is perfect for tequila and mezcal enthusiasts looking for creative ways to enjoy agave spirits more often and in more varied ways—or for anyone who just likes to drink the stuff.

Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home by Jamie Evans Fair Winds Press (April 13, 2021) Maybe you’re curious about CBD or perhaps you’ve tried a store-bought sparkling cannabis drink already. Either way, you’re here because you’re ready to learn the ins and outs of making deliciously infused drinkables. This guide, written by Jamie Evans (author of The Ultimate Guide to CBD), will serve as the go-to resource for anyone interested in incorporating phytocannabinoids into a variety of recipes. Inside, you’ll start your journey with infused mixology. You’ll learn the most essential how-tos and infusion methods, including decarboxylation and heating techniques for those who want to do it all. Different from other books in this category, this book offers something to both beginners and experts–and crucially, to both those who only want to use CBD and those who want to infuse with THC–presenting many approaches to enhancing drinks. From adding CBD oils and tinctures to a variety of recipes to crafting more complex cannabis libations behind the bar, you can choose the path that’s right for you.

The Curious Bartender: Cocktails At Home: More than 75 recipes for classic and iconic drinks by Tristan Stephenson Ryland Peters & Small (April 13, 2021) Preparing a first-class cocktail relies upon an understanding of its ingredients and the delicate alchemy of how they work together. Here, Tristan Stephenson—drinks industry consultant, bar owner, restaurateur and author of best-selling drinks books—offers his expert advice on the fundamentals of home mixology and shares his perfected recipes for classic cocktails. Enjoy a Manhattan, Negroni, and Martini, discover lesser known vintage gems including the Martinez and Aviation as well as modern favorites the Espresso Martini and Mojito.

Zero Proof: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking by Elva Ramirez Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 13, 2021) More than 100 years after Prohibition was enacted, bartenders are actually excited about people not drinking again. From Dry January and alcohol-free bars opening around the country to people interested in abstaining from drinking for better health, the no-proof movement is one of today’s fastest-growing lifestyle choices, as consumers become more mindful and re-examine their relationship to alcohol. The no-proof drinker could be anyone, and even traditional bars have taken note with no-alcohol offerings. What do the world’s most talented bartenders concoct when they can’t use booze? This book answers that question with 90 lush and sophisticated recipes that take the craft to new heights. Veteran reporter Elva Ramirez interviewed the biggest names in cocktails and collected recipes for vibrant no-proof drinks from the world’s top bars in Paris, London, and New York. This is the start of a new era in no-proof drinking. Find recipes from renowned bars all over the world, including Death & Co in Denver and NYC, Employees Only, The Aviary NYC, Broken Shaker in LA, Everleaf Drinks in London, Little Red Door in Paris, and many more.

The Distilleries of Vancouver Island: A Guided Tour of West Coast Craft and Artisan Spirits by Marianne Scott Touchwood Editions (April 20, 2021) In the past five years the number of craft and artisan distilleries on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands has more than doubled. A change in the provincial liquor laws in 2013 made small-batch distilling a viable business and with this alternative to high-volume, mass-market liquor comes a focus on local ingredients and distinctive flavors. From relative veterans like Merridale and Sheringham, to the newest stills on the block, you’ll meet a group of entrepreneurs unbound by traditional liquor-making rules who are creating vodkas, gins, whiskeys, and liqueurs with their own unique characteristics, using a wide range of grains, fruit, botanicals, peat smoke, seaweed, and spices. Craft-spirits enthusiast Marianne Scott introduces readers to the methods distillers use to develop their spirits, how they learned their craft, the products they make, and the recognition they’ve garnered. With an introduction on the history of spirit making and the process of distilling, a glossary of common distilling terms, cocktail recipes inspired by each distillery’s products, and a map to help you organize your ideal tasting tour, Vancouver Island’s Spirits has everything you need to jump into the region’s burgeoning craft-spirits scene.

Gilded Age Cocktails: History, Lore, and Recipes from America’s Golden Age by Cecelia Tichi NYU Press (May 4, 2021) The Gilded Age, as it came to be known, was the Golden Age of Cocktails, giving birth to the classic Manhattan and martini that can be ordered at any bar to this day. Scores of whiskey drinks, cooled with ice chips or cubes that chimed against the glass, proved doubly pleasing when mixed, shaken, or stirred with special flavorings, juices, and fruits. The dazzling new drinks flourished coast to coast at sporting events, luncheons, and balls, on ocean liners and yachts, in barrooms, summer resorts, hotels, railroad train club cars, and private homes. From New York to San Francisco, celebrity bartenders rose to fame, inventing drinks for exclusive universities and exotic locales. Bartenders poured their liquid secrets for dancing girls and such industry tycoons as the newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst and the railroad king “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt. Cecelia Tichi offers a tour of the cocktail hours of the Gilded Age, in which industry, innovation, and progress all take a break to enjoy the signature beverage of the age. Gilded Age Cocktails reveals the fascinating history behind each drink as well as bartenders’ formerly secret recipes. Though the Gilded Age cocktail went “underground” during the Prohibition era, it launched the first of many generations whose palates thrilled to a panoply of artistically mixed drinks.

Booze Cruise: A Tour of the World’s Essential Mixed Drinks by André Darlington Running Press Adult (May 4, 2021) Go on a tour of the world’s top cocktail destinations, featuring insider info and food-and-drink recipes that will add thrilling new flavors and global flair to your everyday life. World traveler and drinks writer André Darlington will be your tour guide through more than forty of the globe’s most vibrant cocktail locales. Each city stop is packed with insider intel on the current scene, local history, easy food-and-drink recipes, and tasting notes. This sloshy voyage includes: Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Madrid, Stockholm, Cape Town, Tangier, Delhi, Singapore, Beirut, Tokyo, Bogotá, Havana, New Orleans, São Paulo, Toronto, Sydney, and many more!

Gazoz: The Art of Making Magical, Seasonal Sparkling Drinks by Benny Briga & Adeena Sussman Artisan (May 11, 2021) Starting with plain sparkling soda, a gazoz layers in fresh fruits and flowers, aromatic herbs and spices, ferments, syrups, and other artisanal ingredients, all to create a beautiful marriage of flavor and fizz. In Gazoz, discover recipes for stone fruit gazoz, citrus gazoz, even “milkshake” gazoz using nut butters. The possibilities are endless, the results amazing. It’s the best nonalcoholic drink you’ve ever tasted, and by far the most fun to make.

Big Whiskey: The Revised Second Edition: An Updated 2nd Edition to Kentucky Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, the Rebirth of Rye, and the Distilleries of America’s Premier Spirits Region by Carlo DeVito Cider Mill Press; Updated edition (May 11, 2021) This updated edition of the definitive guide to the American Whiskey Trail is comprehensive collection of the whiskey, bourbon, and rye made by the best distillers in Kentucky and Tennessee. Full color images throughout showcase each and every bottle and label, behind-the-scenes images, and the beauty of the Whiskey Trail. Interviews with renowned distillers provide incredible insight into how whiskey is made. Locals and tourists alike will discover new distillers and expressions that are sure to satisfy any and all tastes. Big Whiskey is the perfect gift for the whiskey lover in your life.

Cocktail Dive Bar: Real Drinks, Fake History, and Questionable Advice from New Orleans’s Twelve Mile Limit by T. Cole Newton Running Press Adult (May 11, 2021) In this irreverent and engaging guide T. Cole Newton, the owner and proprietor of the beloved Louisiana bar Twelve Mile Limit, brings classic and original cocktail recipes to life with a combination of colorful invented histories and real stories, alongside advice drawn from his experience as a young bar owner in the Crescent City. Lively tongue-in-cheek mini-essays on a range of topics (including such illuminating takes as why the unflappable Maury Povich is the ideal role model for the service industry and how bar owners can work to be community allies) break up this alphabetical compendium of cocktail recipes. Make the book your own by taking recipe notes or coloring in the playful, graphic drawings by Bazil Zerinsky and Laura Sanders. A detailed index of ingredients, infusion recipes, and more makes this an ideal companion for any at-home mixologist or industry professional.

The Negroni: A Love Affair with a Classic Cocktail by Matt Hranek Artisan (May 11, 2021) A century ago the cocktail achieved perfection when, according to legend, Count Camillo Negroni asked his bartender in Florence to stiffen an Americano by replacing the soda water with gin. The world never looked back. With its cosmically simple 1:1:1 ratio, its balance of bitter and sweet, its pleasant kick, its aura of sophistication, the Negroni has bewitched cocktail lovers ever since. Perhaps none more so than Matt Hranek, who intones this love song to his favorite drink and offers a curated collection of recipes, both the classic and dozens of variations, deviations, and delicious reinterpretations.

Cider Revolution: Your DIY Guide to Cider & Pet-Nat by Karl Sjöström & Mikael Nypelius Pavilion (May 18, 2021) Fascinated by the growing trend in natural wines, Karl and Mikael began to produce their own cider using 100% hand-picked fruit from the farms and villages outside Malmo, Sweden. Their aim is to make modern, natural drinks using only the naturally occurring yeast of the fruit, without any additives or preservatives. In Cider Revolution, authors Karl and Mikael seek to pass on their passion for cider and inspire others to taste, appreciate, and try their hand at making their own batch from home. As well as passing on the understanding of the cider-making processes, there are recipes for pears, cherries, plums, rhubarb, and berries, and notes on tasting cider, so that it can be appreciated in much the same way as any fine wine.

Tokyo Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of Over 100 Recipes Inspired by the Eastern Capital (City Cocktails) by Nicholas Coldicott Cider Mill Press (May 18, 2021) With over 13.5 million residents squeezed in to 845 square miles, Tokyo stands as one of the world’s most beguiling cities. On the surface it appears to be nothing but towering buildings and glaring lights. But once you get to know the city, its 23 wards reveal hidden alleyways, along many of which you can find singular drinking establishments. Tokyo Cocktails takes you inside the city’s best bars and introduces you to bartenders and mixologists conjuring up drinks that reflect the city’s essence, namely how thousands of years of tradition fuse with myriad contemporary influences. Featuring over 100 recipes that honor and reinvent classics and make the best of local ingredients, this book is the ideal cocktail enthusiast’s guide to drinking like a local, whether you’re making a trip to Tokyo or staying at home and simply wishing you were there.

The Encyclopedia of Cocktails: Over 1,000 Cocktails for Every Occasion Cider Mill Press (May 25, 2021) From 3-ingredient drinks to mad-scientist mixology, The Encyclopedia of Cocktails is any bartender’s go-to resource. Clean, uncluttered design and extensive index make finding drinks easy, whether you’re searching by spirit or style. Ever wondered about the origins of a Martini or Old Fashioned? This book delves into the history of over 100 classic cocktails. There are also recipes for hundreds of homemade ingredients; from syrups to blends, infusions, tinctures, foams, and more, you’ll be crafting bespoke ingredients in no time. The Encyclopedia of Cocktails is the perfect gift for anyone who likes to mix drinks – it’s the only cocktail book they’ll ever need!

The New Kindred Spirits: More Than 2,000 All-New Whiskey, Brandy, Agave Spirits, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Amari, Bitters, and Liqueur Reviews from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal by F. Paul Pacult Matt Holt Books (May 25, 2021) In 2008, F. Paul Pacult published the second edition of his groundbreaking book of reviews, Kindred Spirits. In the dozen years since, interest in distilled spirits has exploded, and craft distilleries have popped up around the country and the world. Now, in The New Kindred Spirits, Pacult provides a new and comprehensive compilation of more than 2,400 detailed evaluations of whiskeys, brandies, vodkas, tequilas, rums, gins, and liqueurs—an indispensable reference for any spirits enthusiast or professional. New in this edition, The New Kindred Spirits will also cover the craft distiller explosion—wherein thousands of small, independent distillers burst onto the scene—through hundreds of reviews of craft spirits.

Whiskey in the Lone Star State by Nico Martini Cider Mill Press (May 25, 2021) Texas history runs deep, and the history of whiskey in the state is no exception. But the Texas whiskey scene, which emphasizes local corn and barrels made from trees grown in the state, has grown exponentially in the last 10 years, as this collection of over 100 varied distillers makes clear. Locals and tourists alike will discover new expressions that are sure to satisfy tastes as varied as Texas is large. Texas Whiskey, through distillery profiles, interviews with experts, and original photography, tells the story of how whiskey from the Lone Star State is unlike whiskey being made anywhere else on the planet.

Pantry Cocktails: Inventive Sips from Everyday Staples (and a Few Nibbles Too) by Katherine Cobbs Tiller Press (May 25, 2021) We all want to be the type of host who can put together a tasty meal or a delicious appetizer for unexpected company by creatively using the odds and ends from our pantry or fridge. That same improvisational approach can be applied to home bartending with impressive (and tasty!) results. Knowing how to enlist the everyday basics cluttering up your kitchen, like condiments, jams, pickles, and sauces, means you can craft inventive, flavorful cocktails on the fly, satisfying cravings and fulfilling your guest’s requests. You will learn which key bottled spirits to keep in your liquor cabinet, which fridge and cupboard staples you can repurpose, and how to use seasonal herbs from your patio or garden to create outstanding cocktails that are sure to satisfy and impress.

Something and Tonic: A History of the World’s Most Iconic Mixer by Nick Kokonas Bark to Bottle Publishing LLC (May 28, 2021) The expanse of western civilization was hindered by a mosquito bite. For centuries, malaria devastated the European explorers who defined the contours of our modern world map-and the indigenous people who resisted them. The cure? Quinine contained in the bark of the South American cinchona tree, whose medicinal properties were discovered around the turn of the 17th century. Over 400 years later, quinine defines the essence of tonic, the most iconic mixer in the world. Something & Tonic follows the fascinating history of tonic from the jungles of the Andes mountains to the happy hour highball. Award-winning bartender Nick Kokonas takes you on a journey around the globe, revealing how tonic emerged from medical necessity to recreational tipple. Included are 60 original cocktail recipes that reveal tonic’s potential beyond the highball, plus tips, tricks, and insight into modern bar culture and cocktail making.

American History Through a Whiskey Glass: How Distilled Spirits, Domestic Cuisine, and Popular Music Helped Shape a Nation by Harris Cooper Ph.D. Skyhorse (June 1, 2021) American History Through a Whiskey Glass presents a unique perspective on American history. It describes how bourbon and rye whiskey played a role in the most important events in American history, including the voyage of the Mayflower, George Washington’s failed and successful political campaigns, the Civil War, pioneers moving west, Prohibition (of course), plus many more into the twenty-first century. It does so with descriptions of historical events but also with amusing anecdotes and humorous quotes from the historical figures themselves. The book gives readers an integrated and entertaining perspective on popular culture in America at different times, revealing how Americans have politicked, drank their native spirits, ate, and sang. But it does more; readers will not only learn about America’s history, they can experience it through numerous illustrations, whiskey tasting, food, and music. It provides an opportunity for readers to be involved in a truly immersive approach to life-long learning . . . and it’s fun.

The Japanese Art of the Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido & Michael Anstendig Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (June 1, 2021) Katana Kitten, one of the world’s most prominent and acclaimed Japanese cocktail bars, was opened in 2018 by highly-respected and award-winning mixologist Masahiro Urushido. Just one year later, the bar won 2019 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for Best New American Cocktail Bar. Before Katana Kitten, Urushido honed his craft over several years behind the bar of award-winning eatery Saxon+Parole. In The Japanese Art of the Cocktail, Urushido shares his immense knowledge of Japanese cocktails with eighty recipes that best exemplify Japan’s contribution to the cocktail scene, both from his own bar and from Japanese mixologists worldwide. Urushido delves into what exactly constitutes the Japanese approach to cocktails, and demystifies the techniques that have been handed down over generations, all captured in stunning photography.

The Cocktail Seminars by Brian D. Hoefling Abbeville Press (June 8, 2021) As a senior at Yale, Brian Hoefling realized that his classmates were about to enter the real world with an imperfect knowledge of how to prepare and enjoy cocktails. To remedy this dangerous deficiency, he devised and taught The Cocktail Seminars. In his subsequent career as a cocktail teacher and writer, Hoefling has developed and refined The Cocktail Seminars into the present book. Each of the five seminars herein (from beginner to advanced) covers thirty different drinks, which are arranged so as to progressively introduce the ingredients and techniques of mixology, as well as its eventful history. In each seminar, an exercise and examination challenges readers to apply what they’ve learned to the creation of new and variant drinks. Hoefling’s seminars are founded on the principle that all cocktails consist of a base spirit modified in certain fundamental ways, such as sweetening, souring, bittering, aromatizing, aerating, lengthening, and thickening. Each cocktail is illustrated by a color-coded wheel that shows how the base spirit is modified by the other ingredients.

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