GSN Book Review: Curious Cocktails From Wonderland

This niche book brings readers back to basics with an introduction to tools and techniques, liquors and liqueurs, and most importantly it introduces readers to the passion of creating curious cocktails. The literary whimsy behind Nick Perry and Paul Rosser’s Curious Cocktails From Wonderland and their tremendous tipples thoughtfully “lent themselves to the fantastical, the unusual, and the strange.” Climbing down the rabbit hole of libations I found myself at a drink aptly named “Off With Her Head”. Perry and Rosser follow the “twisted interpretation of time” by beginning the recipe section with a drinkable grand finale. With an edible flower and a frothy egg white foam, this drink is sure the impress the Queen of Hearts herself. Equally impressive, each recipe includes a quote from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and a short description of its literary foundation.

Following the authors through the cocktail glass, I was impressed with the selection of batch recipes that followed. Emphasizing that the book is meant for hosting events such as unbirthday parties, it does a good job of catering to its audience. Perry and Rosser smartly added directions for creating their signature syrups, bitters and garnishes for those readers who want a challenge. Staying true to Carroll’s work, they include a delectable “Buttered Toast-infused Rum” referencing Alice’s first tincture: “It had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavor of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast.”

Overall, it was quite the adventure reading this book. We here at Good Spirits News love the fact that Perry and Rosser encourage their readers to play with their drinkable creations. They emphasize that their recipes are not written in stone, and in fact are capable of changing as quickly and magically as the world of Wonderland itself. I would like to end where the book began by encouraging our readers that “when presented with the opportunity, always remember: Drink me!”

Review by Autumn Ellen Rose for Good Spirits News

GSN Presents: How Well Do You Know Your Whiskey?

Whiskey is a universal spirit, enjoyed by everyone—from the Irish to the Japanese and back around to the United States. Even fictional characters love whiskey (think Don Draper and Ron Burgundy). But just how much do you know about this iconic spirit of the world? It’s quite common (even among connoisseurs) to misjudge a whiskey. So, just what is the difference between a whiskey and a scotch? Where is bourbon made? And is it spelled whiskey or whisky?

Whiskey & Geography

To call a whiskey a whiskey is not enough in itself to determine exactly what you’re drinking. Whiskey is simply a category that encompasses all the different types of whiskies. The biggest telltale sign is geography.

Let’s first examine Scotch whisky (or simply, scotch). Scotch is a type of whiskey that is only distilled in Scotland. Note the omission of the “e” when we refer to Scotch as Scotch whisky. This is not a typo but rather a cultural difference in the etymology of the word. Scots (along with Canadians and Japanese) spell whisky without the “e”.

Bourbon is the fastest growing spirit in the US—probably because it’s made right here in the states. Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that is distilled only in the US, and more specifically, in Kentucky. However, there’s a common misconception about bourbon that we need to clear up.  Most people think that all bourbon is made in Kentucky. While a large percentage of bourbon (nearly 95%) is distilled in Kentucky, there are other states that distill bourbon (and the quality is on par with anything Kentucky-made).

There’s another type of American whiskey that we need to discuss—Tennessee whiskey. Tennessee whiskey, on the contrary, must be made and aged in the Volunteer State. Tennessee whiskey and bourbon are actually very similar whiskies: both have a composition of at least 51% corn and both are aged in new white oak barrels. The slight difference between the two is that Tennessee whiskey is maple charcoal filtered before being filled into casks for aging.

Rye is another type of whiskey. Its main ingredient can be guessed by its namesake. This style can be made either in the US or Canada.

Of course, Irish whiskey is whiskey that hails from Ireland.

Whiskey & Its Ingredients

Another defining attribute of a whiskey are the ingredients (or the mash bill). There are several laws (specifically here in the US) that govern what certain styles of whiskey must be made from. To simplify things, remember the rule of 51. Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey must contain at least 51% corn. Rye whiskey must contain at least 51% rye.

A few Scottish whiskies (don’t forget to drop the “e” when it’s distilled in Scotland) also have restrictions on the ingredients they can be made with. A malt whisky is made only from malted barley while a blended whisky contains a mixture of different grains (barley, wheat).

Where To Get Started

It’s a lot of information to take in, as any whiskey connoisseur can attest to. However, trying each different type of whiskey and reflecting on each individual nuance can give you a greater appreciation for this popular spirit. And we have a few suggestions (courtesy of GSN) to get you started: try this single malt whiskey from Stranahan’s, a bourbon from Gentleman Jack, or a rye whiskey from Knob Creek. They are all excellent, and each has its own pleasures.  As Mark Twain said, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”

Article by Devin Mills – Distilling Craft

GSN Review: Little City Vermouth

Little City Vermouth is a new product in a category which is just begging for more variety. After all, three of the most iconic cocktails in the world call for it (Martini, Manhattan & Negroni). I asked Will Clark, the owner of New York State’s Little City how he became interested in crafting vermouth.
“First I got into cocktails. I began collecting bottles and inventing drinks. In an effort to create cocktails with more unique character I began making my own ingredients—syrups, shrubs, infusions. I had been exploring vermouth, sipping it on its own and relying on it heavily in many of my drinks. From a mixologist perspective, I was intrigued by vermouth. In a way, it’s like a pre-made cocktail, a combination of herbs, liquor and sugar. And it’s a diverse category with much room for experimentation and personal expression. I began making my own vermouth in my Harlem apartment. I played with different methods of extraction, different blending processes. I researched the history of vermouth—which is as old as wine itself—and tried to track down every botanical that had ever been used in vermouth. The possible flavor combinations are endless. Eventually, I was making vermouth that I preferred to anything I could buy in the store. I would drink it on it’s own and put it in almost every cocktail. I shared it with a few bartender and restaurant owner friends of mine and got positive responses. They said that if I could sell it to them legally, they would buy it. That “legally” part is more easily said than done.”
Will continued, “I searched throughout New York State to find a producer that would work with me to make this vermouth just how I wanted it made. Because vermouth is a blend of wine and spirit, and because vermouth is considered wine by the federal government and spirit by the New York state government, licensing is a bit tricky. Of the distilleries and wineries that I spoke with, Finger Lakes Distilling was the most willing to take on the challenges of production and compliance on my terms. They are experts at what they do, and they were excited to lend their vast knowledge to my project without forcing me to change my recipe. They liked what I already had, and they wanted to help me bring it to market. Now it’s here.”
I asked Will what kind of wine is used in his sweet & dry vermouths. “Both Little City Vermouths are built on a base of Cayuga White wine. Cayuga White is a cross of Schuyler and Seyval Blanc grapes that was developed at Cornell University in an effort to create a grape that would grow well in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. And it does grow well there. And that’s where we get it. Specifically, it comes from Glenora Wine Cellars, just across Seneca Lake from Finger Lakes Distilling.”
GSN’s Thoughts
Little City Dry (17.5% abv) With 38 botanicals, this vermouth is very citrus forward on the entry, with a lime character. A bit tart and zippy. The wine character comes through after this, followed by a softer and mellow herb flavor. There is a slight bitterness to the whole affair, which is how it should be. Overall, quite well-balanced and fruity. GSN Rating: B+
Little City Sweet (16.5% abv) Using 53 botanicals, the sweet has a smokey, almost tea like flavor at first, lightened with a burnt sugar character. The herbs are complex with a floral, spicy and semi-bitter edge. The wine serves more as a delivery system here than showing up with any real presence, but it works well as a canvas to the blend of botanicals. Very nice and well-rounded. GSN Rating: A- 

For more information go to: Little City Vermouth

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Autumn 2018 (October-December)

Summer is almost over, so now it’s time for our quarterly GSN Cocktail & Spirits Guide Roundup. Cheers!

The Martini Field Guide: Martini Culture for the Cocktail Renaissance by Shane Carley Cider Mill Press (October 2, 2018) The Martini Field Guide is as potent as the gin used to make the iconic drink. Both cocktail connoisseurs and Happy Hour newbies will lose themselves in this heavily illustrated book, featuring vintage ads and imagery from some of the world’s top distillers, as they read about the Martini’s muddled origins and how an American concoction became popular worldwide. Whether you prefer it shaken or stirred, dry or dirty, The Martini Field Guide provides plenty of ways to think about, make, and drink this popular cocktail, making for the perfect addition to any cocktail lover’s collection.

Experimental Cocktail Club: London. Paris. New York. Ibiza by Experimental Cocktail Club Mitchell Beazley (October 2, 2018) Over 85 recipes for extraordinary cocktails from the award-winning, internationally renowned Experimental Cocktail Club. Treat your taste buds to this collection of very special cocktail recipes that take inspiration from classic American and French cocktails – served with the unmistakable Experimental Cocktail Club flair and style. Recipes include Stockholm Syndrome (Ketel 1 vodka infused with cumin & dill, Linie aquavit, lemon juice, simple syrup, pink Himalayan salt and Peychauds bitters) and Tete de Mule (or ‘Kind of Stubborn’, a salty cocktail containing Don Fulano Blanco, orange juice, tomato juice, agave syrup and topped with ginger beer) – as well as their take on classic cocktails such as Negroni, Margarita, Moscow Mule and Strawberry Daiquiri.

Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald & David Kaplan Ten Speed Press (October 30, 2018) From the authors of the best-selling and genre-defining cocktail book Death & CoCocktail Codex is a comprehensive primer on the craft of mixing drinks that employs the authors’ unique “root cocktails” approach to give drink-makers of every level the tools to understand, execute, and improvise both classic and original cocktails. “There are only six cocktails.” So say Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, the visionaries behind the seminal craft cocktail bar Death & Co. In Cocktail Codex, these experts reveal for the first time their surprisingly simple approach to mastering cocktails: the “root recipes,” six easily identifiable (and memorizable!) templates that encompass all cocktails: the old-fashioned, martini, daiquiri, sidecar, whisky highball, and flip. Once you understand the hows and whys of each “family,” you’ll understand why some cocktails work and others don’t, when to shake and when to stir, what you can omit and what you can substitute when you’re missing ingredients, why you like the drinks you do, and what sorts of drinks you should turn to–or invent–if you want to try something new.

The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem by Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry & Jillian Vose Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (October 30, 2018) A groundbreaking graphic novel-style cocktail book from world-renowned bar The Dead Rabbit in New York City. The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in lower Manhattan has won every cocktail award there is to win, including being named “Best Bar in the World” in 2016. Since their award-winning cocktail book The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual was published in 2015, founders Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, along with bar manager Jillian Vose, have completely revamped the bar’s menus in a bold, graphic novel style, now featured in their newest collection The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem. Based on “Gangs of New York”-era tales retold with modern personalities from the bar world (including the authors) portrayed as the heroes and villains of the story, the menus are highly sought-after works of art. This stunning new book, featuring 100 cocktail recipes, fleshes out the tall tales even further in a collectible hardcover edition—making it a must-have for the bar’s passionate fans who line up every night of the week.

A Drinkable Feast: A Cocktail Companion to 1920s Paris by Philip Greene TarcherPerigee (October 16, 2018) A history of the Lost Generation in 1920s Paris told through the lens of the cocktails they loved. In the Prohibition era, American cocktail enthusiasts flocked to the one place that would have them–Paris. In this sweeping look at the City of Light, cocktail historian Philip Greene follows the notable American ex-pats who made themselves at home in Parisian cafes and bars, from Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein to Picasso, Coco Chanel, Cole Porter, and many more. A Drinkable Feast reveals the history of more than 50 cocktails: who was imbibing them, where they were made popular, and how to make them yourself from the original recipes of nearly a century ago. Filled with anecdotes and photos of the major players of the day, you’ll feel as if you were there yourself, walking down the boulevards with the Lost Generation.

The Cocktail Companion: A Guide to Cocktail History, Culture, Trivia and Favorite Drinks by Cheryl Charming Mango (November 15, 2018) Cheryl Charming aka Miss Charming™ has been heavily steeped in the cocktail culture as a bartender since 1980. She has 15 published bar and cocktail related books. In high school she worked as a pizza waitress then quickly progressed to cocktail waitress, bar back, bartender, and head bartender. With a penchant for travel, Cheryl tended bar many places around America, a cruise ship in the Caribbean, and Walt Disney World. While working at WDW she became the bar trick/bar magic instructor for Disney’s F&B training program, Quest for the Best. Cheryl was also involved with hosting and participating in events for Tales of the Cocktail and teaching “Edutaining” cocktail classes for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line passengers. She is a member of The Bartenders Guild and The Museum of the American Cocktail. Cheryl studied Graphic and Interactive Communication at Ringling College of Art & Design and works as a freelance graphic artist on the side. Currently, she lives in the French Quarter and is the bar director at Bourbon O Bar on the corner of Bourbon and Orleans inside the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter. She was named “Mixologist of the Year” on 2014 by New Orleans Magazine.

Spirit of the North: COCKTAIL RECIPES AND STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA by Selma Slabiak teNeues Publishing Company (November 15, 2018) What could possibly be better than sharing and enjoying in life’s simpler pleasures with friends and loved ones? This idea is at the heart of the Scandinavian lifestyle trends that many in contemporary culture have come to embrace. In an ever-present, all-encompassing quest to create this “just right” feeling when entertaining guests, star mixologist Selma Slabiak celebrates her Danish heritage by combining her personal and professional ethos for conviviality and togetherness with her expert, innovative knowledge of foraging and farm-to-table practice to present inventive drink and cocktail recipes in one multi-faceted book. Slabiak shares with her readers elevated bartending expertise and finesse, layering familiar and unusual flavors and ingredients, along with Scandinavian traditions and nostalgic stories from her childhood in Denmark, in an inspiring, delicious, and original recipe book of Nordic-based cocktails—so we can all capture the extraordinary in the everyday.

Ciderology: From History and Heritage to the Craft Cider Revolution by Gabe Cook Spruce (October 2, 2018) In Ciderology, Gabe Cook, aka ‘The Ciderologist,’ leading global cider expert, shares his passion for all things cider (and perry!), with an essential history of the drink and production processes, and a round-the-world tour of the most important and exciting cider makers in operation. You’ll find delicious recipes incorporating cider, tasting notes for cider styles that you can try yourself, and a wealth of anecdotes and tales that intermingle fact and myth. A real treat for the drinks enthusiast, inveterate cider lover and cider novice alike, Ciderology contains anything and everything you have ever needed to know about cider.

The Home Bar: A Guide to Designing, Equipping & Stocking Your Own Bar by Henry Jeffreys Gibbs Smith (October 9, 2018) Whether you desire a small, selectively stocked bar cart or are planning a bespoke entertaining space in your home, this book is a beautiful and indispensable guide to enjoying drinks at home, anytime. The Home Bar traces the cultural history of social drinking and bar design, and how this translates into highly desirable and stylish bars in a home setting. You will find advice on everything from the best bar surface to how to make and store ice, from cocktail shakers to stools, from stirrers to selecting the best glassware. For the discerning drinker fascinated by the mystique of soda siphons, cocktail kits, and seriously interesting aperitifs and digestives, there are tips on how to build up an enviable drinks collection. With a comprehensive selection of more than thirty superlative cocktail recipes, this is a fascinating and informative aid to stocking and enjoying your own home bar.

Whiskey America by Dominic Roskrow Mitchell Beazley (October 2, 2018) What can we expect from the best whiskey producers in America today? Whiskey America showcases some of the most exciting new styles of whiskey and why they are so special. Offering fascinating interviews with some of the leading characters in the recent distilling revolution, this absorbing book relates the stories of how successful lawyers, doctors and city slickers made the life-changing decision to turn their backs on conventional careers to pursue the ‘good life’ of making spirits in the most far-flung outreaches of America. And thank goodness they did, because this new generation of distillers not only customized conventional whiskey styles but also invented new ones never seen before. Whiskey America investigates how best to enjoy the new whiskies – in cocktails, with food, mixed or straight – and looks forward to where these exciting American spirits are going next.

Ten Drinks That Changed the World by Seki Lynch & Tom Maryniak Acc Art Books (November 5, 2018) Walk into any bar, in almost any part of the world, and there, on the back shelf you’re likely to see Vodka, Gin, Scotch, Bourbon, Brandy, Rum, Shochu, Tequila, Absinthe, Vermouth. These drinks helped shape our culture; inspired authors and painters, brought both anarchy and harmony and even, in some cases, induced mass hysteria. In 10 Drinks That Changed the World, bartender, poet and writer Seki Lynch tells the stories behind the spirits. Tracing the origins of each drink, he dissects the ingredients and locates the first makers, exploring how perceptions and consumption levels have ebbed and flowed through the centuries. Cocktail recipes, lists of artisan makers and insights from the great, good and notorious drinkers of history help complete the résumé for each drink. London artist Tom Maryniak has created original illustrations of each drink for the book.

Eat, Drink and Be Sherry: The Stylish Renaissance of a Great Wine by Ben Howkins & Hugh Johnson Quiller Publishing (November 1, 2018) Eat Drink and Be Sherry highlights the world’s most underrated fine wine. With over 50 years of experience in the wine industry, Ben Howkins looks outside the box to bring to life this increasingly popular drink. Howkins includes history, geography, and the production process to help position the sherry category in a wider context, with contributions from 50 of the leading sherry influencers. Sherry is a magnificent multi-faceted wine now very much on the “up” as a popular drink and this fascinating and accessible history will be of great interest to all who love good food and wine.

Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way by Rebekah Peppler Clarkson Potter (October 16, 2018) For the French, the fleeting interlude between a long workday and the evening meal to come is not meant to be hectic or crazed. Instead, that time is a much-needed chance to pause, take a breath, and reset with light drinks and snacks. Whether it’s a quick affair before dashing out the door to your favorite Parisian bistro or a lead-up to a more lavish party, Apéritif is about kicking off the night, rousing the appetite, and doing so with the carefree spirit of connection and conviviality. Apéritif celebrates that easygoing lifestyle with simple yet stylish recipes for both classic and modern French apéritif-style cocktails, along with French-inspired bites and hors d’oeuvres. Keeping true to the apéritif tradition, you’ll find cocktail recipes that use lighter, low-alcohol spirits, fortified wines, and bitter liqueurs. The impressive drinks have influences from both Old World and New, but are always low fuss and served barely embellished–an easy feat to pull off for the relaxed host at home. Apéritif also offers recipes for equally breezy bites, such as Radishes with Poppy Butter, Gougères, Ratatouille Dip, and Buckwheat-Sel Gris Crackers. For evenings that are all about ease and approachability without sacrificing style or flavor, Apéritif makes drinking and entertaining at home as effortless, fun, and effervescent as the offerings themselves.

GSN Review: RAFT Botanicals Cocktail Syrups & Bitters

As the use of craft cocktail ingredients increases in popularity, there’s a movement underway to make them more approachable. One person leading that charge is Genevieve Brazelton, Founder of Portland, Oregon’s RAFT syrups and bitters.

Genevieve heads one of the few female-led cocktail ingredient companies and she’s on a mission to remove the intimidation factor from using artisan bitters and syrups. She hopes to utilize RAFT as a way to empower everyone “from professional bartenders to general consumers alike“ to create delicious cocktails with the best possible ingredients.

Genevieve’s love for an Old Fashioned inspired the brand’s creation in 2012 when she and her husband, Dan Brazelton, started The Bitter Housewife bitters. They later expanded their line with the RAFT brand of diverse syrups, bitters and cocktail kits, which together operate under the overarching artisan brand Improper Goods. Since the brand’s inception, the Brazeltons have believed creating cocktails should be fun “not precious or intimidating.”

  • RAFT and its sister brand, The Bitter Housewife craft syrups and bitters in small batches using all natural, sustainable and fair trade sourced ingredients, including 100% organic cane sugar.
  • Genevieve educates through unique flavors, cocktail kits, simple recipes and tips, knowing a great cocktail is a balance between strong, sweet, sour, and bitter flavors.
  • Genevieve encourages people to add them to non-alcoholic drinks, as well as using them in homemade dressings, marinades and even dessert recipes.

GSN was sent a sampling of some of their more unique products for review:

Hibiscus Lavender Syrup: A deep purple syrup that has an herbal and floral character with just a hint of spice. The lavender is a bit reticent, but the hibiscus flavor is nicely forward on the palate. This is a great syrup for white spirit cocktails that call for silver rum, blanco tequila and gin. Light and summery. GSN Rating: A-

Smoked Tea Vanilla Syrup: Dark brown syrup with an immediate smokey nose. The flavor comes from Lapsang Souchong tea and it is unique amongst all of the syrups I’ve tried over the years. The flavor is not overpowering, and the smoke is balanced with a touch of vanilla giving it a sweet and round character. Perfect for brown spirit cocktails that use American whiskey or gold or spiced rums as their base, this will also add an interesting edge to tiki drinks. GSN Rating A+

Cardamom Bitters: This is like tasting a mild Indian curry. Even though these are “bitters” these are milder and less intrusive in a cocktail than the usual aromatic bitters called for in most cocktails. At the same time, they elevate any cocktail that might call for the ubiquitous bitters by adding a spice blend not found elsewhere. There is a slight mintiness and citrus tang along with the spiced herb character.  Try these in place of Angostura, and also give them a try in a pisco sour. For agave based spirits, these will also fit the bill quite nicely. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Improper Goods

GSN Review: Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club Subscription Boxes

Shaker & Spoon was founded in October 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. Unlike other cocktail subscription boxes, Shaker & Spoon sends its original recipes and cocktail ingredients while allowing subscribers to buy the liquor themselves, according to their budget and preferred brands. Shaker & Spoon currently produces house-made specialty syrups—and will soon be expanding into other branded lines of ingredients—while aiming to source the best of everything else. Each month, subscribers receive a box with three new, unique recipes developed by various bartenders along with everything they need to make a total of twelve drinks, besides the alcohol. Shaker & Spoon also provides supplemental content on its website for those who want a deeper dive, including how-to videos, a glossary of bar terms, and a blog featuring tips and tricks, food pairings, bartender interviews, and more.

GSN received the Austin Without Limits Box. Here’s what the company has to say about this kit.

“The public television music program Austin City Limits (the only TV show to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts) helped the city of Austin earn the title of “Live Music Capital of the World” and then spawned an annual festival that happens each October—a very busy time for Austin and its bartenders. We hope that this month’s box will give you a taste of Austin’s drinking culture and make you feel like part of the action. All three of this month’s bartenders work and play in Austin and have infused these drinks with their love for their town and everything that makes it unique. We’re inviting you to choose between two spirits for this box: bourbon or aged tequila, both popular in Texas. While these two are often placed in very different spirit categories, they carry a similar oaky sweetness that makes it possible to swap them in (properly formulated) recipes. So pick your poison and have at it (or try both!) with the Austin Without Limits Box.”

GSN’s thoughts: We really liked the idea of trying regional cocktails, especially ones that feature the most popular spirits from the area,  Even though bourbon and aged tequila seem to be entirely different animals, they are similar in that they both have a sweet oakiness in their character.

The three cocktails featured in this box (Huarache Nights by Chris Bostick/The Beat Goes On by Jessica Sanders/Ma Sour by Caer Ferguson) vary in style, complexity and difficulty. You’ll be making collins, highball and a coupe drinks, so make sure you have the proper glassware.  I especially liked the inclusion of bespoke syrups, which saves a whole lot of time at home. Bitters and garnishes are also included in small portions if you don’t happen to have the proper ones on hand. All of the ingredients are tied together with recipe cards that give clear instructions, even for the drink calling for a fat-washed spirit (it’s easier and tastier than it sounds).

Overall, if you are a fan of 21st century cocktails, “of-the-month” clubs, or even travel, then you will be pleased by the Shaker & Spoon cocktail subscription boxes.

GSN Rating: A

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Summer 2018 (July-September)

Welcome to our summer reading list! GSN presents a dozen and a half books on everything from world-class bars to visit, aperitifs, nightcaps, rum, gin, vermouth, whiskey, coffee, and the latest cocktails! There are even two expanded and revised versions of classic cocktail tomes that you NEED to read!  Cheers!

A Short History of Drunkenness by Mark Forsyth Viking (June 26, 2018) Almost every culture on earth has a drink, and where there’s drink there’s drunkenness. But in every age and in every place drunkenness is a little bit different. It can be religious, it can be sexual, it can be the duty of kings or the relief of peasants. It can be an offering to the ancestors, or a way of marking the end of a day’s work. It can send you to sleep, or send you into battle. A Short History of Drunkenness traces humankind’s love affair with booze from our primate ancestors through to Prohibition, answering every possible question along the way: What did people drink? How much? Who did the drinking? Of the many possible reasons, why? On the way, learn about the Neolithic Shamans, who drank to communicate with the spirit world (no pun intended), marvel at how Greeks got giddy and Romans got rat-arsed, and find out how bars in the Wild West were never quite like in the movies. This is a history of the world at its inebriated best.

Gin by Geraldine Coates Carlton Books Ltd (August 9, 2018) Gin: A Toast to the Most Aromatic of Spirits celebrates the clear spirit in all its guises; as a straight drink, the increasingly popular flavoured brands, as a base for cocktails and a cooking ingredient. It describes the history of the spirit; how it is made and how the method of distillation has changed across the centuries; the variations of gin; classic cocktail recipes; where to buy the premier brands; and tasting notes. Lavishly illustrated and written in an easy-to-read style, this book will go down as well as the most lovingly created Gin & Tonic. Few drinks can trace its history back more than half a millennium, but the Dutch genever (or jenever) is a clear predecessor of the modern gin distilled today. Gin’s history makes for fascinating reading, from how it grew and faded in popularity through the ages to the types of people who drank it and the story of the G&T (surely the world’s best known cocktail). According to Henry McNulty, Vogue’s legendary wine and spirits columnist, ‘Gin is the bad boy of the spirits world.’ He may be correct, but the fact remains that gin is one of the world’s most popular spirits.

Batched & Bottled: Cocktails to Make Ahead by Noel Venning & Max Venning Quadrille Publishing (August 7, 2018) Sick of standing in the corner making cocktails while everyone else is having fun? Fed up of having to buy loads of expensive spirits and bitters? Just want to pour a delicious cocktail any time, any place? Batched & Bottled features 50 of the best recipes for batched and bottled cocktails – cocktails you can pre-make and bottle, and either pour straight over ice or leave to mature for an hour, a month or even a year. You’ll have cocktails you can drink when you get in from work, or bottles you can crack open come Christmas/summer/birthday/Friday. From negronis and manhattans to more complex concoctions you can infuse with botanicals or fermented ingredients, the recipes follow the seasons and range from simple, stir-through mixes, to more elaborate drinks that require kitchen prep.

The Book of Vermouth: A Bartender and a Winemaker Celebrate the World’s Greatest Aperitif by Shaun Byrne & Gilles Lapalus Hardie Grant (August 7, 2018) The Book of Vermouth is a celebration of the greatest cocktail staple – a mixer that is riding a growing wave of popularity around the world. It includes up to 100 modern and classical cocktail recipes – but is more than a cocktail book too, offering history and insight to botanicals, and the perspective of key chefs who like to cook with vermouth as much as they like to drink it.The authors – one a winemaker, the other a bartender – bring personality to the book via their distinct takes on what makes vermouth so special. The book includes two main sections: Vermouth Basics and How to Drink. Vermouth Basics will give a comprehensive guide to the essentials of vermouth – grape varieties, production, varieties, botanicals, spirit and sugar, and go into great detail about the history of Australian vermouth in particular. It will include botanical profiles of both indigenous and traditional plants from Tim Entwistle, botanist at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. It will cover all aspects of wormwood: the key ingredient in making vermouth, including medicinal and historical uses, where it is found and its botanical significance. How to Drink will cover the many different ways to serve, drink and store vermouth. Chapters will cover Vermouth Neat, Vermouth in Spring, Vermouth in Summer, Vermouth in Autumn and Vermouth in Winter, as well as Bitter Edge of Vermouth, Stirred & Up, Vermouth Party and After Dinner. These chapters will be more recipe-focused, and include 10–15 recipes per chapter, drawing from each season’s specific botanicals and how these work with different vermouths. Each season will also include a related food recipe.

Rum: The Complete Guide by Isabel Boons & Tom Neijens Lannoo Publishers (June 30, 2018) The diversity of flavors and colors of rum are as rich as the history and culture that surrounds this alcoholic beverage. This guide provides an overview of more than 300 different types of rum and then categorizes them using an innovative taste model. For every rum, you receive a clear overview of its origins, taste and aroma. In addition, you can read all about the different types of rum, the production and maturing process, the perfect way to serve, and the best cocktails.

I’m Just Here for the Drinks: A Guide to Spirits, Drinking and More Than 100 Extraordinary Cocktails by Sother Teague & Robert Simonson Media Lab Books (August 28, 2018) Sother Teague, one of New York’s most knowledgeable bartenders and Wine Enthusiast’s Mixologist of the Year (2017), presents a brief history of both classic and lesser-known spirits with modern-day wit and old-school bar wisdom, accompanied by easy-to-mix drink recipes you’ll soon commit to memory. Better than bellying up to some of the world’s best bars with a veteran bartender, this series of essays and conversations on all things alcohol aims to reveal how the joy of drinking changed both history and culture?and will likely inspire you to make a little history of your own. After all, no retelling of a great caper or revolutionary event ever started with the phrase, “So a bunch of guys are all eating salad…”. This hardcover collection of timeless tips, insight from industry pros and 100+ recipes is more than just a cocktail book: It’s a manifesto for living a more spirited life.

The Joy of Mixology, Revised and Updated Edition: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft by Gary Regan Clarkson Potter (August 28, 2018) A thoroughly updated edition of the 2003 classic that home and professional bartenders alike refer to as their cocktail bible. Gary Regan, the “most-read cocktail expert around” (Imbibe), has revised his original tome for the 15th anniversary with new material: many more cocktail recipes–including smart revisions to the originals–and fascinating information on the drink making revival that has popped up in the past decade, confirming once again that this is the only cocktail reference you need. A prolific writer on all things cocktails, Gary Regan and his books have been a huge influence on mixologists and bartenders in America. This brand-new edition fills in the gaps since the book first published, incorporating Regan’s special insight on the cocktail revolution from 2000 to the present and a complete overhaul of the recipe section. With Regan’s renowned system for categorizing drinks helps bartenders not only to remember drink recipes but also to invent their own, The Joy of Mixology, Revised and Updated Edition is the original drinks book for both professionals and amateurs alike.

150 Bars You Have to Visit Before You Die by Jurgen Lijcops Lannoo Publishers (July 31, 2018) Finding a major city’s ultimate cocktail bar is often quite the challenge. This book takes you on a trip around the world from Hong Kong to New York and Berlin. It shows locations that set themselves apart with their gorgeous design, stunning views, exclusivity or signature cocktail. In short, must-visit bars for any enthusiast. Can’t wait? Not to worry. The author has added some of the best cocktail recipes for classics, such as Gin Fizz, Negroni or a Manhattan, as well as the best sours and long drinks. Discover the history of each bar, learn how to select your own cocktail menu, let the unique, refined atmosphere of every location carry you away or stay home and drink your exquisite self-made drink.

Whiskey Cocktails by Brian Van Flandern Assouline Publishing (August 20, 2018) Whiskey is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyed spirits, sipped by Madison Avenue “ad men” and the blue-collar alike. In Whiskey Cocktails, America’s top mixologist Brian Van Flandern reprises his role as author in the fifth edition of Assouline’s best-selling cocktail series. These recipes from the mind of America’s top mixologist are all shot against the backdrop of such legendary New York City bars as the Brandy Library, Dead Rabbit Bar, and McSorleys. Like the many vintages explored within, Whiskey Cocktails belongs so high up on the shelf that even the most seasoned bartender may need a ladder to reach it.

The Curious Bartender Volume II: The New Testament of Cocktails by Tristan Stephenson Ryland Peters & Small (September 11, 2018) Tristan Stephenson is back to shake up the cocktail world once more, perfecting classic cocktails and offering his signature reinventions using his world-renowned mixology skills. The Curious Bartender Volume II: The New Testament of Cocktails is the sixth book by bestselling author and legendary bartender Tristan Stephenson. You’ll find 64 of the finest cocktails there have been, are, or will be: 32 perfected classics and 32 game-changing reinventions of classics. Tristan makes you discover taste buds and talents you never knew you had. He’ll show you the tools of the trade, the techniques he swears by, and how to experiment to create your own cocktail sensations. Tristan’s done all the hard work for you, selflessly trying every drink known to man to uncover what partners perfectly. All you have to do is leaf through the pages of this—the holy grail of cocktail books.

The American Bar: The Artistry of Mixing Drinks Revised Edition by Charles Schumann Rizzoli (September 11, 2018) The classic bar guide that launched a generation of cocktail lovers is back—completely updated. With its cloth binding evoking a Jazz Age guide to speakeasies and its charming illustrations that could have come from a period magazine, this most influential cocktail book is reissued in a newly updated edition. Spanning the cocktail spectrum from classic to contemporary, it includes all the information the cocktail lover or mixologist needs to create the perfect drink in a stylishly retro package, making it an elegant, sophisticated gift as well as an indispensable companion for home or professional entertaining. With 500 recipes and an easy-to-use index arranged by drink categories, this bar book is replete with fascinating stories behind the genesis of each cocktail, its creators, and component liquors—as well as a guide to bartending equipment and a glossary of bar terms and measurements. Charles Schumann, whose appreciation of design and drinks is legendary, is the ideal guide to the perfect drink. Based on the menus at his iconic establishments—Harry’s New York Bar, then Schumann’s American Bar, which later became simply Schumann’s Bar—each recipe focuses on quality and balance.

The Curious Bartender’s Guide to Gin: How to appreciate gin from still to serve by Tristan Stephenson Ryland Peters & Small (September 11, 2018) Join the gin craze with this captivating introduction to the world of gin, plus recipes for perfect gin cocktails, brought to you by award-winning bartender and bestselling author Tristan Stephenson. Discover the extraordinary journey that gin has taken, from its origins in the Middle Ages as the herbal medicine “genever” to gin’s commercialization. From the dark days of the Gin Craze in mid 18th Century London to the golden age that it is now experiencing. In the last few years, hundreds of distilleries and micro-distilleries have cropped up all over the world, producing superb craft products infused with remarkable new blends of botanicals. In this book, you’ll be at the cutting-edge of the most exciting developments, uncovering the alchemy of the gin production process, and the science. Follow Tristan’s expertly honed recipes and to enjoy a Classic Martini, Negroni, Gimlet, Aviation, Martinez and Singapore Sling at home.

Glamorous Cocktails: Fashionable mixes from iconic London bars by William Yeoward CICO Books (September 11, 2018) Join William Yeoward on his journey through London’s most stunning bars as he shares his passion for exquisite drinks and glamorous living in this, his compendium of iconic and signature recipes by some of the world’s most acclaimed bartenders. In Glamorous Cocktails, William visits five of his favourite bars and chooses their trademark cocktails, including genius tips from their world-class bartenders. William also shares his own thoughts on making cocktails and, importantly, how to present them. As someone who is not only passionate about cocktails but also about crystal, he has the perfect knowledge and “eye” to advise and inspire. As William says, ‘Cocktails come in such a huge variety that there’s something for everyone and for every possible occasion – a birthday celebration, an anniversary, a first date, the closure of a deal or a surreptitious flirt.’ These cocktails cover a wide range – some are short, others are long, and a few contain no alcohol, but two things are common to all: they are delicious – and extremely glamorous.

The Art & Craft of Coffee Cocktails: Over 80 recipes for mixing coffee and liquor by Jason Clark Ryland Peters & Small (September 11, 2018) Enjoy two of life’s greatest pleasures – coffee and alcohol – with this comprehensive guide to mixing perfect coffee cocktails. World-class mixologist Jason Clark will inspire, excite, and educate you by taking you behind the bar for a masterclass in creating coffee-based cocktails. First take a journey into the history and craft of coffee, the world’s most popular beverage, from crop to cup. Next follow his expert mixing tips aimed at everyone from keen beginners to bartenders working in the world’s best bars. More than 80 recipes follow, covering all styles of cocktails from stirred and shaken through to blended and blazed. Learn how to perfect simple classics such as Espresso Martini and Irish coffee or try your hand at technical modern marvels Golden Velvet and Death By Caffeine. With The Art and Craft of Coffee Cocktails in hand your daily grind will never be the same!

Aperitif: A Spirited Guide to the Drinks, History and Culture of the Aperitif by Kate Hawkings Quadrille Publishing (September 4, 2018) Santé! The apéritif is back. Forget the crass cocktail – the chic apéritif is the choice of the discerning drinker. From the Latin aperire (‘to open’), an apéritif not only kick-starts the palate but is the most delightful way to begin an evening. More and more people are falling for the charms of this light, refreshing, and aromatic way of drinking, and bars dedicated to apéritifs are opening around the world. Characterized by their dryness, freshness, and bitter flavors, many apéritifs are also low in alcohol, making them a perfect choice for health-conscious barflies. In Apéritif, acclaimed drinks writer Kate Hawkings romps through the history of how these drinks came into being across the great drinking nations of Europe and beyond. And after a look at the science of why these drinks work so well as appetizers, she peruses anything and everything that can be considered as an apéritif: what it is, what to look for, and how best to drink it. From amaro to gin, through spritzes to Campari and Lillet, and with suggested recipes or serving suggestions for each kind of booze, Apéritif encourages you to sit back, sip, and anticipate the pleasures that the evening holds.

Nightcap: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening by Kara Newman Chronicle Books (September 18, 2018) A nightcap is the perfect way to end the night, and author Kara Newman knows just how to make them. This gifty, foil-accented book contains more than 40 cocktail recipes—some to keep the night going, some that will help ease you to sleep, some that can double as dessert, and some that can soothe the stomach after a hearty meal. There are classics like the sweet and creamy Brandy Alexander, new takes on old favorites like the Black Manhattan, which swaps an aperitif for the classic vermouth, and simple new ideas like the Open & Shut, which combines equal parts amaro and cognac for a slow sipper. Whatever kind of night it’s been, Nightcap is the perfect way to top it off.

101 Rums to Try Before You Die by Ian Buxton Birlinn Ltd (July 7, 2018) Rum, once the poor relation of the spirit world, has undergone a revival and is no longer seen just as the preferred tipple for tipsy pirates. The craft drinks movement has certainly stimulated the rum world, with high numbers of new artisan rum brands launching around the world in the last few years. The rise of the rum cocktails is another successful trend, with the popularity of mojitos and mai tai contributing greatly in the growth and development of the rum market. Ian Buxton, the UK’s No.1 bestselling author on spirits, takes us on a tour of the different colours, flavours, creation methods and characteristics, and makes his pick of the best rums in the world. Whether you like your rum in cocktails, or prefer to sip it neat, this is the only book on rum you will ever need.

The New Rum: A Modern Guide to the Spirit of the Americas by Bryce T. Bauer Countryman Press (June 5, 2018) Nine countries, forty producers, and ten classic cocktails. Rum, traditionally relegated to cloying cocktails or tropical themed novelty drinks, is undergoing a global renaissance. In bars and distilleries across the world, rum is being defined as a dynamic, complex, and versatile drink. New to the scene of connoisseurship, rum is a spirit of possibilities, inviting imaginative bartenders and mixologists to leave their marks on this burgeoning movement. In The New Rum, award-winning drinks author Bryce T. Bauer charts the historical and cultural journey of the spirit of the Americas from its origins in the Caribbean, to its long held status as a cheap vacation drink, to today’s inspiring craft revival. This rum-spiked travelogue also includes a producer focused drinks guide, covering dozens of the world’s most innovative and iconic producers, making everything from Martiniqure rhum agricole to long-aged sippers from Barbados and the Dominican Republic.