GSN Review: Natural Blonde Bloody Mary Mix

John Aquino is a native Charlestonian and the creative founder of Natural Blonde Bloody Mary. After traveling around the country as a mixologist, he decided to return to Charleston to continue his bartending career. John has made quite a name for himself, winning 5-Bacardi Mojito Challenges and competing in the Cabana Cachaca world finals in Rio de Janeiro. He was one of the 14 mixologists asked to compete in the “Bloody Mary Throw Down” at the Official Bridge Run After Party of 2012, and it was there that he debuted the prototype of what was to become Natural Blonde Bloody Mary. He wanted to create something new, light, and refreshing; remembering a Yellow Tomato Gazpacho he once had at Hank’s Seafood, made by Executive Chef Frank McMahon, and using that as his inspiration, he created his unique mix.

After winning the Bloody Mary competition, and after many requests for his recipe, Aquino decided to create a marketable mix for retail sale in local stores. Since his mix uses fresh tomatoes (as opposed to canned or even paste, as the majority of retail mixes do), he had to experiment with multiple types of yellow tomatoes to find the right balance of acidity, water content, and flavor. After two years of testing, he finally reached his favorites when he came upon the Valencia Gold and Carolina Gold Tomatoes, which he sources locally. Wanting to add to the flavor, with the help of some chef friends, he created a green hot sauce as well as a sweet-hot pickle juice, and with a few more ingredients, a final mix was created.

GSN’s Thoughts: Everything tastes fresh, fresh, fresh, as if made minutes before. Initially tart with bright vinegar and tangy with juicy tomato, the mix goes through several stages of flavor. Nicely balanced, the jalapeno adds a friendly warmth to the blend. Lastly, some of the spices come through adding a lot of top notes and savory characteristics. As if all of that weren’t enough, we absolutely love the color of the tomato puree. This is a mix that joyfully pops out of the glass. Having tasted dozens of Bloody Mary mixes over the years, this one is our favorite. Highly recommended!
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Natural Blonde Bloody Mary

GSN Review: Royalty Spirits CBD Mixers

Chaunci King of Royalty Spirits, the first African American woman to own a spirits company in the Pacific Northwest, recently debuted three non-alcoholic one-of-a-kind cocktail mixers infused with CBD, for teas, iced coffees, mocktails and more with full mobile bartending services.

There are three flavors Exotic Berry, Sweet & Sour, and Vanilla & Ginger. Each is infused with 25mg of CBD.

In September 2020, the company will host the first ever Women In Business Expo with registered women vendors from across the county, introducing women-owned brands to new opportunities, enhancing consumer awareness and igniting a movement towards women-owned companies. The Women In Business Expo will not only celebrate the bounty of women creators, but also facilitate long-lasting business relationships.

GSN’s Thoughts: The vanilla-ginger has a slight sour tang, and a soft ginger heat. The vanilla comes through nicely and has a lasting smoothness. The sweet and sour has a citrus bite that is mouthwatering and reminds me of lemon-lime candies. Lastly, the exotic berry has a lot of fresh strawberry character. Tasty and summery. Each of these will work really well in a gin, vodka, blanco tequila or an interesting addition to a sparkling wine.
GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Royalty Spirits

GSN Review: Bee K’onscious Artisanal Honey

When choosing a honey for your next Bee’s Knees, Penicillin or Pearl Diver cocktail, why settle for something typically overprocessed and lacking character? Instead, consider Denver-based startup Bee K’onscious Artisanal Honey. Each jar of single-origin honey is sourced from the finest beekeepers around the world, with a QR-coded label that allows customers to scan and trace the honey to the single beekeeper who produced it. The “hive to home” honey brand has partnered with TagOne, a provider of blockchain technology, to provide customers the ability to ensure the source of the jar is producing 100% pure, unfiltered, unpasteurized, non-blended honey.

“Many people enjoy high quality honey, not only as an alternative sweetener, but for its natural antibacterial qualities and disease-fighting antioxidants. What consumers don’t know is that many mass-produced supermarket honeys are cooked and, thereby, lose their nutritional value,” says Bee K’onscious owner Matt Kollmorgen. “Every jar of Bee K’onscious is raw, unadulterated and uncooked and retains all the good stuff your body needs to fight disease.”

Bee K’onscious currently offers four varietals: Brazilian Cipo Uva, Brazilian Marmeleiro Prateado, Montana Clover and a much sought-after California Sage. The selection of unique honeys will continue to expand as the Bee K’onscious team continues to search the globe for beekeepers that have integrated best practices. Bee K’onscious only partners with beekeepers that maintain ethical and sustainable beekeeping practices. The company is also committed to packaging their honey in glass jars and shipping to customers using only recyclable, corrugated packaging.

GSN was sent a jar of the sage honey for review.

GSN’s Thoughts: A lot of warm and smooth flavor. Not too sweet, but rather just right in terms of intensity. It has a nice light, golden color and pours easily from the jar. At the tail end of the tasting, there is a hint of the sage flavor which makes for a slight herbal tinge. We appreciated being able to scan the QR-code and find a map of where the honey comes from. It makes everything seem more personable. A very nice honey, and recommended! GSN Rating: A+

To order jars for your bar, go to: BKS Honey

GSN Review: Tempo Sparkling Matcha & CBD Beverage

Tempo recently announced that the brand’s CBD-infused sparkling matcha beverages are now available for online purchase nationwide. For every purchase of Tempo, the brand is donating 10 percent of sales to the University of Chicago Medicine COVID-19 Response Fund supporting the health care workers providing essential care, as well as the adult and pediatric patients and families who are affected.
“Our goal has always been to help hard-working people stay focused and energized during the day, and with the current pandemic unfolding across the world, we’re turning our attention to the people on the front lines,” said Ryan Crane, CEO of Tempo.
Tempo’s sparkling matcha beverage is naturally caffeinated and infused with 25 milligrams of CBD, with only 15 calories and 2 grams of sugar. Tempo builds upon its select cannabinoid extracts with a crafted blend of functional foods and herbs that provide complementary nutritional benefits and support the body’s natural functions.
“We’re living in a time of high stress and uncertainty, and as an antidote to that, people are looking for healthier ways to manage that stress and maintain a positive and productive outlook throughout the day,” continued Crane. “Our new line of CBD-infused sparkling teas was created to help you reset and re-balance in the middle of a frenzied day.”

Sparkling Matcha w/ Raspberry & Lime
Visual: Cloudy peach.
Nose: Bright and fruity red raspberry.
Taste: Very light and akin to an unsweetened flavored sparkling tea. The berry flavor is natural, although I don’t detect any lime. Sometimes CDB has a bitter, grassy flavor, but that’s not the case here. If anything, there is a tannic aftertaste from the matcha on the back of the palate.
Finish: The raspberry goes on the longest, with a pleasant fruitiness.
Overall: Very easy to drink, refreshing and energizing. If you need a boost to get you through the day and remain mellow at the same time, this is a good choice.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Tempo Bev

GSN Review: Fire Dept. Spirit Infused Coffees

Fire Dept. Coffee is a new online coffee brand with a mission to serve the community by giving back to some of your hardest working neighbors, firefighters. When we’re in trouble or in danger, firefighters and other first responders race to our side without a second wasted and without a second thought.

Launched by Luke Schneider, a Navy veteran turned firefighter-paramedic himself, the original idea for Fire Dept. Coffee was to provide fire houses with better tasting coffee, and donate 10% of the sales back to charity. So, he began roasting and blending beans in Chicago, along with his wife—not only to keep firefighters happy, but give back as well.

10% of net proceeds from every order goes towards supporting ill or injured firefighters and first responders. The Fire Dept. Coffee Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization supporting groups that help first responders who are injured on the job, mentally or physically, or who are facing other serious health challenges.

Fire Dept. currently offers four different spirit infused coffees, which were were more than happy to try.

The Irish Whiskey Infused has an immediately recognizable taste, and is one of the strongest coffees in flavor. This makes for a great faux Irish Coffee for those looking for an alcohol free choice after dinner.

The Rum Infused coffee is our personal favorite among the four styles. Slightly sweet, but with a lovely richness that marries well with the beans.

The Bourbon Infused was surprisingly less forward in spirit character than expected. Softer than the Irish Whiskey beans. The flavor was still there, but in a more subtle way. Tasty, but shy.

Lastly, the Tequila Infused coffee was quite interesting and perhaps the most unusual of the beans. The tequila flavor has a somewhat fruity flavor which I found myself really enjoying. The taste was again not as intense as I would have suspected, but this works to its favor. I could easily see this working in a Mexican coffee with some spiced cocoa added for sweetness.

Overall, these are all excellent, unusual and well roasted. I’d recommend each one, not only for your morning eye-opener, but as a great gift to be shared with any spirit & coffee lover.

GSN Rating: A-

To order go to: Fire Dept Coffee

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Spring 2020 (April-June)

Since we are all living in the “new normal”, why not spend that extra time at home reading some books on your favorite subjects? These are all new cocktail and spirit publications coming out this spring. Time to learn some new recipes and techniques!

FIZZ: A Beginners Guide to Making Natural, Non-Alcoholic Fermented Drinks by Elise van Iterson & Barbara Serulus (BIS Publishers) April 7, 2020 – Fermentation produces fantastic non-alcoholic drinks. Fermented drinks, with their natural sparkle and slightly yeasty taste, are a great alternative to wine or beer. They are perfect for those who want to consume less alcohol and those who want to give a probiotic boost to their body. This book tells you everything you need to know to brew these healthy and alcohol-free drinks yourself. You will find accessible recipes with step-by-step illustrations, scientific background information on the fermentation process, and ‘juicy’ anecdotes about the origin of these extraordinary drinks. (Read an excerpt from the book here)

Drinking with Chickens: Free-Range Cocktails for the Happiest Hour by Kate E. Richards (Running Press Adult) April 7, 2020 It’s drinks, it’s chickens: It’s the cocktail book you didn’t know you needed! To add some extra happy to your happy hour , invite a chicken and pour yourself a drink. Author Kate Richards serves up cocktails made for Instagram with the spoils of her Southern California garden, chicken friends by her side. Enjoy any (or all) of the 60+ deliciously drinkable garden-to-glass beverages.Cocktails are arranged seasonally, and are 100% accessible for those of us without perpetually sunny backyard gardens at our disposal. Drinking with Chickens will quickly become a boozy favorite, perfect for gifting or for hoarding all for yourself. You don’t need chickens to enjoy these drinks or the colorful photos, but be careful, because you may even find yourself aspiring to be, as Kate is, a home chixologist overrun by gorgeous, loud, early-rising egg-laying ladies, and in need of a very strong drink.

Disco Cube Cocktails: 100+ innovative recipes for artful ice and drinks (Fancy Ice Cube and Cocktail Recipe Book, Bartending and Mixology Book) by Leslie Kirchhoff (Chronicle Books) April 7, 2020 Disco Cube Cocktails is a ’70s-inspired cocktail book based on the magical properties of ice.With 100+ recipes for artful ice and the drinks that go with them, home bartenders can learn new icy creations to elevate any classic drink, infuse new flavor into a sipper as the ice melts, or impress friends at a party with a frosty punch bowl. While traveling as a DJ, Leslie Kirchhoff fell in love with the art of craft cocktails, but noticed one thing was missing: inventive ice. Taking it upon herself to create something truly unique, she started Disco Cubes as a passion project to explore the art of ice. Now you can do the same at home with recipes that offer more than just a classic cube. In this not-so-classic cocktail book, there are one-ingredient cubes to elevate any drink, infused ice to add flavor to simple cocktails, and perfect pairings where ice and drink come together to make a concoction that you (and your guests) won’t forget. Plus, you’ll find playlists at the beginning of each chapter, to set the mood for any occasion.

Beginner’s Guide to Whiskey: Traditions, Types, and Tastes of the Ultimate Spirit by Sam Green (Rockridge Press) April 7, 2020 The Beginner’s Guide to Whiskey is the best way to become a true aficionado without taking a mixology masterclass. Inside, you’ll discover its rich history, the detailed whiskey-making process from grain to glass, the main types of brown liquor, and, of course, the fine art of savoring handcrafted whiskey. This complete guide includes: What’ll it be―From Kentucky bourbon to Scotch single malt, start your sipping adventure in style with this insightful book that’s perfect for beginners. Bartender tips―Get expert advice including how to recognize signature tasting notes like smoke, malt, fruit, and more.Top-shelf extras―Learn how to pair it with meals and stir up some classic cocktail recipes like the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

How to Drink: A Classical Guide to the Art of Imbibing (Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers) by Vincent Obsopoeus (Author), Michael Fontaine (Editor, Translator) (Princeton University Press) April 14, 2020 Is there an art to drinking alcohol? Can drinking ever be a virtue? The Renaissance humanist and neoclassical poet Vincent Obsopoeus (ca. 1498–1539) thought so. In the winelands of sixteenth-century Germany, he witnessed the birth of a poisonous new culture of bingeing, hazing, peer pressure, and competitive drinking. Alarmed, and inspired by the Roman poet Ovid’s Art of Love, he wrote The Art of Drinking (De Arte Bibendi) (1536), a how-to manual for drinking with pleasure and discrimination. In How to Drink, Michael Fontaine offers the first proper English translation of Obsopoeus’s text, rendering his poetry into spirited, contemporary prose and uncorking a forgotten classic that will appeal to drinkers of all kinds and (legal) ages. Arguing that moderation, not abstinence, is the key to lasting sobriety, and that drinking can be a virtue if it is done with rules and limits, Obsopoeus teaches us how to manage our drinking, how to win friends at social gatherings, and how to give a proper toast. But he also says that drinking to excess on occasion is okay―and he even tells us how to win drinking games, citing extensive personal experience. Complete with the original Latin on facing pages, this sparkling work is as intoxicating today as when it was first published.

CBD Cocktails: Over 100 Recipes to Take the Edge Off by Sailene Ossman (Cider Mill Press) April 14, 2020 Take the edge off with over 100 recipes that feature one of the hottest trends in craft cocktails: CBD, the non-psychoactive extract from marijuana that aids anxiety, pain relief, and insomnia. Whether this is an ingredient completely new to you or one that you want to know how best to use, let Sailene Ossman, a fixture in the Los Angeles cannabis scene since the mid-90s who has gone from underground hero to celebrated expert explain CBD in all its forms and how best to use it to address individuals’ needs. Whether you want to add depth to a traditional mixed drink or are in need of stress-relieving juice, CBD Cocktails is an essential resource for using this dynamic ingredient.

Splash: Modern Classic Cocktails by Kid Whoo & Ivy Mix (Kingston Imperial) May 5, 2020 As one of the most influential DJs in all of hip-hop history, DJ Whoo Kid has managed to translate his skills from the records, to their waves, to the club scene. It’s the latter that has offered him the opportunity to have a bird’s eye view of nightlife, as he’s the reason people dance, but now he’s the reason they’ll be feeling nice with a whole new drink list. Like the title suggests, Whoo Kid’s upcoming mixology book is bound to make a Splash. Destined to become a definitive reference on cocktails, Splash features more than 100 innovative cocktails. More than just a collection of recipes, Splash is a complete crash course on cocktail education, with information on the theory and philosophy of drink-making, a referential guide to buying and using spirits, and a step-by-step instruction manual for mastering mixing techniques. Filled with high quality photography, charts and infographics, and colorful essays about drunk adventure by celebrities told by Whoo Kid himself, Splash sets the pace for mixologists around the world and anyone who’s set foot in a club and made a memory there.

The Geeky Bartender Drinks: Real-Life Recipes for Your Favorite Fantasy Cocktails by Cassandra Reeder (Race Point Publishing) May 5, 2020 Author Cassandra Reeder has created authentic real-life drinks and cocktails inspired by your favorite fantasy drinks. So, if you’ve found yourself craving Shimmerwine from Firefly, Black Frost Beer from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Swanky Panky from Bob’s Burgers, or Butterbeer from Harry Potter, you’re about to quench your thirst in a galaxy far, far away. Featuring more than 60 original cocktail recipes, you’ll also learn edgy cocktail tricks, such as creating a “shimmer effect” in your liquor, giving a sparkle rim to your glass, and adding fire or mist to a cocktail, along with concocting simple syrups and ice-cube effects. Easy step-by-step instructions and fun themed photos make these creative recipes perfect for your next party, season premiere get-together, or your standing reservation for a party of one. And for all you designated drivers, don’t despair: The Geeky Chef has plenty of imaginative tricks for making these drinks alcohol-free.

Easy Tiki by Chloe Frechette (Ten Speed Press) May 12, 2020 Sixty recipes inspired by the history of tiki as well as the modern revival that’s putting a fresh spin on tropical tiki drinks–all simplified for the home bartender from cocktail authority PUNCH. Tiki is the dream of escape, a tropical vacation complete with warm ocean water, island music, and beachside dinners. Kicking back with a tiki cocktail may be the epitome of easy living, but ironically, tiki drinks are among the hardest to make, often requiring eight or more ingredients. Now Easy Tiki is here to solve that problem! Easy Tiki examines the modern tiki revival offering sixty transporting recipes that re-jigger the classics with minimal ingredients while still maintaining the delicious balance, spices, and stunning garnishes that define tiki cocktails. Drinks include classics such as the Beachcomber’s Gold and Fog Cutter and modern cocktails such as Elusive Dreams and Paradise Lost. Easy Tiki also includes an overview of the origins of the tiki genre, from Don the Beachcomber and the mid-century tiki craze to Trader Vic’s and beyond.

Rosé Made Me Do It: 60 Perfectly Pink Punches and Cocktails by Colleen Graham & Ruby Taylor (Andrews McMeel Publishing) May 19, 2020 Reminiscent of boat rides down the French Rivera and sun-kissed beachside bars, rosé is stealing the spotlight with its crisp, refreshing taste and gorgeous rose hue. From wine expert Colleen Graham comes this perfectly pink primer on summers favorite drink.In Rosé Made Me Do It, wine aficionado and cocktail consultant Colleen Graham explains everything you need to know: how to choose the right type of wine, which spirits and mixers blend well, and how to create crisp cocktails for every occasion. Featuring 60 rosé cocktails and punches from around the world, from sangrias and spritzes to bellinis and martinis, this delightful illustrated guide invites you to drink pink.

Spirits Of Latin America by Ivy Mix (Ten Speed Press) May 26, 2020 A James Beard Award-nominated bartender explores the history and culture of Latin American spirits in this stunningly photographed travelogue–with 100+ irresistible cocktails featuring tequila, rum, pisco, and more. Through its in-depth look at drinking culture throughout Latin America, this gorgeous book offers a rich cultural and historical context for understanding Latin spirits. Ivy Mix has dedicated years to traveling south, getting to know Latin culture, in part through what the locals drink. What she details in this book is the discovery that Latin spirits echo the Latin palate, which echoes Latin life, emphasizing spiciness, vivaciousness, strength, and variation. After digging into tequila and Mexico’s other traditional spirits, Ivy Mix follows the sugar trail through the Caribbean and beyond, winding up in Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, where grape-based spirits like pisco and singani have been made for generations. With more than 100 recipes that have garnered acclaim at her Brooklyn bar, Leyenda, including fun spins on traditional cocktails such as the Pisco Sour, Margarita, and Mojito, plus drinks inspired by Ivy’s travels, like the Tia Mia (which combines mezcal, rum, and orange curacao, with a splash of lime and almond orgeat) or the Sonambula (which features jalapeño-infused tequila, lemon juice, chamomile syrup, and a dash of Peychaud’s bitters), along with mouthwatering photos and gorgeous travel images, this is the ultimate book on Latin American spirits.

Pikes Cocktail Book by Dawn Hindle (Ryland Peters & Small) June 2, 2020 Recreate the most popular drinks to have been shaken, stirred, and swallowed at one of the world’s most unique venues. George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Grace Jones, Fatboy Slim, Irvine Welsh, Idris Elba, Daniel Radcliffe, Boy George, Kate Moss Kylie, LCD SoundSystem, and countless other celebrities and royalty have all sipped the cocktails served at the legendary Pikes Ibiza while sitting around its iconic pool and dancing in the in-house nightclub that used to be Freddie Mercury’s suite. Now, for the first time ever, The Pikes Cocktail Book tells the story of this incredible place, with drinks recipes inspired by mischief and misbehavior at this epicenter of Balearic excess. The 65 drinks recipes are divided into chapters such as Poolside Sunset, After Midnight, and The Morning After where you can sample Captain of the Night, Sunny’s Gay G&T, Golden Bird, and many more.

Drink What You Want by John Debary (Clarkson Potter) June 2, 2020 A nonjudgmental, back-to-basics approach to making custom cocktails that’s as fun as it is definitive–from a renowned New York City bartender who’s worked everywhere from PDT to Momofuku. John deBary is a veritable cocktail expert with a 100-proof personality, a dash of fun, and garnished with flair–there’s nothing muddled about him. In Drink What You Want, John breaks down the science of mixology (yes, it’s a science) and explains the rules of drink-making. Most important, you’ll learn how to tweak any drink, both classic and creative, to your preferences and moods. Are you adventurous or traditional? Sweet or bitter? Brown liquor or clear? While giving newbies a rundown of cocktail culture, lingo, and etiquette, John turns the “cocktail book” concept on its ear by infusing a traditionally formal topic with his fresh, conversational voice. Mixology geeks and bottomless brunchers alike will revel in the craft of the cocktail, from classic to modern to funky. Cocktails are about creativity and setting the mood, and Drink What You Want overflows with both.

The Spirit of Whiskey: History, Anecdotes, Trends and Cocktails by Fabio Petroni, Davide Terziotti & Claudio Riva (White Star Publishers) June 2, 2020 Whiskey lovers can learn all about their favorite spirit with this guide to its history, distilling, regional variations, and unique characteristics. What makes American whiskey different from Canadian, Irish, or Scotch whiskey? What is the meaning of “single malt,” “blended,” and “single grain?” Go around the world with 40 of today’s best whiskeys—from Ben Riach Curiositas 10 to Widow Jane Straight Bourbon, Masterson’s, and Chichibu’s Floor Malted—exploring their characteristics, aromas, and particularities. Japanese varieties, too often ignored, receive special attention; with their soft taste, limited production, and attention to detail, they are now internationally recognized for their excellence. Learn how the beverage is mashed, fermented, distilled, matured, and bottled, and the rules of serving and tasting. Finally, enjoy recipes for delicious cocktails, both classic and new. Splendid photographs by Fabio Petroni, master of still lifes, appear throughout.

Pink Gin (Ryland Peters & Small) June 9, 2020 “Pink gin” was originally a simple cocktail of London Dry Gin seasoned with a dash of angostura bitters, but recently this term has blossomed and is now used to describe any gin infused with pink or red fruits, plants or spices alongside the usual botanicals found in the spirit. These include strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb, pink grapefruit, rhubarb, sloes, and rose petals and the resulting blush-colored and fragrant spirits can be enjoyed in a range of delicious cocktails. From the simplest gin and tonic or a straight-up pink martini to bartenders’ favorites the Clover Club, Gimlet, and Tom Collins, a pink gin will add extra pep to your drinking experience. Established brands with international reach such as Gordon’s and Beefeater have recently added pink gins to their ranges, plus sunshine-fueled Mediterranean distillers such as Spanish Larios and Italian Malfy are all creating elegant fruit-infused gins in highly desirable bottles. So whether you’re a gin expert wanting to update a beloved classic cocktail, relatively new to the gin scene and keen to try the latest innovations, or have simply found that fruitier tipple is your thing, you’ll find all the pink gin inspiration you need here.

The Craft of Cocktails by Cottage Door Press (Parragon Books) June 16, 2020 Do you love great cocktails? Are you tired of the same old recipes? Do you want to take your home bartending skills to the next level? Check out cocktail recipes from classics to newer trends here in The Craft of Cocktails. Impress your friends and family with your mixology abilities, and enjoy some really great beverages along the way.The best of traditional and contemporary mixology for all occasions. For a romantic dinner, special celebration, holidays, entertaining and more, there is a perfect, well-loved recipe for every get-together. Recipes for every mood and occasion and beautiful photos for each recipe will keep enthusiasts excited to continue to try new cocktail recipes every week.

Unvarnished: A Gimlet-eyed Look at Life Behind the Bar by Eric Alperin & Deborah Stoll (Harper Wave) June 23, 2020 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 ten 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.

How to Drink Like a Writer: Recipes for the Cocktails and Libations that Inspired 100 Literary Greats (Apollo Publishers) June 23, 2020 Pairing 100 famous authors, poets, and playwrights from the Victorian age to today with recipes for their iconic drinks of choice, How to Drink Like a Writer is the perfect guide to getting lit(erary) for madcap mixologists, book club bartenders, and cocktail enthusiasts. Do you long to trade notes on postmodernism over whiskey and jazz with Haruki Murakami? Have you dreamed of sharing gin martinis with Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton after poetry class? Maybe a mojito—a real one, like they serve at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana—is all you need to summon the mesmerizing power of Hemingway’s prose. Writer’s block? Summon the brilliant musings of Truman Capote with a screwdriver—or, “my orange drink,” as he called it—or a magical world like J.K. Rowling’s with a perfect gin and tonic. With 100 spirited drink recipes and special sections dedicated to writerly haunts like the Algonquin of the New Yorker set and Kerouac’s Vesuvio Cafe, pointers for hosting your own literary salon, and author-approved hangover cures, all accompanied by original illustrations of ingredients, finished cocktails, classic drinks, and favorite food pairings, How to Drink Like a Writer is sure to inspire, invoke, and inebriate—whether you are courting the muse, or nursing a hangover. Sure, becoming a famous author takes dedication, innate talent, and sometimes nepotism. But it also takes vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey.

 

GSN Review: Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew Coffee

Cafe Agave is a blend of 100% Arabica, Colombian cold brewed coffee, wine, agave sweetener, real dairy cream and other natural flavors. Each single-serve can is equivalent to a ½ cup of brewed coffee and one glass of wine.

Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew is packaged into sleek 6.3 oz cans available in both singles and 4-packs. Cafe Agave can be sold anywhere beer and wine are sold, as opposed to spirit-based RTD beverages. Available in four flavors:

  • Espresso Shot – blended espresso brew made from dark roast Arabica coffee, real dairy cream and agave sweetener
  • Caffe Mocha – flavors of mocha and pure cocoa blended with dark roast Arabica coffee
  • Salted Caramel – classic flavors of natural sea salt and caramel blended with dark roast Arabica coffee
  • Vanilla Cinnamon – vanilla and toasted cinnamon blended with dark roast Arabica coffee

“Cafe Agave is a ready to drink coffee cocktail for all occasions. And unlike the emerging lower abv coffee-beer segment, our spiked coffee is great by itself or mixed. At 12.5% abv, it can be served straight up, as an espresso martini or as the base of many great cocktails,” said Ami-Lynn Bakshi, Co-Founder of Cafe Agave.

Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew Coffee (12.5% ABV)
Each of these flavors works well in spite of my initial reservations about mixing wine and coffee. The wine adds a touch of fruity sweetness, but doesn’t overwhelm the palate. These are shelf stable, but taste best over ice rather than straight out of the can. My personal favorites are the Caffe Mocha and the Salted Caramel, but each has its merits. Ideally, these make for a great boozy brunch treat, since the caffeine will give you a lift, while the wine relaxes you and adds to the fun.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Cafe Agave

GSN Alert: Fingerlakes Distilleries Set to Make Hand Sanitizer

Last night I spoke with Chris Carlsson, blogger at Spirits Review and he shared that a project is in the works to get thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer sent out to area hospitals. At least three distilleries in the area including Black Button in Rochester, Last Shot in Skaneateles and Apple Country Spirits in Williamson are distilling high proof spirits to donate toward the project. Chris is looking for a donation of plastic bottles and use of a bottling line to finish the project. If you have any ideas, you can contact him through his website.

He also shared a simple recipe that you can make at home courtesy of Alan Katz from New York Distilling:

Boozy Hand Sanitizer
2 parts gin
1 part aloe vera

GSN Review: The Bitter Truth Bogart’s Bitters

The Bitter Truth – Bogart’s Bitters is a meticulously crafted, true to the original, replica of the world’s first mentioned bitters in cocktails. Famed bartender Jerry Thomas, author of the first book on cocktails dating back to 1862 is synonymous with the first golden age of the cocktail and Bogart’s Bitters were the bitters of choice for him. Bottled in the original, iconic “lady leg“ bottle with its authentic labeling, it revives the taste of bartending’s early years when aromatic bitters were the defining ingredient for a refined alcoholic refreshment – the cocktail.

The bitters ship in a special 350ml edition in a gift box with recipe booklet.

The Bitter Truth Bogart’s Bitters (42.10% ABV)
Visual: Nearly opaque dark brown.
Nose: Herbal, root-like, intense scent-bomb of dark funk. There’s a peculiar mincemeat pie quality to these bitters unlike any others (out of well over 100+) that we’ve reviewed.
Taste: Dry, tannic, medium bitter quality with a strong and supportive alcohol base. There is a cooling, almost numbing effect that creeps to the back of the palate.
Finish: Long and quite memorable. One sip lasts quite awhile, not that you’ll necessarily be sipping this.
Overall: Firstly, can I say that this is the classiest bitters bottle I have ever beheld? Next, these are excellent bitters even if they were not the most accurate replication of a long gone 19th century cocktail ingredient. Kudos to Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck for making these available to the bartending community once again. Truly a gem.
GSN Rating: A+++

For more information go to: The Bitter Truth

GSN Review: Ohza Mimosa

Ohza Mimosas, the ready-to-drink, reinvented mimosa in a can has officially launched online ordering and shipping to 29 US states. Ohza was founded by 25-year-old Ryan Ayotte after attempting to mix mimosas with his friends on a tippy boat off of Cape Cod, MA. From making a mess on the high seas, to lugging bottles, cartons, and cups to the beach – he knew there had to be an easier way.

Redefining the ready-to-drink beverage, Ohza’s gluten free mimosas have the calorie count of a hard seltzer, but the flavor of a classic cocktail – all while containing real juice, no added sugar, no artificial flavors, a low ABV for all day sip-ability, and a clean nutrition label. Crafted with Brut sparkling wine from the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York and real orange juice, one 6-pack of Ohzas is equal to nine mimosa flutes, or two bottles of bubbly and half a juice carton.

After a successful launch with cans in 2019, restaurant and bar managers loved the taste and convenience of Ohza’s mimosas, but some preferred not to serve a canned cocktail.  “Canned cocktails really call for an environment where the portability factor is more crucial, like ballparks or concert venues,” said Ryan Ayotte, the 25-year-old founder behind the brand, “so when we got feedback from restaurants and bars saying they’d order Ohza immediately if it was in a keg – we did it.”

Ohza’s goal with draft is to increase serving speed, reduce waste, and provide an opportunity for unique menu specials and “bottomless brunch” options. Plus, with a single sixth barrel-sized keg serving up 110 flutes worth of mimosas, Ohza is far more profitable than mixing them behind the bar. The kegs use standard American D couplers, allowing bars to plug directly into standard beer tap systems. Kegs are available starting February 24th, 2020 in MA, RI, CT, ME, NH, and VT. To order, contact Ohza at info@ohzamimosas.com.

Ohza Mimosa (5% ABV) Mimosas are a great way to start your Sunday morning brunch, but sometimes you can’t finish that 750ml bottle of sparkling wine before it goes flat. A can of Ohza Mimosa is a perfect way for two people to share a glass each and celebrate. We were definitely surprised by both the balance between the wine and the orange juice, plus the relatively light sweetness of what is typically pretty heavy on the fructose. A first taste is very wine forward with a dry edge, and the juice just bringing a hint of sweetness. After the second sip, it becomes apparent that this is the perfect ratio to keep things elegant and perfect for pairing with a classic French breakfast. You could easily have two glasses and not feel as though you’d just imbibed boozy orange soda. All in all, these are great to bring to a party, or keep in your fridge for that last celebratory morning before Monday arrives. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Ohza Mimosas

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Winter 2020 (January-March)

The days are getting longer, but winter is far from over. So, here are a handful of new books to be on the lookout for this season.

Measurements: A Proportional Cocktail Guide by Nick Barclay (NHP Publishing) January 14, 2020 Whatever the season, it is always a good idea to sit back and relax with a cocktail. Graphic designer Nick Barclay has created a stunning anthology of cocktails. This book combines classic recipes with new drink ideas into clear and defined sections. After working on a bar industry magazine and being introduced to the world of cocktails, Nick realized that people love drinking cocktails but not many people know what goes into making them. The design for each cocktail breaks down the ingredients and measures and proportions these out. In this book we see a Nick’s signature style – clean, bold, yet minimal graphical design to showcase the drinks in an alternative and quirky way. The aesthetic for this book is well-designed and the book is the perfect accompaniment for any recipe book collection, art book collection or to have fun with your friends in making some new cocktails.

Mixing Cosmopolitans: The Pouring Tales by Daniel Staub (Alambic Books) January 27, 2020 Daniel Staub, the creative mind behind several bars and speakeasies in Zurich and author of the bartending blog ‘The Pouring Tales’ is on a mission to find and portray the most innovative and passionate bartenders from all across the globe – the true artists of modern mixology. Over the past few years, he has visited countless bars all around the world and formed friendships with many of the talented individuals who work there. Resulting from his extensive travels and research into the global nightlife scene, Mixing Cosmopolitans is a travel diary, a bar guide, and a recipe book all in one. Yet in the spotlight, first and foremost, are the people who breathe new, often unconventional, life into the art of hospitality and who in this book share their own personal path to finding their passion in bartending. Presenting twenty-one personal, beautifully illustrated portraits of bartenders and their bars along with the recipes for their signature cocktails, Mixing Cosmopolitans offers a compelling look into a constantly evolving scene and art form.

How to Drink Like a Writer: Recipes for the Cocktails and Libations that Inspired 100 Literary Greats by Apollo Publishers (Apollo Publishers) February 4, 2020 Do you long to trade notes on postmodernism over whiskey and jazz with Haruki Murakami? Have you dreamed of sharing gin martinis with Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton after poetry class? Maybe a mojito—a real one, like they serve at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana—is all you need to summon the mesmerizing power of Hemingway’s prose. Writer’s block? Summon the brilliant musings of Truman Capote with a screwdriver—or, “my orange drink,” as he called it—or a magical world like J.K. Rowling’s with a perfect gin and tonic. With 100 spirited drink recipes and special sections dedicated to writerly haunts like the Algonquin of the New Yorker set and Kerouac’s Vesuvio Cafe, pointers for hosting your own literary salon, and author-approved hangover cures, all accompanied by original illustrations of ingredients, finished cocktails, classic drinks, and favorite food pairings, How to Drink Like a Writer is sure to inspire, invoke, and inebriate—whether you are courting the muse, or nursing a hangover. Sure, becoming a famous author takes dedication, innate talent, and sometimes nepotism. But it also takes vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey.

Camp Cocktails: Easy, Fun, and Delicious Drinks for the Great Outdoors by Emily Vikre (Harvard Common Press) February 25, 2020 Cabin trips, hikes, patio parties, camping adventures—however you enjoy the great outdoors, it should be fun and easy. And so should the drinks! Simplicity, though, doesn’t mean you’re limited to a bottle and a mixer. With Camp Cocktails, you’ll have a variety of options for simple and tasty drinks that are ready to go wherever you go. Cool off after a hot day spent hiking through the woods with a Flask Boulevardier or the Northwoods Sidecar. Break in the campsite with a Grilled Orange Cobbler or the ultimate beer-based cocktail. Bundling up around the fire? Warm up with the Salted Nutella Hot Chocolate, the Penicillin Toddy, or a spiked hot apple cider. If you’re ready to go a step further, there’s even a chapter for using foraged ingredients. Every recipe comes with easy-to-follow instructions, and many feature expert bartender tips and hacks. A variety of occasions are all here, from stargazing to boating. And to round it all out, there’s a whole chapter dedicated to foraging/found ingredients, and integrating nature into your favorite cocktails.

Hollywood Cocktails: Over 95 Recipes Celebrating Films from Paramount Pictures by Cider Mill Press (Cider Mill Press) February 25, 2020 Paramount Pictures, the oldest Hollywood studio in operation, has released countless award-winning and box office-busting movies that have spanned the age of cinema, from the medium’s silent advent to talkies, color, and CGI blockbusters. Hollywood Cocktails features more than 100 cocktails inspired by over 100 iconic films, all released by Paramount Pictures. This gorgeously illustrated collection of star power is filled with film facts and detailed recipes that guarantee you’ll never again be wondering what to drink or watch.

Drinking French: The Iconic Cocktails, Apéritifs, and Café Traditions of France, with 160 Recipes by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press) March 3, 2020 Bestselling cookbook author, memoirist, and popular blogger David Lebovitz delves into the drinking culture of France in Drinking French. This beautifully photographed collection features 160 recipes for everything from coffee, hot chocolate, and tea to Kir and regional apéritifs, classic and modern cocktails from the hottest Paris bars, and creative infusions using fresh fruit and French liqueurs. And because the French can’t imagine drinking without having something to eat alongside, David includes crispy, salty snacks to serve with your concoctions. Each recipe is accompanied by David’s witty and informative stories about the ins and outs of life in France, as well as photographs taken on location in Paris and beyond. Whether you have a trip to France booked and want to know what and where to drink, or just want to infuse your next get-together with a little French flair, this rich and revealing guide will make you the toast of the town.

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: Prohibition Centennial Edition: From the 1920 Pick-Me-Up to the Zombie and Beyond – 150+ Rediscovered Recipes … With a New Introduction and 66 New Recipes by Ted Haigh (Quarry Books) March 3, 2020 In this new, expanded edition of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails—issued for the 100th Anniversary of National Prohibition—historian, expert, and drink aficionado Dr. Cocktail vastly widens his examination of 1920–1933, the thirteen-year period when women got the Vote, child labor was abolished and, ironically, saw the cocktail elevated, prolonged, and expanded, spreading this signature American drink form in tasty ripples around the world. All this, plus more drink recipes! Nothing is so desired as the thing denied. Prohibition made people want cocktails very, very badly. Because “synthetic” liquor was the easiest to make, it was also the easiest to get. Problematically, it tasted awful and wasn’t exactly good for you either. Cocktails with their mélange of flavors were a made-to-order method for disguising the bad hooch. Along with 100+ rare and delicious authentic recipes gathered from old cocktail manuals and scraps of paper never published, this illustrated trip down mixology lane tells the fascinating origins of the cocktail and how it evolved over time, including its rising popularity during Prohibition. Vintage illustrations and advertisements, photos of old bottles and cocktail artifacts, and fascinating Prohibition-era photographs bring the tippling past back to vivid life.

Drinking with Chickens: Free-Range Cocktails for the Happiest Hour by Kate E. Richards (Running Press Adult) March 24, 2020 It’s drinks, it’s chickens: It’s the cocktail book you didn’t know you needed! To add some spice to your happy hour, shake a tail feather and drink with chickens, or just wish you could! Author Kate Richards serves up cocktails made for Instagram with the spoils of her Southern California garden, chicken friends by her side. Cocktails are arranged seasonally, and are 100% accessible for those of us without perpetually sunny backyard gardens at our disposal. Drinking with Chickens will quickly become a boozy favorite, perfect for gifting or for hoarding all for yourself. You don’t need chickens to enjoy these drinks or the colorful photos, but be careful, because you may even find yourself aspiring to be, as Kate is, a home chixologist overrun by gorgeous, loud, early-rising egg-laying ladies, and in need of a very strong drink.

GSN Holiday Gift Suggestion: Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2020

Jim Murray has handed an unprecedented triple crown to Kentucky whiskey in the latest edition of his best-selling annual Whiskey Bible. Upon unveiling the 2020 “World Whisky of the Year” Awards, the renowned spirits writer and industry expert has created another first by giving all top three accolades for the finest new drams on earth to the same whiskey company, New Orleans-based Sazerac.

Top prize of “World Whisky of the Year” goes to the 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon from the Barton 1792 distillery, a whiskey Jim Murray describes as “melodious, mysterious and slightly exotic” with a nose of “near-perfect proportions” and with an “unfaltering” finish when tasted.

The runners-up, from 1,250 new expressions tasted throughout the world by Jim Murray this year, are both Buffalo Trace brands: bourbon William Larue Weller 125.7 proof, the latest version of last year’s victor, and Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye 127.2 proof.

“There will be eyebrows raised and claims of favoritism which, of course, is never the case with the Whiskey Bible: I call it exactly as I see it,” stated Jim Murray. “Once I knew the top three were from the same company, I spent two extra days running through my top ten whiskies once more…and the results came out exactly the same!

“For the 1792 Distillery to win ‘World Whisky of the Year’ is extraordinary because when I first went there some 25 years ago, the then-owners had no interest in high-end whiskey. The oldest they produced was a 6-year-old, which I thought was one of the most complex on the market but still under cooked. I implored them then to bring out something much older.

“It is wonderful that my gut instinct of 25 years ago has been vindicated under the ownership of Sazerac, who have turned a potentially great distillery into something truly magnificent.”

This year’s release of the best-selling Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible is also notable in that it’s the first time ever that Dram Good Books, Ltd. (the book’s publisher) has released a North American version of the book. This unique edition has greater emphasis on the American and Canadian sections, highlighting the region’s whiskies in the forefront of the 384-page guide.

Jim Murray added: “It’s as though Kentucky knew we were producing this first North American edition. But we had strictly kept it under wraps. If Kentucky was ever going to steal the show, this was the year to do it. And, even by their own their high standards, they’ve exceeded themselves and duly obliged. Considering the quality of the whiskies they were up against worldwide, that’s quite amazing, really.”

“To not only be named ‘World Whisky of the Year ‘but also to have our whiskeys named second and third finest is astonishing,” remarked Mark Brown, President of Sazerac. “We could not be happier nor more motivated to continue to strive for perfection in the American whiskeys we make.”

Sectional winners include: the Taiwanese Nantou Distillery Omar Cask Strength Bourbon Cask (Single Cask of the Year); Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition (Scotch); Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare (Blended Scotch); Penderyn Single Cask no.M75-32 (European); Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt (Japanese).

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2020 (SRP $19.99) contains tasting notes for almost 5,000 whiskies and is available for purchase now on www.whiskybible.com and can be found at U.S. book retailers

GSN Review: Dirty Sue Whiskey Cherries

Dirty Sue is known for their excellent olive juice Martini mixes. Now, bartender and Dirty Sue founder Eric “ET” Tecosky has debuted a cocktail garnish perfect for your Manhattan or Old-Fashioned. Made with Stardust cherries from the Pacific Northwest, they are “noticeably larger than other cherries in the category and have a skin that pops with the first bite revealing a flavor that’s been compared to a ‘fresh cherry’,” Tecosky says. The cherries are bathed in cherry juice formulated with Tennessee and Kentucky whiskeys, and mellowed with notes of vanilla, star anise and currant.

Dirty Sue Whiskey Cherries are quite large with a thicker skin. Very dark in color, they initially greet you with a lot of vanilla at first bite. These are sweet with no discernible tartness. The whiskey is more subtle, but distinctly noticeable. The liquid they rest in is juice not a thick glucose laden syrup. There approximately 50 cherries in each jar.

GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Dirty Sue

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Autumn 2019 (October-December)

It’s autumn, and time once again for GSN’s quarterly round up of selected new titles guaranteed to whet your whistle.

The World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (Mitchell Beazley) October 1, 2019 – Few wine books can be called classic, but the first edition of The World Atlas of Wine made publishing history when it appeared in 1971. It is recognized by critics as the essential and most authoritative wine reference work available. This eighth edition will bring readers, both old and new, up to date with the world of wine. To reflect all the changes in the global wine scene over the past six years, the Atlas has grown in size to 416 pages and 22 new maps have been added to the wealth of superb cartography in the book. The text has been given a complete overhaul to address the topics of most vital interest to today’s wine-growers and drinkers. With beautiful photography throughout, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, the world’s most respected wine-writing duo, have once again joined forces to create a classic that no wine lover can afford to be without.

The Art of the Cocktail by Hamish Anderson (Ilex Press) October 1, 2019 Do you love art? Do you like cocktails? Then this book is perfect for you. Artists have long been known to enjoy the nightlife, from Toulouse-Lautrec, who famously carried a draft of absinthe in a hollowed-out walking stick, to Andy Warhol, who reveled at Studio 54. This book captures the artistic spirit in spirits with recipes for 50 art themed drinks. Original, colorful and bright illustrations accompany classic cocktails and modern concoctions, each tied to a particular artist’s story.

Craft Cocktails: Seasonally Inspired Drinks and Snacks from Our Sipping Room by Geoff Dillon & Whitney Rorison (Penguin Canada) October 1, 2019 From Geoff Dillon, founder of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers and leader of the craft distilling movement, a collection of cocktails for every season and recipes for the perfect snacks to enjoy with them. Grounded in a belief in using fresh ingredients, this must-have collection of cocktails offers impressive yet simple modern cocktails with an elegant vintage feel. The 100 recipes, divided by season, range from the classics, like a warm-weather Whisky Sour and a cool-weather Manhattan, to custom creations inspired by seasonal produce and local barkeeps.

Great Northern Cocktails by Shawn Soole (Mixellany Limited) October 1, 2019 Hidden in the vast northern reaches of North America, Canadian bartenders have been shaking, stirring, building, and throwing some of the finest drinks the world has ever savored. Yes, there’s more to Canada’s mixed drink repertoire that its national beverage, the Bloody Caesar! Victoria barman and author Shawn Soole proudly presents the people and drinks that introduce readers to this widening scope of concepts and concoctions in Great Northern Cocktails. “Canada has always been that big, snow-covered country to the north of the United States where people live in igloos and ride moose to school,” Soole remarks. “Obviously, this is an exaggeration on Canadian stereotypes but our culture, climate, and people are some of the most diverse in the world. Canada is rich in world cultures and in the last ten to fifteen years has slowly and apologetically become a cocktail culture powerhouse.” With over 140+ drink recipes plus syrup, tincture, and infusion formulae, Soole introduces veteran and new Canadian drink talents who preside in the nation’s bars from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia and their recipes, along with bartending tips, a range of easy-to-follow homemade ingredients, and a glossary so even novice mixers can follow along. (Editor’s note: Mixellany Limited is one of our sponsors)

Sip: 100 gin cocktails with just three ingredients by Sipsmith (Mitchell Beazley) October 1, 2019 Take cocktails back to basics with Sipsmith – just three ingredients, treated in the right way. Cocktails don’t need to be complicated. Sipsmith presents Sip – 100 gin cocktails, each with no more than three ingredients. Enjoy fuss-free drinks, from summer sipping to winter warmers, time-honored classics to new twists. Along the way, you will find expert mixing tips, drink history and stories worth reading over a martini or two.

The Bompas & Parr Cocktail Book: Recipes for Mixing Extraordinary Drinks by Sam Bompas & Harry Parr (Pavilion) October 1, 2019 Already responsible for giving jello a 21st-century makeover, the boys at Bompas & Parr now focus their attention on the perennially popular cocktail. But of course with an extra-special twist. Sam and Harry take us on a roller-coaster journey through the wonderful world of fizzes, smashes, juleps, shrubs, and fixes. Classics, new kids on the block, and crazy concoctions are all to be expected, but the boys also provide advice on the all-important presentation, the ingredients, getting the ice just right, and, of course, how to host a show-stopping event. Veterans of successful alcoholic adventures such as “Alcoholic Architecture” a walk-in cloud of breathable G&T) and the “Architectural Punchbowl” (a building flooded with enough Courvoisier Punch for 25,000 people!), Bompas Parr will ensure you create a cocktail night to remember.

Schofields Classic Cocktail Cabinet by Joe Schofield & Daniel Schofield (Kyle Books) October 1, 2019 Internationally renowned mixologist Joe Schofield has worked at some of the best bars in the world, from the American Bar at The Savoy Hotel to the Tippling Club in Singapore. His reputation for creating superlative cocktails from classics to contemporary innovations, has led to numerous awards and much acclaim within the bartending industry. His first book includes 100 recipes for the creme de la creme of classic cocktails with details on how to make them using only the finest ingredients, including his personal recommendations for the most suitable spirits, mixers and garnishes for each recipe.

Mezcal: The Gift of Agave by Nancy J. Hajeski (Imagine) October 1, 2019 What has long been a local Mexican secret is now enjoyed throughout the world for its smoky, exotic flavor and excellent base in cocktails. This detailed and colorful guidebook uncovers mezcal’s deep history, details its artisanal production in remote Mexican villages, and explains the proper ways to serve and drink this distinctive liquor. There are tips for locating the top mezcals on the market and selecting varietals that best suit particular tastes, as well as suggestions for mezcal pairings with dishes over meals. A chapter showcasing twenty of the best commercial distilleries includes recommended examples of young jovens, lightly aged reposados, and aged añejos. Finally, the book offers easy-to-follow recipes for unique mixed drinks and zesty mezcal-based dishes.

The World Atlas of Gin by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley (Mitchell Beazley) October 1, 2019 The first book to cover the booming gin industry across the globe, country by country. Never has there been a more striking revolution in the world of distilled spirits than the current renaissance of gin. With small craft distilleries popping up all over the world, from Texas to Tasmania, more varieties and techniques being used than ever before, and a tapestry of tastes from light and citrusy to big bold savory notes, gin’s appeal is extraordinarily wide and varied. From gin made in small batches from local botanicals, to large facilities which make some of the world’s most recognized gin brands, World Atlas of Gin looks at everything from the botanical to the bottle: how and where botanicals are grown and harvested and their role within the flavor of gin; producers and the stories behind their brands; exactly where, and how, gins are made; and, country by country, the best examples to try. Global cocktails are covered too, including the history and country of origin of some of the best-known mixed gin drinks.

The Complete Whiskey Course: A Comprehensive Tasting School in Ten Classes by Robin Robinson (Sterling Epicure) October 1, 2019 Renowned whiskey educator Robin Robinson demystifies the “water of life” in a definitive, heavily illustrated tome designed to take readers on a global tour of the ever-expanding world of whiskey. Across ten robust “classes,” Robinson explains whiskey history, how it defined the way whiskey is made in different countries and regions, the myriad styles, how aging and finishing works, and the basics of “nosing” and tasting whiskey. In chapters dedicated to American whiskey (including bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, and rye), American Craft whiskey, Scotch, Irish, Canadian, Japanese, and world whiskies, Robinson presents the best offerings from new and historic producers, how to choose among them, and how to build a collection of your own. Each “class” is a journey into a country’s whiskies and makers, including recommended bottles and styles, as well as insider information on how distilleries make their unique offerings. Each chapter includes themed tastings organized by bargain, value, special occasion, and splurge price categories. This thoroughly up-to-date and wide-ranging guide also offers helpful recommendations on how to lead your own tasting, a glossary of terms, food pairings, and tips on everything from glassware to whiskey festivals and how to read a label.

Whisky A Tasting Course: A New Way to Think – and Drink – Whisky by Eddie Ludlow (DK) October 3, 2019 The best – and most enjoyable – way to find out about whiskies is by drinking them. This truly hands-on handbook takes you on a tasting journey to discover your own personal whisky style, and helps you to expand your horizons so you can find a world of new whiskies to enjoy. Through a series of guided at-home tastings, you’ll get familiar with the full spectrum of whisky aromas and flavors on offer – from the smoky tang of Islay peat to the aromatic scent of Japanese oak. Find out how to engage all your senses to navigate the range of malts, grains and blended whiskies and get to grips with different whisky styles. Take a tasting tour of the world’s finest makers, including iconic Scottish distilleries and small-scale artisan producers all over the globe. And as you become more whisky-confident, you can break out of your whisky comfort zone. Do you love the honeyed sweetness of a Kentucky Bourbon? If so, why not try a smooth malt that’s been aged in ex-Bourbon barrels? Or a creamy, oat-infused Irish craft whiskey? Guides to whisky prices and ages will help you to make smart buys. Discover how to pour, store and serve whiskies and match them with foods. Learn to mix cocktails, from a classic whiskey sour to your own signature creation. With 20 step-by-step whisky tastings, clear infographics and jargon-busting advice – taste your way to whisky wisdom.

Fine Cider: Understanding the world of fine, natural cider by Felix Nash (Dog n Bone) October 8, 2019 Think you know about hard cider? Well think again. It’s not about flavorless fizz, or the so-called “flavored ciders” that don’t actually contain any apples. The contemporary cider scene is an exciting place to spend some time, as passionate makers celebrate tradition and terroir while also embracing seasonality, innovation, and experimentation to produce characterful drinks that are quite remarkable. Fine Cider looks at this modern cider movement, charting its beginnings and introducing some of the key players in fine-cider making, as well as guiding you through the characteristics of different apple varieties, the cider-producing regions around the world, the processes and techniques of cider production, how cider is an exceptional partner with food, and, of course, recommending ciders you need to try.

How to Cocktail: Recipes and Techniques for Building the Best Drinks by America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen) October 8, 2019 All the kitchen secrets, techniques, recipes, and inspiration you need to craft transcendent cocktails, from essential, canonical classics to imaginative all-new creations from America’s Test Kitchen. Cocktail making is part art and part science–just like cooking. The first-ever cocktail book from America’s Test Kitchen brings our objective, kitchen-tested and -perfected approach to the craft of making cocktails. You always want your cocktail to be something special–whether you’re in the mood for a simple Negroni, a properly muddled Caipirinha, or a big batch of Margaritas or Bloody Marys with friends. After rigorous recipe testing, we’re able to reveal not only the ideal ingredient proportions and best mixing technique for each drink, but also how to make homemade tonic for your Gin and Tonic, and homemade sweet vermouth and cocktail cherries for your Manhattan. And you can’t simply quadruple any Margarita recipe and have it turn out right for your group of guests–to serve a crowd, the proportions must change. You can always elevate that big-batch Margarita, though, with our Citrus Rim Salt or Sriracha Rim Salt. How to Cocktail offers 150 recipes that range from classic cocktails to new America’s Test Kitchen originals. Our two DIY chapters offer streamlined recipes for making superior versions of cocktail cherries, cocktail onions, flavored syrups, rim salts and sugars, bitters, vermouths, liqueurs, and more. And the final chapter includes a dozen of our test cooks’ favorite cocktail-hour snacks. All along the way, we solve practical challenges for the home cook, including how to make an array of cocktails without having to buy lots of expensive bottles, how to use a Boston shaker, what kinds of ice are best and how to make them, and much more.

Bar Cart Style: creating super-chic cocktail stations (Ryland Peters & Small) October 8, 2019 Bar carts are making a big comeback, with an upsurge in those of us taking pride in entertaining at home. Originally the epitome of domestic style and taste in the 50s and 60s, retro TV series like Mad Men have left people aching for the glamour of a bygone era, and something unusual for the home. And mobile furniture on the whole is proving popular too: if you’re not a fan of the retro style, you might also be taken by the adaptability of some styles of cart as a vital bit of extra storage in a small living space. Gaze upon luxurious marble and smoked glass carts that hark back to the Art Deco era and the golden age of cocktails; edgy tubular metal trolleys that scream 80s utility style; chic Scandinavian stained wood for poolside parties; mid-century walnut-veneer and brass straight out of Don Draper’s office, and even folding 1960s aluminium tea lady trolleys can make quite the statement. With shelves to store bottles and glassware and a top the height for mixing drinks, each style of cart lends itself to a carefully curated display of stock. Choose your bottles of spirits, glassware, shakers, stirrers, and other cocktail kit from the wide range now on offer and create not just a practical serving station but a super-stylish addition to any interior.

Vermouth: A Spirited Revival, with 40 Modern Cocktails by Adam Ford (Countryman Press) October 15, 2019 Vermouth is hitting its stride―again. The cocktail resurgence has put a spotlight on an often-overlooked ingredient in some of the most iconic cocktails of our time: vermouth. It appeared in America in the 1860s, reigned supreme in drinks like the Manhattan and the Martini, then fell out of favor during the counterculture days of the 1960s. But with artisanal cocktails now the rage, interest in vermouth is at a peak. After all, without it, your martini is merely a chilled vodka or gin. More and more cocktail lovers are requesting more than a whisper of vermouth in their drinks. In fact, it’s touted as a low-alcohol alternative to sip on its own, or, if the ratio is tweaked, as tasty way to lighten up more traditionally strong drinks. Vermouth has a rich history, deeply intertwined with that of America, and, here, expert Adam Ford offers the first-ever detailed look into the background of this aromatized, fortified wine, as well as its rise, fall, and comeback in America.

Closing Time: Saloons, Taverns, Dives, and Watering Holes of the Twin Cities by Bill Lindeke & Andy Sturdevant (Minnesota Historical Society Press) October 15, 2019 In 1838, a rum trader named “Pig’s Eye” Parrant built a small shack in a Mississippi bluff that became the first business in the city of St. Paul: a saloon. Since then, bars, taverns, saloons, and speakeasies have been part of the cultural, social, and physical landscape of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Serving as neighborhood landmarks, sites of political engagement, welcoming centers for immigrants, hotbeds of criminal activity, targets of ire from church and state alike, and, of course, a place to get a drink, the story of the taverns and saloons of the Twin Cities is the story of the cities themselves. In Closing Time, Bill Lindeke and Andy Sturdevant dive into tales from famous and infamous drinking establishments from throughout Twin Cities history. Readers are led on a multi-generational pub crawl through speakeasies, tied houses, rathskellers, cocktail lounges, gin mills, fern bars, social clubs, singles bars, gastropubs, and dives. Featuring beloved bars like Matt’s, Palmer’s, the Payne Reliever, and Moby Dick’s, the book also resurrects memories of long-forgotten establishments cherished in their day. Lindeke and Sturdevant highlight neighborhood dives, downtown nightspots, and out-of-the-way hideaways, many of which continue to thrive today. Closing Time brings together stories of these spaces and the people who frequented them.

The NoMad Cocktail Book by Leo Robitschek (Ten Speed Press) October 22, 2019 Originally published as a separate book packaged inside The NoMad Cookbook, this revised and stand-alone edition of The NoMad Cocktail Book features more than 100 brand-new recipes (for a total of more than 300 recipes), a service manual explaining the art of drink-making according to the NoMad, and 30 new full-color cocktail illustrations (for a total of more than 80 color and black-and-white illustrations). Organized by type of beverage from aperitifs and classics to light, dark, and soft cocktails and syrups/infusions, this comprehensive guide shares the secrets of bar director Leo Robitschek’s award-winning cocktail program. The NoMad Bar celebrates classically focused cocktails, while delving into new arenas such as festive, large-format drinks and a selection of reserve cocktails crafted with rare spirits.

Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press) October 22, 2019 From the James Beard Award-winning author of Bitters and Amaro comes this poignant, funny, and often elegiac exploration of the question, What is the last thing you’d want to drink before you die?, with bartender profiles, portraits, and cocktail recipes. Everyone knows the parlor game question asked of every chef and food personality in countless interviews: What is the last meal you’d want to eat before you die? But what does it look like when you pose the question to bartenders? In Last Call, James Beard Award-winning author Brad Thomas Parsons gathers the intriguing responses from a diverse range of bartenders around the country, including Guido Martelli at the Palizzi Social Club in Philadelphia (he chooses an extra-dry Martini), Joseph Stinchcomb at Saint Leo in Oxford, Mississippi (he picks the Last Word, a pre-Prohibition-era cocktail that’s now a cult favorite), and Natasha David at Nitecap in New York City (she would be sipping an extra-salty Margarita). The resulting interviews and essays reveal a personal portrait of some of the country’s top bartenders and their favorite drinks, while over 40 cocktail recipes and stunning photography make this a keepsake for barflies and cocktail enthusiasts of all stripes.

The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook: 120 Classic Bar Bites from Japan by Wataru Yokota with Makiko Itoh (Tuttle Publishing) October 29, 2019 Izakaya cooking is all about enjoying hearty and flavorful Japanese food with drinks and friends at your local hole-in-the-wall hangout. Similar to tapas or pub food, izakaya fare ranges from tasty bar snacks to substantial salads, stews, grilled meats and seafood dishes—all made fresh with minimal fuss and maximum flavor—and served alongside a chilled glass of beer or sake. The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook allows you to recreate over 120 of these classic izakaya dishes in your own kitchen at home. Yokota’s recipes are simple and quick, aimed at working folks who don’t have a lot of time to cook but love trying new and interesting flavors. This book provides clear step-by-step photos and instructions for each dish. The introduction gives guidelines for selecting, pouring and mixing drinks to complement the recipes—and even how to quickly grill and smoke meat to give it that authentic izakaya taste.

The Good Reverend’s Guide to Infused Spirits: Alchemical Cocktails, Healing Elixirs, and Cleansing Solutions for the Home and Bar by Steven Grasse & Sonia Kurtz & Michael Alan (Skyhorse) October 29, 2019 A bottle of rectified alcohol, like The Good Reverend’s Universal Spirit from Tamworth Distilling, is a bottle of possibilities. In these pages, you’ll discover over 100 recipes for infusions, tinctures, cocktails, cordials, elixirs, punches, and even household cleaners. This handbook will teach you to replicate famous liqueurs and classic cocktails, and help you prepare perfect garnishes and celebratory toasts. With step-by-step instructions and photos, you’ll learn processes culinary, scientific, and alchemical to improve everything from your parties to your health. You’ll learn the processes of osmosis and dissolution that create the perfect infusions. You’ll be given the secrets to prep for guests lists of 1 or 100. You’ll be guided through pairing your alcoholic creations with the rhythms of nature. Yes, with a bottle of purified spirits, you’ll be able to purify your own human spirit. These recipes explain not just the flavor benefits of their ingredients, but also the spiritual and supernatural. Discover the meanings of herbs, the ratio of the Fibonacci sequence, and the effects of moon phases, among so much more. Come for the drinks, but stay for the magic.

A Rum Tale: Spirit of the New World by Joseph Piercy (The History Press) November 1, 2019 Steeped in a long, diverse history, rum is a spirit that has meaning in cultures across the globe, from its home in the Caribbean and Barbados, through the ranks of the Royal Navy, to the Australian rum rebellion. Here Joseph Piercy delves into the rich history of rum, from the invasion of the Caribbean to the real pirates of the Caribbean who gave use some of our best known brands of rum today, such as Henry “Captain” Morgan. He explores the legend of Nelson’s blood (whose body was said to be stored in a rum barrel for transport) and the rum-running of U.S. Prohibition, which stoked the Bacardi family’s rise to fame and fortune. As it experiences a long-overdue resurgence in popularity, alongside a fascinating history, Piercy shares his experience of this versatile spirit, listing rums not to miss and delicious rum-based cocktails you can try at home. This is a fun little book that no drinks connoisseur should be without.

Mod Cocktails: Modern Takes on Classic Recipes from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s by Natalie Jacob (Page Street Publishing) November 5, 2019 From seasoned New York City bartender Natalie Jacob, founder of the blog Arsenic Lace, comes timeless cocktail recipes from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, revamped with delightful contemporary flourishes. These unique recipes perfect mid-century and tiki-bar classics, while sprinkling in Natalie’s cutting-edge twists to create heavenly cocktails that marry new and nostalgic flavors. Whether you’re new to bartending, a seasoned professional or simply looking to tap into that swanky mid-century aesthetic, Natalie’s easy instructions and fresh ideas are the perfect guide to your mixology journey.

The Complete Home Bartender’s Guide: Tools, Ingredients, Techniques, & Recipes for the Perfect Drink by Salvatore Calabrese (Sterling Epicure) November 5, 2019 From advice on setting up your home bar and planning a successful cocktail party to selecting the right glass and choosing the right garnish in three easy steps, The Complete Home Bartender’s Guide has it all. You’ll learn industry terminology, must-have ingredients, including the six essential syrups you should make at home, how to choose a juicy lime every time, how to batch cocktails, how to chill glasses if you don’t have room in your freezer, how to create layers in a drink, and the secret to inventing memorable cocktails. Written by award-winning bartender and industry legend Salvatore Calabrese, this indispensable volume covers everything you need to know and provides recipes for hundreds of drinks—from the Algonquin and the Martini to the Negroni and Zombie—as well as new developments in the cocktail world. It will make the perfect addition to your liquor cabinet or bar cart and will help you create picture-perfect drinks every time.

101 Award-Winning Cocktails from the World’s Best Bartenders by Paul Martin (Robinson) November 19, 2019 If you are looking to mix some of the most inspired creations ever developed, the drinks that have swept up the global awards for the last 20 years, the creations of some of the most skilled and inspirational mixologists ever to grace the bars of the world, then this book is for you. 101 Award-Winning Cocktails is a truly unique offering for the cocktail book genre. Each recipe is an award-winning creation from one of the world’s top cocktail mixologists, accompanied by the mixologists profile, the story behind the creation of their recipes, the competition won and a ‘from-the-horse’s-mouth’ guide to recreating their fabulous mixes. Along with stunning full color photographs of each drink, this book opens the door to the hitherto unseen world of the greatest mixologists, sharing for the first time ever, the very finest, award-winning cocktail creations, from the world’s most talented bartending superstars. Written and compiled by Paul Martin, himself a multiple champion and cocktail mixing world-record holder. Paul has drawn on the pool of incredible cocktail mixing talent that has made up his global social circle over the last 30 years. It is his own relationship with these giants of the cocktail world that has led to them sharing their amazing, revered recipes with the general public for the first time ever. (Editor’s note: An original cocktail by GSN editor Blair Frodelius is featured)

Measurements: A Proportional Cocktail Guide by Nick Barclay (NHP Publishing) November 19, 2019 Whatever the season, it is always a good idea to sit back and relax with a cocktail. Graphic designer Nick Barclay has created a stunning anthology of cocktails. This book combines classic recipes with new drink ideas into clear and defined sections. After working on a bar industry magazine and being introduced to the world of cocktails, Nick realized that people love drinking cocktails but not many people know what goes into making them. The design for each cocktail breaks down the ingredients and measures and proportions these out. In this book we see a Nick’s signature style – clean, bold, yet minimal graphical design to showcase the drinks in an alternative and quirky way. The aesthetic for this book is well-designed and the book is the perfect accompaniment for any recipe book collection, art book collection or to have fun with your friends in making some new cocktails.

American Whiskey: Over 300 whiskeys and 30 distillers tell the story of the nation’s spirit by Richard Thomas (Cider Mill Press) December 10, 2019 In American Whiskey, Kentucky-born, internationally recognized whiskey expert Richard Thomas guides readers through the American whiskey renaissance. Featuring over 300 distinctive expressions of whiskeys that embrace both tradition and innovation this book will appeal to obsessive collectors eager to discover the next Pappy Van Winkle as well as those just starting to sample the dynamic flavor profiles of these American spirits. The history of whiskey straddles Kentucky and Tennessee, but American Whiskey proves that today exceptional whiskey is made across the country.