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.

GSN Review: 1571 Fahrenheit Beer Caramelizer

Life is full of mysteries. One example of this is “What do you buy the beer geek who has everything?”. This particular question can be answered with the “Beer Caramelizer” by 1571F. Although this item clearly falls into the gimmicky territory of strange stocking stuffers and gag gifts, it does offer something unique. It can actually change the taste of your brew without a condensed liquid or flavor packet. The beer caramelizer itself is a sturdy two piece steel rod set that screws into a highly polished wooden handle. The heavy weight behind it is rather nice and you feel like you are holding something of a decent quality. Now the premise behind this fancy metal stick is you place it in a fireplace, campfire, or the like and heat the rod. With this now red-hot poker you can dip it into a beer of any style for a few seconds, and the intense heat will instantly caramelize the sugars leaving you with a unique tasting beer.

We here at GSN tried this with three different beers. A lager, a stout, and an ipa. For the most part the same thing can be said of all three. Each beer became smoother, and definitely had a slight sweetness added to it. However, the beers grew warm and somewhat flat after the procedure. This worked alright with the stout, but for a lager or an ipa, it didn’t seem to improve an already fine beer. It’s definitely interesting to try this new flavor and mouthfeel, but in general terms, it doesn’t do any favors to the brew.

Lastly, while this is indeed a unique product, there are a few things that should be made clearer on the packaging. Obviously, the nature of mixing red-hot steel bars, campfires, and alcohol is perhaps not the safest activity. This coupled with using the heated steel in a beer glass could potentially cause breakage. Cold glass and hot metal do not mix well. Here at GSN we used a ceramic beer stein to test this, and didn’t feel like risking any other glassware. This is clearly a gimmick, and while it’s fun to try once, it seems a little odd, dangerous, and best left for the beer geek, who has everything else.

GSN Rating: C

Review by Kieran Jerome Matthew

For more information go to: The 1571f

 

GSN Review: Paperless Post

As a bar or restaurant owner, you have to keep up with technology in order to keep your customers happy and returning.  One of the best ways is to create a mailing list and send out regular newsletters or updates on the specials and events taking place at your venue.  For extra special occasions, a new way to reach those loyal customers is by using an online service called paperless Post.

With this service, you can create elegant, fun and eye-catching notes, letters, and stationary with custom graphics for any event. There is a vast collection of designs and images, plus many suggestions for occasions on which to send your creations. Everything from anniversaries to holidays and “just because”.  You can also set up RSVP’s or include links to a website.

The website interface takes a little getting used to, but after about 10 minutes, I had a handle on things and was able to send a test invitation to myself to preview how it will look to a recipient.  I simply chose a background, a few graphics, and then typed my text.  I was able to try out different fonts and sizes to see which best presented itself.

 

The service is not free, nor is it a subscription.  Rather, you purchase virtual coins which can be used to purchase your products.  All of the various options show you how many coins each virtual piece of mail will cost, so you can easily see how many you will use beforehand.

You will need to have email addresses in order to send the cards or letters.  You can add them manually, import your .csv file, or even create a link to your address book.  Even better, you can schedule when you’d like the email to be sent, so that for instance, you can do the work of getting a Mother’s Day Brunch card ready to send days or weeks beforehand and have it send to your customers on the date you choose.

 

For more information go to: Paperless Post

GSN Review: HydroTab

According to the manufacturer, “H2 is the smallest bio-available molecule in the universe, representing 90% of living matter. When infused in water it provides multiple benefits, including increased energy and antioxidant activity. HydroTab puts the power of molecular hydrogen in your pocket.”

Dark Corner Distillery located in Greenville, SC and HydroTab recently teamed up to make the Hydro-Gin Fizz cocktail. Featuring the distillery’s Jocassee Gin, Dark Corner has created the first-ever molecular hydrogen cocktail with its Hydro-Gin Fizz cocktail. Utilizing the new hydrogen tablet delivery system via HydroTab (as not to water down the drink), cocktail creator Harrison Han has created a playful twist off the classic Gin Fizz.

Hydrotab claims that, “benefits of molecular hydrogen can include: increased energy, improved mental clarity and even reducing the side-effects of hangovers, to name a few.”

Watch the video below to learn more.

GSN Review: We tried a tab in a glass of room temperature water to see what happened. The tabs are a dark purple and as they effervesce, there is a cloudy film that floats on top of the glass similar to an Airborne tablet. You can stir it into the glass, but there is a film that’s left on the glass.  I can see why the cocktail recipe calls for an egg white, as it hides this film.

The flavor is mildly alkaline and tart, but not off-putting. This makes it ideal for any kind of classic sour cocktail.  We made the recipe below and found it was fine.

Overall, I’m not sure about the health benefits, but it does make for an interesting experiment.  And today, that’s always something to look out for in the world of mixology.

GSN Rating: B-

For more information go to: Hydrotab


The Hydro-Gin Fizz:

  • 2 oz Jocassee Gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 oz club soda
  • 2 HydroTab Tablets

Pour club soda in to glass and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously for 10 or more seconds (important for emulsifying egg white). Add 3 or 4 ice cubes and shake further. Add to glass of club soda, drop in tablets and enjoy.

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Spring 2018 (April-June)

Time flies when you’re having cocktails!  Now that spring is here, GSN has some recommendations for reading, learning and crafting spirited libations for the season.  Cheers!

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The Cocktail Guy: Infusions, Distillations and Innovative Combinations by Rich Woods Pavilion (April 1, 2018) At the forefront of the mixology revolution, Rich has been garnering fans and accolades through his creative re-inventions of classic cocktails and exciting new drinks, all served with his signature innovative flair. In this, his first book, Rich unlocks the secrets of making creative cocktails at home, from mastering classic techniques, to flavoring alcohol through simple infusions and more complex distillations and making your own home-made bitters from herbs, spices, fruits, and roots. At the center of Rich’s creative process is an understanding and exploration of flavor; from the way it unravels on the palate to new and unique combinations that are designed to surprise and delight. Including 70 drink recipes, and key information on tools and techniques and infusing and distilling to imbue your drinks with maximum flavor, this is the ultimate guide to modern cocktailing for the home bartender.

Prosecco Made Me Do It: 60 Seriously Sparkling Cocktails by Amy Zavatto Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 3, 2018) Prosecco is no longer just a sparkling wine; it’s a cultural phenomenon—a party in a glass. From food, wine, and spirits maven Amy Zavatto comes this beautifully illustrated introduction to a whole world of bubbly beverages. Prosecco Made Me Do It contains sixty delicious drink recipes paired with bright, fun, original artwork. Also included: a brief history of prosecco, purchasing and serving tips, and a guide to cordials, syrups, and liqueurs. From the classic Bellini and fresh fruit mimosa to a wide range of sparkling cocktails, the recipes in Prosecco Made Me Do It are light, fizzy, and fun.

Drinking Distilled: A User’s Manual by Jeffrey Morgenthaler Ten Speed Press (April 10, 2018) An opinionated, illustrated guide for cocktail beginners, covering the basics of spirits plus making and drinking cocktails, written by celebrated craft cocktail bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. This easy-reading, colorful introduction for cocktail beginners, with approximately 100 succinct lessons on drinking culture, spirits, and cocktail making, is delivered in the pithy, wry style Morgenthaler is known for in his instructional videos and writing for beverage publications. Novices will learn how to order a drink, how to drink with the boss, how to drink at the airport, and more. Twelve perfect starter recipes–ranging from a Dry Gin Martini to a Batched Old-Fashioned (perfect for the flask)–plus thirty original illustrations round out this distillation for new enthusiasts.

Texas Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of More Than 100 Recipes Inspired by the Lone Star State by Nico Martini Cider Mill Press (May 8, 2018) Texas’ unique cocktail culture is on the rise once more — and you can discover it for yourself with over 100 creative and artful cocktail recipes. Tour the best bars across the state and around the world. Evocative photos, scene-setting descriptions, mixologist insights, party planning themes and shopping tips make this the perfect guide to the art of drinking, Texas-style. With gorgeous, full-color photography throughout, and cocktails inspired by Lone Star state artists, revolutionaries, and cowboys, Texas Cocktails features innovative libations shared by the best bartenders in the state, as well as creative new twists on old classics.

Ginspiration: The Best Distilleries, Infusions, and Cocktails by Klaus St. Rainer DK (May 15, 2018) Gin aficionados, let your ima-gin-ation run wild! Curiously quirky yet comprehensive, this is your ultimate guide to choosing and infusing your favorite spirit. Discover 45 of the top craft gins from the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and enjoy an in-depth profile of the smallest commercial distiller of its kind. Soon you’ll be familiar with botanical flavors and craft ingredients like raspberry syrup, hibiscus sugar, and smoky ice cubes. Once you know your coupe from your collins, peruse and prepare a gorgeous array of cocktail recipes straight from the mind of international mixologist Klaus St. Rainer. Whether you choose a classic Martini or a Royal Hibiscus Gin Fizz, Ginspiration will put you in the spirit to shake up something sensational.

Session Cocktails: Low-Alcohol Drinks for Any Occasion by Drew Lazor &‎ Editors of PUNCH Ten Speed Press (May 22, 2018) Bartenders are increasingly moving away from strong, spirituous cocktails toward a lighter canon of low-alcohol drinks that you can drink all day. These drinks provide an occasion for more leisurely socializing through their “sessionability”–you can have a few at a time without having to go down for a nap. Driven by a renewed interest in aperitifs and the increasing availability of liqueurs and amari in the U.S., these drinks provide new creative opportunities for professional bartenders and home hosts alike. Session Cocktails explores this trend through the history and evolution of low-proof drinks, tips on building a low-ABV (alcohol by volume) bar, and more than 60 recipes appropriate for occasions ranging from brunch to the end of the night, contributed by some of the industry’s best-known mixologists including Will Elliot, Natasha David, Dale DeGroff, and Leo Robitschek. In addition to drinks like the Mermaid Parade (Aperol, raspberry liqueur, grapefruit juice, and egg white), the Soft Shock (fino sherry, gin, lime, and mint), and Far East Side (sake, elderflower, tequila, and lemon), the book also features low-proof versions of your favorite classic cocktails.

The New Rum: A Modern Guide to the Spirit of the Americas by Bryce T. Bauer Countryman Press (June 5, 2018) 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 Martinique rhum agricole to long-aged sippers from Barbados and the Dominican Republic.

The Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails: 50 Creative Recipes for Combining Beer and Booze by Jon & Lindsay Yeager Skyhorse Publishing (June 5, 2018) Written by Jon and Lindsay Yeager, the renowned husband-and-wife mixologist duo of the Tennessee cocktail creative PourTaste, this book provides a variety of innovative and experimental recipes for mixing beers and spirits together (yes, you read that right) so you can join in on the imaginative new trend of “beertails.” The experts at PourTaste, with their years of training and dedication to the art of mixology, teach readers how to combine the beauty (and bubbles) of beer and the spirit of spirits to create refreshing new additions to any bartender’s repertoire. Included through this book are lush full-color photographs and step-by-step recipes to help educate readers on how to sling these delicious (and welcome) new members of the mixology scene. Beertails are easy to make, they taste great, and they accommodate any type of drinker―whether the preference is beer or liquor. Perfect for any type of celebration!

Finding Mezcal: A Journey into the Liquid Soul of Mexico, with 40 Cocktails by Ron Cooper & Chantal Martineau Ten Speed Press (June 12, 2018) In 1990, artist Ron Cooper was collaborating with craftspeople in Oaxaca, Mexico, when he found mezcal–or, as he likes to say, mezcal found him. This traditional spirit was virtually unknown in the United States at the time, and Cooper founded Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal in order to import it. Finding Mezcal recounts Cooper’s love affair with the spirit and the people who make it; its meteoric rise in popularity; and the delicate balance between sharing mezcal with the world and facilitating its preservation. Each chapter introduces a new mezcal, its producer, and its place of origin, while also covering mezcal production methods and the botany of the maguey (aka agave) plant, from which mezcal is distilled. Featuring 40 recipes developed for Del Maguey by chefs and bartenders from around the world, the book is copiously illustrated with photographs, as well as Cooper’s artwork and that of his friend Ken Price, who illustrated Del Maguey’s now-iconic labels.

Drinking Like Ladies: 75 modern cocktails from the world’s leading female bartenders; Includes toasts to extraordinary women in history by Misty Kalkofen & Kirsten Amann Quarry Books (June 19, 2018) Drinking Like Ladies is dedicated to preserving classic cocktails from pre-Prohibition and beyond, while celebrating the oft-forgotten ladies who sipped them. Acclaimed bartenders Kirsten Amann and Misty Kalkofen have scoured the globe collecting recipes–often from equally acclaimed female bartenders–pairing each tipple with a toast to a trailblazing lady. From gin to whiskey, tequila to punch, Drinking Like Ladies has a twist and a toast for every tippler, whatever your base spirit.

GSN Review: Curious No. 1 Cocktail Elixir

“For Those Times When Your Mouth Wants to Rage, but Your Liver needs to Chill”.  Well, we all have those times, I guess.  I was intrigued by the idea of a pre-bottled non-alcoholic cocktail. Curious Elixirs are crafted in the Hudson River Valley, and combine organic juices, spices, herbs, roots, barks, and botanicals.  So, think of them as lightly carbonated, bittered juices.

Although they list three different flavors on their website, the only one currently available is Curious No. 1, an orange and herbal elixir. Curious No. 2 was a smoky and spicy mix that sold out quickly and will return later this year. Curious No. 3 is currently in development.

Because Curious is a handcrafted fresh beverage, make sure to keep them refrigerated and use them within 30 days.  Curious No. 1 is designed to have an orange wedge garnish.

We tried the sample we were sent in a few different ways.  Drinking it straight without dilution was way too intense.  This is designed to be served with ice.  So, we next filled a rocks glass with a large single cube and poured Curious No. 1 over the ice, stirred for a bit and garnished with the suggested orange wedge.  This was much better, but still lacked a balance.  So, lastly we filled a shaker with several cubes, poured in the elixir and shook briefly.  We then strained this into a coupe and added an orange wheel.  This we found gave a great presentation, along with the desired amount of dilution.

As for the flavor, it was spot on.  A great citrus base with a pronounced dark aromatic bitter quality.  Everything tasted natural, fresh and quite like a cocktail.  You could add a shot of just about any spirit to this and it would work just as well.  But, that of course, would defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?

GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Curious Elixirs

GSN Review: Tequila & Mezcal Jarritos Glasses

In 2016, Stölzle Lausitz GmbH (a German glass manufacturer that makes, among other items, the Glencairn whisky glasses) and Romeo Hristov from Chisholm Trail Crafts started the development and testing of new glasses for tequila and mezcal inspired by the drinking jars [jarritos] for pulque and mezcal. The Riedel tequila glass (in its two versions, Ouverture and Vinum), the Waterford tequila glass (very similar to the Ouverture) and the Glencairn glass (apparently the preferred glass in USA for agave spirits tastings) among others, are all reasonably functional glasses. Why more glasses then?  Here’s what Romeo Hristov has to say:

“Stolzle and I were trying to bring a glass(es) that capture not only the flavor but also the historical roots of the drink ware for agave spirits. In much the same way as the agave spirits are unique for Mexico there is the “jarrito” [drinking jar], a unique drinking vessel for alcoholic beverages from agave (both fermented and distilled) which have been used for said beverages for over two thousand years. However, it’s not just the tradition behind it, but also its strikingly modern shape which quite closely resemble a stemless tulip snifter (especially in some of the Pre-Columbian pieces that come without handle) that called our attention. In brief, these glasses are a reinvention of this traditional drinking vessel with a modern design and functionality, and the general shape was intended to bring some of the unique feeling of rustic elegance of Mexico.”

We at the GSN offices have been trying these out for a week now and have to say that they are quite elegant, and serve their purpose well.  These are hand-blown glasses with heavy bases that rest well in the hand.  The shorter version has a slightly thicker rim which feels sturdy and somewhat more masculine, whereas the taller glass has a thinner, more feminine lip. The bowls are both deep and manage to catch and keep the olfactory sensation at a premium.  Having used the Glencairn and Riedel glasses for the past several years, these new agave spirit focused glasses offer a new and more focused experience to the tequila and mezcal aficionado.  Not only that, but they make a fine statement on the bar.  Salud!

GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Chisholm Trail Crafts