GSN Review: Shots Box

Take a trip to your local liquor store and you’ll quickly realize that buying the ingredients for a cocktail is a pricey and sometimes disappointing adventure. Why pay for a whole bottle only to realize that it isn’t something that you really like?

Enter Shots Box, a monthly subscription service that brings a variety of interesting spirits and liqueurs from around the world to your doorstep. Their goal is to connect you to new brands, have you enjoy new cocktails that are more interesting than “the usual,” and provide an easy way for you to share and read opinions on different products written by people just like you.

Once you sign up, you receive a box of 10 mini bottles along with several recipe cards to create a single cocktail. Each card has clear and easy instructions along with a color photo of what the finished drink should look like.

GSN was sent the following minis to sample:
3 different gins
2 cream liqueurs
1 honey/bourbon liqueur
1 vodka
1 tequila
1 coconut rum
1 sambuca

The variety is interesting and will appeal to just about anyone interested in spirits. I would have liked to have had two less gins and instead an american whiskey along with a scotch.  But, perhaps these will be forthcoming in upcoming shipments.

In any case, it is a great way to try new products, saves a trip to the liquor store and all for the cost of one typical top shelf spirit. Plus, if you really like one of the spirits, you can order full-size bottles directly from the Shots Box website. They also have a selection of glassware, barware and cocktail-centric decor available for purchase.

GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Shots Box

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: Ethyl Ambrosia Vegan Dessert Shots

Ethyl Ambrosia recently launched a premium line of boozy vegan dessert shots perfect for gift giving or a unique libation at any gathering including holiday parties, birthdays, bachelorette parties, bridal showers, or even tailgating.

The name “Ethyl Ambrosia” comes from the German word Ethyl: a radical group of atoms found in alcohol, and Ambrosia: meaning “food of the gods” in Greek mythology. The most innovative part of these shots is the patent-pending, Instagram worthy packaging. These shots come in sophisticated, ready-to-serve mini stemware cups that completely change the way anyone will take a gel shot again. No longer do you have to use your finger to get the gel out, because the cups allow the user to twist the stem to unlock, then push up to easily consume the gel with no mess.

Each shot contains 15% alcohol and is derived from a wine base, which means that these shots can be shipped directly to your door. There are currently seven flavors available for customers to choose from, with more exciting flavors in the works. Current flavors include Rosé, Mojito, Moscow Mule, and four colors of Citrus Punch (green, orange, blue and red). Ethyl Ambrosia’s boxes include 20 gel dessert shots, and flavors can be mixed and matched within the box however you see fit.

The GSN staff tried these at our annual holiday office party and everyone agreed that the best flavors were the Mojito and the Rosé. One thing that comes through in each flavor is a very strong flavor of alcohol, which overwhelmed the citrus punch and seemed at odds with the Moscow Mule. That being said, the cups themselves were classy and fun and added a festive touch to the gathering.

GSN Rating: B-

For more information go to: Ethyl Ambrosia

GSN Holiday Gift Suggestion: Bespoke “Sipping” Blazer from Crown Royal XR

Treat yourself or that extra special someone to an exceptionally unique, luxurious and limited-edition gift this holiday season – the Crown Royal Blazer.

In partnership with renowned celebrity designer ALBA, Crown Royal presents the Crown Royal Blazer. The hand-stitched blazer is inspired by Crown Royal XR Extra Rare, the brand’s rarest whisky which is expected to run out very soon. The blazer features rich tones of gold and royal blue and embodies the sophisticated character of Crown Royal XR Extra Rare from the now-closed LaSalle Distillery. Much like the whisky it celebrates, the bespoke blazer is a carefully crafted collector’s item for the luxurious, modern individual.

The Crown Royal Blazer will be available for purchase in limited quantity for a limited time only beginning Monday 12/16– see here for link.

GSN Holiday Gift Suggestion: The Bourbon Advent Calendar

The Bourbon Advent Calendar is back and hidden inside are some of Bourbon’s best kept secrets. Whether you are looking for rare small batch whiskies, classics of the category, or highly sought after age statement expressions, your Bourbon needs are sure to be met.

Every day you’ll discover a different 30ml wax-sealed dram from a selection of America’s finest distillers, set to appeal to experienced bourbon lovers and new-found fans alike! Happy Advent!

– 24 different, handmade 30ml wax-sealed drams

– Explore bourbons from across America

– From boutique producers to world-renowned brands

– From light and creamy to rich and complex

– Award-winning bourbons from famous distilleries

GSN received one for review and we can tell you that this is one classy item! Well designed, unique and beautifully packaged. You will please any bourbon lover with a wide variety of American whiskies in glass, wax sealed bottles. Each day is a new gift of one ounce of a craft spirit.

Order yours here

GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Spring 2019 (April-June)

It’s time once again for our spring round-up of new cocktail, spirits and bartending books. Lots of new publications to wet your whistle. Cheers!

The Home Bar Guide to Tropical Cocktails: A Spirited Journey Through Suburbia’s Hidden Tiki Temples by Tom Morgan, Kelly Reilly, Tiki Tony & Sven A. Kirsten Korero Press (April 1, 2019) Come and explore suburbia’s hidden tiki temples with Kelly and Tom. Sample over 150 of their original tropical cocktails! These drinks chronicle their time spent bartending at home tiki bars during the rise of the craft cocktail revolution, among them Kirby’s Rumpus Room, which hosted weekly parties for many years. Included are riffs on tropical classics and original concoctions crowd-tested at home bars across the U.S. You’ll also find recipes for home-made syrups, including ancho chilli, lemongrass, sesame, hibiscus, and more. Sven Kirsten—the authority behind The Book of Tiki—provides the Foreword. The book features full-page cocktail photos and glamour shots of some of the coolest home tiki bars around. Additionally, you’ll find lavish illustrations by Tiki Tony, chapter heading illustrations by Jake Geiger—a tiki aficionado and game designer for such hits as Guitar Hero and Call of Duty—and select featured art by Doug Horne, who is a true lowbrow Leonardo familiar to the tiki scene. This guide is proof that you don’t have to go very far to sample the best tropical drinks in town. Belly up to your basement Bali Hai or backyard Bora-Bora and mix yourself a tropical vacation!

From Garden to Glass: 80 Botanical Beverages Made from the Finest Fruits, Cordials, and Infusions by David Hurst Universe (April 2, 2019) For the legions of readers who enjoyed The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World’s Best Drinks, here is a new health and nutrition conscious take on making infusions, cordials, and cocktails mixers with garden fresh herbs, fruits, and spices. The Drinking Garden is a unique collection of over 70 delicious botanically inspired recipes based on what is available fresh from the garden or farm stand. These “garden to glass” recipes are for non-alcoholic infusions and cordials based on fresh fruits, garden herbs, and spices which can be consumed as restorative tonics in their own right or can be used as the basis for mouthwatering cocktails – cocktails filled with garden fresh nutrients and antioxidants, making them far healthier than ordinary bar drinks. Organized according to main ingredient, the recipes are created with an eye toward both health and taste. All recipes include fresh from the garden botanicals such as elderberries, strawberries, tomato, mints, and other herbs. Thus, an ordinary Bloody Mary is transformed into a healthy power drink by using freshly crushed garden tomatoes, chilies, and other spices. Many recipes also use “superfood” ingredients, from açai berry and avocado to papaya and pomegranate. Each creation is expertly crafted and inspired by some of the most exciting trends in bartending and mixology. The book also explains how to make professional-quality mixed drinks in your home, listing essential bar kit, fancy glassware, party planning, and finishing touches that can transform an ordinary drink into an exceptional cocktail.

Alcohol-Free Cocktails: The Redemption Bar by Catherine Salway & Andrea Waters Kyle Books (April 2, 2019) Alcohol-free drinks have never been more glamorous thanks to this stunning new book by Catherine Salway and Andrea Waters, the brains behind Redemption, one of London’s healthiest bar restaurant brands. Redemption Bar will introduce you to a refreshing new take on alcohol-free drinks and innovative, healthy bar snacks. Learn how to make delicious, guilt-free cocktails and tasty canapés that will dazzle your guests and delight your taste buds. Packed with nutritious recipes, Redemption Bar has something for everyone, with a variety of vegan, low-sugar and gluten-free recipes available. Quirky, alcohol-free cocktail recipes include: Lychee and Yuzu Martinis, Pineapple Margaritas, and Strawberry & Mango Daiquiris. The book also offers a range of delicious canapés for light snacks and entertaining, from Slow-roasted Activated Almonds to Miso Glazed Baby Aubergine Skewers.

Gin Austen: 50 Cocktails to Celebrate the Novels of Jane Austen by Colleen Mullaney Sterling Epicure (April 2, 2019) In six enduring novels, Jane Austen captured the fancies and foibles of Regency England, and every delightful page of this book celebrates the picnics, luncheons, dinner parties, and glamorous balls of Austen’s world. At these social engagements, gossip reigned, love flourished, and drinks flowed. Discover an exotic world of cobblers, crustas, flips, punches, shrubs, slings, sours, and toddies, with recipes that evoke the past but suit today’s tastes. Raise your glass to Sense and Sensibility with a Brandon Old-Fashioned, Elinorange Blossom, Hot Barton Rum, or Just a Dashwood. Toast Pride and Prejudice with a Cousin Collins, Fizzy Miss Lizzie, Gin & Bennet, or Salt & Pemberley. Brimming with enlightening quotes from the novels and Austen’s letters, beautiful photographs, and period design, this intoxicating volume is a must-have for any devoted Janeite.

Bar Chef: Handcrafted Cocktails by Christiaan Rollich, Carolynn Carreño, Suzanne Goin & Caroline Styne W. W. Norton & Company (April 9, 2019) Celebrated Los Angeles bartender Christiaan Röllich approaches a drink the way a master chef approaches a dish: he draws on high-quality seasonal ingredients to create cocktails for every occasion. In Bar Chef, Röllich shares 100 original recipes for drinks that are as beautiful as they are delicious, including the Quixote (gin and grapefruit); a Kentucky Sour (bourbon and homemade cola syrup); Eggnog for the holidays; and Röllich’s signature drink, the Green Goddess (green tea vodka and cucumber with arugula, jalapeno, and absinthe), which has become a part of the language of LA. Featuring easy-to-follow recipes for syrups, tinctures, liqueurs, and bitters with herbs, spices, and seasonal fruit, Röllich guides you through his creative process, demystifying the craft of cocktail making. With stunning color photography and the suave storytelling of your favorite bartender, Bar Chef will become a go-to bar book for home cooks and cocktail enthusiasts, inspiring and pleasing readers with every drink.

The Tequila Dictionary by Eric Zandona Mitchell Beazley (April 9, 2019) An A-Z compendium of everything you need to know about tequila and agave spirits, from history, ingredients and the latest craft tequila techniques to tasting notes and the many regional variations and specialities. A tequila revolution is taking place, with more and more people learning to appreciate the rich culture, craft and flavor to be found in this unique spirit. The Tequila Dictionary is the drinker’s guide to this wonderful world. With hundreds of entries on tequila and agave spirits covering everything from history, culture and ingredients to distilling techniques, cocktails and the many varieties of the drink, spirits expert Eric Zandona explores the truth behind this truly captivating drink.

Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World by Derek Brown & Robert Yule Rizzoli (April 16, 2019) A cocktail– the fascinating alchemy of simple alcohols into complex potables– is an invention as unlikely as it is delicious, and an American innovation whose history marches in step with that of the Republic. In Spirits Sugar Water Bitters, nationally recognized bartender and spirits expert Derek Brown tells the story of the cocktail’s birth, rise, fall, and eventual resurrection, tracing the contours of the American story itself. In this spirited timeline, Brown shows how events such as the Whiskey Rebellion, Prohibition, and the entry of Hawaii into the United States shaped the nation’s drinking habits. Brown also tells the stories of the great men and women who made their mark on cocktail culture, including America’s Distiller-In-Chief George Washington and modern-day King Cocktail Dale DeGroff, as well as lesser-known mixology heroes like Martha Niblo, the nineteenth-century New York proprietress famous for her Sherry Cobblers, and Frederic Tudor, whose ice-shipping business gave early drinks like the Cobbler and the Mint Julep the chill they needed. Featuring classic and original recipes inspired by each period, this book serves up the perfect mix of geography, history, culture, and taste.

From Barley to Blarney: A Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland by Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry & Tim Herlihy Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 16, 2019) An Irish whiskey guru, two bartender behemoths, and an adept writer combine forces to create this comprehensive guide to Irish whiskey. The book begins with an in-depth introduction to whiskey and its history in Ireland, including what makes each style of Irish whiskey unique. What follows is a detailed tour, including photographs, around the four Irish provinces, and of the 22 different distilleries and the unique Irish whiskeys each produces, as well as a discussion of the booming present and promising future for Irish whiskey producers. Each province also highlights the best of Ireland’s 50 iconic bars and pubs, linking past to present and providing the ultimate whiskey tourist itinerary. The fun really begins when the masterminds behind 2015’s “World’s Best Bar,” Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, share 12 original mixed-drink recipes tailor-made for Irish spirits.

Make Something Bloody Marvellous: The Gentle Art of Mixing Gin by Dan & Faye Thwaites LID Publishing (April 23, 2019) The UK’s “gin renaissance” has been underway for several years as tastes and drinking habits have changed. Once dubbed “Mother’s ruin,” gin sales topped £1 billion for the first time in 2015 as younger drinkers flocked to a new generation of artisanal distilleries. With so many brands now on the market, a little guidance is surely required. Make Something Bloody Marvellous is bursting with more than 50 unique gin cocktail recipes and photographs for every occasion. Learn the skills of the bespoke bartender and stir up some truly exquisite concoctions using Jam Jar Gin and authentic home-grown ingredients. Beautifully finished to a high standard, it’s nothing short of top-shelf.

Colorado Cocktail Cookbook by Chad Chisholm Liferichpublishing (May 3, 2019) Ever wondered how to make your favorite Colorado cocktail at home? The Colorado Cocktail Cookbook includes recipes from favorites around the state to try yourself. Whether heading to your favorite restaurant or distillery, or trying your hand at these craft cocktails in your home bar, this collection from the Centennial State is sure to elevate your cocktail experience.

Hair of the Dog: 80 Hangover Cocktails and Cures by Salvatore Calabrese Sterling Epicure (June 4, 2019) You wake up, head spinning, stomach churning, wishing you were dead. You have a hangover—and celebrated bartender Salvatore Calabrese is here to help. He explains why we get hangovers and how to avoid them, temper them, and heal them the morning after. To do this, “Maestro” Calabrese shares his secret drink recipes to lessen the pounding in your head, from the Apothecary, Bartender’s Breakfast, and Corpse Reviver to the Spirit Lifter, Suffering Bastard, and Wake-Up Call. If you can’t stomach the thought of more booze, try a nonalcoholic remedy, including the Cleanser Cocktail, Dale DeGroff’s Macho Gazpacho, or a Virgin Mary. Packed with insightful quotes, expert advice, and a generous dose of humor, Hair of the Dog also provides a handy hangover scale to judge your level of suffering, a three-day detox program, and a collection of herbal remedies. With the Maestro’s help, you’ll be back on your feet in no time!

Shaken: Drinking with James Bond and Ian Fleming, the Official Cocktail Book by Ian Fleming & Fergus Fleming Harper Design (May 14, 2019) Readers can explore James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s writing on the pleasures of drinking and mix themselves fifty delicious cocktails from recipes inspired by his books and developed by award-winning London bar, Swift. Both Bond and Fleming were partial to a stiff drink. In both fiction and real life, cocktails were an important and well-chosen accompaniment to adventure and daring and often relaxing. Fleming made the Martini famous with Bond’s ritual of always ordering it “shaken, not stirred”. But in every James Bond book a wide selection of strong, sophisticated and carefully crafted drinks are essential details to the story. The recipes in Shaken are divided into five categories: Straight Up; On the Rocks; Tall; Fizzy; and Exotic. Sip on inventions such as Smersh, Moneypenny, That Old Devil M and Diamonds Are Forever, as well as classic Bond cocktails such as the Vesper—and, of course, the Dry Martini. Each recipe is illustrated by a stunning full-color photo of the drink and wonderful extracts from Fleming’s writing—taken from the passage where the drink was featured or a place, character, or plot that inspired it. Shaken features a foreword written by the novelist’s nephew, Fergus Fleming, as well as plenty of his writing on whisky, gin, rum, and other spirits.

Lonely Planet’s Global Distillery Tour by Lonely Planet Food (May 21, 2019) Explore the exciting world of spirits with Lonely Planet. Featuring the best distilleries and bars in over 30 countries, we’ll tell you where to go and what to taste – from gin, bourbon and whisky to vodka, cachaca, tequila and more. Includes unmissable regional drinks from South Africa, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, France, Italy, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Within each of the 33 countries in Lonely Planet’s Global Distillery Tour, we’ve organised the distilleries alphabetically by region. Each distillery has a suggested must-try drink or tasting experience and also recommended local sights so you can explore the local area in between tasting sessions. We’ve also included bars that are best-in-class for their selection of one particular drink, such as arak in Lebanon or tuak in Malaysia. At the back of the book, you’ll find a section dedicated to cocktails: our take on the best mixology magic in the world, and the bars that serve them. Contributions come from specialist spirit reviewers, writers and bloggers.

GSN Review: Gin Rummy – Gin Lovers Playing Cards

Featuring illustrations of 40 gins from around the world, plus 12 gin-based cocktails, GIN RUMMY: Gin Lovers Player Cards are painted by tattoo artist Jean André, known for his sensual designs. The accompanying booklet written Emma Stokes, aka Gin Monkey gives a detailed background on each of the gins, plus a bonus of 12 gin-based cocktail recipes.

And for those who haven’t played gin rummy before, it is a simple game to learn (with added layers of complexity for advanced players). Not a fan of the game gin rummy, you say? That’s ok! These gin-themed cards can still be used as a standard deck of playing cards. Available: 03/05/2019

GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Laurence King