GSN Alert: Cocktail, Spirits, Wine & Beer Publications Holiday Gift Guide 2022

GSN presents our yearly round up of upcoming books of interest for the imbiber of all things alcoholic. Whatever your interest, you’re sure to find a few new volumes to add to your wish list!

It taste like maguey: Eleven species of agave through the eyes of a mezcal lover 359 libros; 1st edition (October 2, 2022) This book is a tribute to the maguey. And not only to the culture and society created from it and its transformation into mezcal, but also to its biology, morphology and conservation. This is based on the fact that its author, Juan Valde-rrama Cicery, has cultivated it on different scales, geographies, and methods in Mexico, to the point that he was able to compile a catalog of eleven species of magueyera that he shares with us in this book. Cheers to all those who are passionate and curious about the maguey!

Champagne Secrets: the wine guide to learn about champagne, choose the best sparkling wines, be comfortable to taste like a pro, and recognize the grape varieties by Sylvie Schindler Bulles d’Émotion Éditions (October 3, 2022) Secrets de Champagne is the first champagne guide to learn sparkling wines easily and smartly. It will give you the skills to impress your guests, be more confident for tasting, and make you a true wine connoisseur. All the answers are in this champagne bible written by the Parisian specialist Sylvie Schindler. You will become an informed wine lover. You will know how to recognize a good champagne, how to recognize winemaking styles, and how to advise your friends. Identify the appellations, understand the labeling information, recognize the aromas, choose the best vintages, all the tips to serve champagne well… This wine book on champagne is clear, elegant, didactic, and very useful to discover the secrets of champagne.

American Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Original Spirit by Clay Risen Scott & Nix, Inc. (October 3, 2022) What is going on with rye whiskey? Suddenly both experienced and new whiskey lovers are turning to rye as their primary object of interest. And just as suddenly the market is flooded with new offerings of this “old fashioned” spirit—the growth from just a dozen brands 15 years ago to more than 225 today is unprecedented. Author and spirits expert Clay Risen now offers a road map to the phenomena of rye. A detailed introduction includes a history of rye, how it’s distilled, aged, and earns its distinguishing qualities. Sections include info on how to start collecting rye, read a whiskey label, and how to have a whiskey tasting. Extensive rye whiskey accounts are organized alphabetically by distillery and brand and each of more than 225 expressions include a color photo of the bottle, info on proof, age, average price, tasting notes (nose, palate, finish), and is rated on a four-star scale. The author with a group of expert tasters “blind tasted” each and every one—a first for a spirits book of this scale. The result is a groundbreakingly innovative and invaluable asset for the whiskey lover navigating the world of American rye.

Modern Classic Cocktails: 60+ Stories and Recipes from the New Golden Age in Drinks by Robert Simonson Ten Speed Press (October 4, 2022) One of the greatest dividends of the revival in cocktail culture that began in the 1990s has been the relentless innovation. More new cocktails—and good ones—have been invented in the past thirty years than during any period since the first golden age of cocktails, which lasted from roughly the 1870s until the arrival of Prohibition in 1920 and included the birth of the Martini, Manhattan, Daiquiri, and Tom Collins. Just as that first bar-world zenith produced a half-century of classic recipes before Prohibition, the eruption of talent over the past three decades has handily delivered its share of drinks that have found favor with arbiters on both sides of the bar. Among them are the Espresso Martini, White Negroni, Death Flip, Old Cuban, Paper Plane, Siesta, and many more, all included here along with each drink’s recipe origin story. What elevates a modern cocktail into the echelon of a modern classic? A host of reasons, all delineated by Simonson in these pages. But, above all, a modern classic cocktail must be popular. People have to order it, not just during its initial heyday, but for years afterward. Tommy’s Margarita, invented in the 1990s, is still beloved, and the Porn Star Martini is the most popular cocktail in the United Kingdom, twenty years after its creation.

Pour Me Another: 250 Ways to Find Your Favorite Drink by J. M. Hirsch Voracious (October 4, 2022) You know what you like to drink—but what’s next? Expert mixologist and James Beard Award-winning editorial director of Milk Street J.M. Hirsch has the answer in Pour Me Another, where every recipe helps you choose your next drink. No matter your taste or liquor of choice, Pour Me Another guides you to a new world of drinks you’ll love. It’s an essential handbook for cocktail lovers and home mixologists everywhere.

Bohemian Mixology: Alternative Spirits & Modern Cocktails by Mr David Jordan Melia Independently published (October 6, 2022) Bohemian Mixology: Alternative Spirits & Modern Cocktails opens your eyes to the lesser known spirits used in the drinks industry, and shows you a different way of thinking about cocktails. By placing a ban on the use of traditional base spirits, you can allow your creativity to flourish, or at the very least, you can have a lot of fun. Focusing on 6 ‘Bohemian’ spirits, such as Absinthe, Pisco and Poitín, it will walk you through all aspects of making a cocktail from simple sours to advanced infusions. Stunning full page imagery of each drink will facilitate even more creativity, as you get to grips with a new way of thinking in the world of mixology.

The Creation of Flavor; from a Bartender’s Perspective by Whitney Marie Independently published (October 10, 2022) The Creation of Flavor; from a Bartender’s Perspective guides readers in how flavor is created through taste and aroma from how their molecular structure is perceived to how it can be manipulated. The author shares their methodology and understanding of ingredients to create cocktails that are drinkable works of art. Starting by breaking down the most common tastes in cocktails; sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, as well as common sources of each used in drinks. A further understanding of how their unique attributes are explored and how together these tastes can be utilized food the creation of balanced drinks. This will set the foundation of any good cocktail. Next aromas are delved into, from floral and citrusy to peppery and earthy, and the unique chemical makeup that allows aromas to be sensed through smell. Further understanding of aromatic showcases how the minute difference in molecular structure with aromatic compounds as well as different preparation creates different experiences within this category. This allows for the creation of layered and nuanced aromatic experiences. Aromas being one of the most powerful creators of memories and thus strong emotional connotation is the bridge used to traverse from a balanced cocktail to art in a glass. The Creation of Flavor; from a Bartender’s Perspective endeavors to find a more precise process for the development of new drinks through a better understanding of the ingredients that compose drinks. Just as an artist masters both technique and medium so can any enterprising bartender create a truly memorable drink.

Cocktails with a Curator by Xavier F. Salomon (Author), Aimee Ng Giulio Dalvit Luis Serrano (Illustrator), Simon Schama (Foreword) Rizzoli Electa (October 11, 2022) Join the curators of the Frick as they present engaging histories of works of art paired with creatively inspired cocktails—a crash course in art history and a delightful introduction to the treasures of the esteemed New York collection. Based on the critically acclaimed video series of the same name, Cocktails with a Curator is a collection of lively and informative essays. Paintings, sculpture, furniture, and porcelain—from medieval times through the glorious Renaissance to the early twentieth century—are discussed for their exemplary status. The creators are some of the greatest artists and include Rembrandt, Vermeer, Whistler, Manet, Velázquez, and Veronese, and the stories (of both artists and subjects) are tantalizing. Cocktails, with recipes, are thematically paired with the works: a Jaded Countess (absinthe, vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup) with Ingres’s portrait Comtesse d’Haussonville; a classic Pimm’s Cup with Gainsborough’s depiction of English beauty Grace Dalrymple Elliott; and a Bloody Mary (named after the last Catholic regnant queen of England) with Holbein’s painting of Sir Thomas More, who opposed the Reformation of Mary’s father, Henry VIII. The perfect addition to any art connoisseur’s library, this book is an innovative and intoxicating way to enjoy the treasures of a world-renowned art collection.

A Sense of Place: A journey around Scotland’s whisky by Dave Broom Mitchell Beazley (October 11, 2022) A personal journey exploring Scotch whisky through its terroir, including the land, weather, history, craft and culture that feeds and enhances the whisky itself. In this beautifully crafted narrative, award-winning writer Dave Broom examines Scotch whisky from the point of view of its terroir – the land, weather, history, craft and culture that feed and enhance the whisky itself. Travelling around his native Scotland and visiting distilleries from Islay and Harris to Orkney and Speyside, Dave explores the whiskies made there and the elements in their distilling, and locality, which make them what they are. Along the way he tells the story of whisky’s history and considers what whisky is now, and where it is going. With stunning specially commissioned photography by Christina Kernohan, A Sense of Place will enhance and deepen every whisky drinker’s understanding of just what is in their glass, as well as open their eyes to where whisky can go.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Cocktail Book by Peter Wilkins Breakwater Books (October 15, 2022) The definitive guide to cocktails in Newfoundland and Labrador from the co-founder of the popular Newfoundland Distillery, including recipes from the top mixologists and bartenders across the province. Cocktails are allabout pleasure and celebrating the finer moments in life. With recipes compiled and tested by Peter Wilkins, the co-founder of the Newfoundland Distillery, this is the essential guide on how to effortlessly make classic and contemporary cocktails using the best local ingredients available. Peter introduces us to a range of delightful drinks in a variety of tastes and styles to make sure there is a cocktail for everyone.

New Mocktails Bible: All Occasion Guide to an Alcohol-Free, Zero-Proof, No-Regrets, Sober-Curious Lifestyle by Anne Schaeffer Fox Chapel Publishing (October 16, 2022) Never run out of alcohol-free ideas for mixed drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, and more with the refreshing guide to concocting the best mocktails, New Mocktails Bible! Whether you’re pursuing a sober-curious lifestyle or simply striving for more health-conscious libations, this must-have recipe book is perfect for enjoying any social setting or seasonal celebration without it going to your head. These aren’t the old super-sweet drinks made with only sweetened sodas, juices, syrups, and purees that appeal to a child’s palate—the drinks inside these 208 pages are carefully crafted to be delightful and delicious to the most discerning adult, including tea-based beverages, savory delights, and refreshing elixirs! Featuring an insightful introduction on the endless possibilities of nonalcoholic drinks, inside these pages you’ll discover more than 250 drink recipes organized into different categories, from New Signature Mocktails and Traditional Mixed Drinks to Unusual Mixers, After Dinner Drinks, and even Dessert Drinks!

60-Second Cocktails: Amazing Drinks to Make at Home in a Minute by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley Princeton Architectural Press (October 18, 2022) Mixology in a minute! This cocktail recipe book from award-winning drink experts offers 60 delicious cocktails you can create in 60 seconds or less. Whether you have classic or adventurous taste, this guide to easy cocktail creation is the perfect addition to your home bar. The recipes include original drinks as well as tasty twists on the classics. Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley prove that mixing cocktails at home doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated; it’s fun, simple, and affordable! Featuring 60 cocktails that utilize a variety of spirits—including tequila, gin, rum, whiskey, vodka, and more.

The Whiskey Cookbook: Sensational Tasting Notes and Pairings for Bourbon, Rye, Scotch, and Single Malts by Richard Thomas Cider Mill Press (October 18, 2022) Wine isn’t the only drink that can accompany a good meal. In this cookbook, whiskey takes center stage with signature pairings and top-notch recipes. From rye with smoked salmon to bourbon with apple pie, experiment with diverse flavor profiles that pair with and improve the taste of these spirits. With hundreds of different expressions to choose from, a good bottle of whiskey is an ingenious way to bring your meals to the next level. Balance out delectable dishes or give them a perfect punch, ??and bring depth and complexity to each meal with this spirited collection. This is a new way to think, drink, and appreciate the world of whiskey. Raise your glass, it’s time to eat with The Whiskey Cookbook.

The Little Book of Aperitifs: 50 Classic Cocktails and Delightful Drinks by Kate Hawkings Quadrille Publishing (October 18, 2022) The Little Book of Aperitifs offers 50 recipes for everything from the perfect Gin and Tonic, classic Martini, effervescent Bellini, refreshing Spritz, to the beloved Negroni – all made with panache and minimal ingredients, and illustrated with gorgeous color photos. A well-made drink before dinner is the height of sophistication and the perfect way to start an evening with friends. Whether you’re a gin lover or a Campari queen, these little glassfuls of nectar will get your taste buds geared up for a night to remember. There’s also a chapter of non-alcoholic aperitifs to whet your whistle. With fascinating facts about your favorite tipples, as well as easy step-by-step instructions, it’s time to relax, get comfortable and enjoy The Little Book of Aperitifs.

Bar Menu: 100+ Drinking Food Recipes for Cocktail Hours at Home by André Darlington Running Press Adult (October 18, 2022) Bring the world’s best drinking food home and into your kitchen with this stylish recipe book featuring more than 100 drool-worthy, easy-to-prepare dishes. Award-winning food-and-drink writer André Darlington serves up creative bites and reimagined classics from around the globe—everything from quick nosh to wowing party-pleasers—to make Bar Menu the ultimate guide to boozy eating and entertaining at home. Whether you are a cocktailer looking for food pairings, or an armchair traveler eager to recreate iconic bar bites from the comfort of your own kitchen, this is your bible for hosting memorable cocktail hours. Companion drink ideas for every dish, 30+ cocktail recipes, quick history lessons, plus tricks and tips on everything from curating menus to batching drinks for a crowd of family and friends make this a cocktail hour cookbook unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ’Em from the Award-Winning Bar by Neal Bodenheimer (Author), Emily Timberlake (Author), Denny Culbert (Photographer) Harry N. Abrams (October 25, 2022) New Orleans is known for its spirit(s)-driven festivities. Neal Bodenheimer and coauthor Emily Timberlake tell the city’s story through 100 cocktails, each chosen to represent New Orleans’ past, present, and future. A love letter to New Orleans and the cast of characters that have had a hand in making the city so singular, Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em features interviews with local figures such as Ian Neville, musician and New Orleans funk royalty, plus a few tips on how to survive your first Mardi Gras. Along the way, the reader is taken on a journey that highlights the rich history and complexity of the city and the drinks it inspired, as well as the techniques and practices that Cure has perfected in their mission to build forward rather than just looking back. Of course, this includes the classics every self-respecting drinker should know, especially if you’re a New Orleanian: the Sazerac, Julep, Vieux Carré, Ramos Gin Fizz, Cocktail à la Louisiane, and French 75. Famous local chefs have contributed easy recipes for snacks with local flavor, perfect for pairing with these libations. Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em​ is a beautiful keepsake for anyone who has fallen under New Orleans’s spell and a must-have souvenir for the millions of people who visit the city each year.

The Cocktail Edit: Everything You Need to Know About How to Make All the Drinks that Matter by Alice Lascelles Quadrille Publishing (October 25, 2022) Cocktails should be simple. Acclaimed drinks writer Alice Lascelles knows everything there is to know about making delicious drinks at home with minimal equipment and fuss. The Cocktail Edit is built around a ‘capsule collection’ of 12 classic cocktails – each of these is followed by six twists, plus tips and inspiration for creating many more. The book also offers essential advice on getting your home bar set up – and shows how easy it is to make amazing cocktails with just a few basic tools, ingredients and techniques. It’s a guide brimming with trade secrets on everything from choosing the best-value spirits to making cocktails for a party; written in a conversational style, and illustrated with beautiful photography, The Cocktail Edit is practical, opinionated and fun.

American Whiskey (Second Edition): Over 300 Whiskeys and 110 Distillers Tell the Story of the Nation’s Spirit by Richard Thomas (Author), Robin Robinson (Foreword) Cider Mill Press; 2nd edition (October 25, 2022) Internationally recognized whiskey expert Richard Thomas brings you this expanded and updated edition of American Whiskey. This book not only delivers a thorough history of this national spirit, but provides a snapshot of the industry today. With an emphasis on new expressions of whiskey and rising stars in the game, this expanded edition brings more exposure to the whiskey world than ever. Thomas highlights the major players and whiskey hubs across the U.S., from industry giants to smaller craft distilleries that bring quality to your glass. Chapters are dedicated by region, covering the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and the West. With a special focus on the recent emergence of the third whiskey state, Texas, this is an opportunity to dive deeper into the industry today.

A Bartender’s Guide to the World: Cocktails and Stories from 75 Places by Lauren Mote & James O. Fraioli Appetite by Random House (October 25, 2022) For over 20 years, Lauren Mote has tended bars and traveled the world, often as one of the only women in a male-dominated industry. She’s developed cocktail recipes, sought out new ingredients, and gathered stories along the way. Now, in her first book, Lauren is inviting readers and home bartenders to pack their suitcases and come with her on an international cocktail adventure. Few bartenders can match Lauren’s encyclopedic knowledge of spirits, liqueurs, and tinctures, not to mention her originality for blending them into a perfectly-balanced drink. Once you’ve gotten a handle on the basics of bartending, and gathered your cocktail shaker along with a few other pieces of equipment, you’ll be raising your glass in no time. The recipes are organized by their star ingredients, such as agave, gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, and more. Every drink is given its own designation of standard, mid, low, or zero proof, and you’ll find a whole chapter on nonalcoholic cocktails, because Lauren feels strongly that all drinks should be prepared with care, whether they include alcohol or not. Once you’ve narrowed down the base that you’re in the mood for, let Lauren’s magnetic storytelling and gift of the gab continue to guide you. In each chapter, you’ll find a collection of Mise en Place Recipes to help you build up your bar’s basic ingredients and make Lauren’s techniques your own. With beautiful storytelling and photography, and cocktail recipes you won’t find elsewhere, A Bartender’s Guide to the World is as much a pleasure to read as it is to imbibe from.

Vogue Cocktails: Classic drinks from the golden age of cocktails by Henry McNulty (Author), Robin Muir (Foreword) Conran (October 25, 2022) A super-chic collection of 150 classic cocktail recipes created by one-time Vogue drinks expert and man about town, Henry McNulty. From the archives of British Vogue, the classic cocktail book, for a new generation of discerning drinkers. Vogue Cocktails is an exquisite collection of recipes compiled by former British Vogue drinks aficionado and man-about-town, Henry McNulty. Taking inspiration from the cocktail culture of the 1930s, Vogue Cocktails contains 150 delectable recipes organized by base spirit – Champagne, Gin, Vodka, Whisky, Rum and Brandies & Other Spirits – to ensure a drink for every palate. The book also contains essential information on stocking your bar and mixing drinks, with wonderful, jazz-age-inspired illustrations by Graham Palfrey-Rogers throughout.

John Wayne: The Official Cocktail Book by André Darlington Insight Editions (November 1, 2022) Based on the iconic and beloved actor John Wayne, this collection of satisfying drinks takes cocktail enthusiasts on a trip through some of John Wayne’s most memorable characters, films and extraordinary life. This unique book includes seventy recipes for delicious, handcrafted cocktails and a selection of tasteful bar bites to pair with the beverages. With drinks inspired by characters such as Rooster Cogburn, Big Jake McCandles, and Davy Crockett, John Wayne: The Official Cocktail Book includes step-by-step instructions, tips on how to craft the perfect cocktail, and beautiful full-color photography. This book is an essential addition to every fan’s bar cart or bookshelf.

Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch: The World’s Best-selling Book on Malt Whisky by Michael Jackson DK (November 1, 2022) Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch, the landmark best-selling malt whiskey companion by the late Michael Jackson, doyen of whiskey writers, has been comprehensively updated by a team of experts. Featuring over 500 new bottlings, reviewed and scored, plus hundreds of revised entries, Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch includes background information on the distilleries, tasting notes on over 1,000 bottlings, and practical advice on buying malts and interpreting whiskey labels.

Midcentury Cocktails: History, Lore, and Recipes from America’s Atomic Age by Cecelia Tichi NYU Press (November 1, 2022) America at midcentury was a nation on the move, taking to wings and wheels along the new interstate highways and in passenger jets that soared to thirty thousand feet. Anxieties rippled, but this new Atomic Age promised cheap power and future wonders, while the hallmark of the era was the pleasure of an evening imbibing cocktails in mixed company, a middle-class idea of sophisticated leisure. This new age, stretching from the post–World War II baby boom years through the presidency of General Dwight Eisenhower into the increasingly volatile mid-1960s, promised affordable homes for those who had never dreamed of owning property and an array of gleaming appliances to fill them. For many, this was America at its best―innovation, style, and the freedom to enjoy oneself―and the spirit of this time is reflected in the whimsical cocktails that rose to prominence: tiki drinks, Moscow mules, Sea Breezes, Pina Coladas, Pink Squirrels, and Sloe Gin Fizzes. Of course, not everyone was invited to the party. Though the drinks were getting sweeter, the racial divide was getting more bitter―Black Americans in search of a drink, entertainment, or a hotel room had to depend on the Green Book for advice on places where they would be welcome and safe. And the Cold War and Space Race proceeded ominously throughout this period, as technological advances alternately thrilled and terrified. The third installment in Cecelia Tichi’s tour of the cocktails enjoyed in various historical eras, Midcentury Cocktails brings a time of limitless possibilities to life though the cocktails created, named, and consumed.

The New York Times Essential Book of Cocktails (Second Edition): Over 400 Classic Drink Recipes With Great Writing from The New York Times by Steve Reddicliffe (Author), Christopher Buckley (Foreword) Cider Mill Press; 2nd edition (November 8, 2022) This updated edition contains more than 400 classic and contemporary craft cocktail recipes, paired with exceptional writing and the authoritative voice of The New York Times. Cocktail hour is one of America’s most popular pastimes and a favorite way to entertain. What better place to find the secrets of craft cocktails than The New York Times? Steve Reddicliffe, the “Quiet Drink” columnist for The Times, brings his signature voice and expertise to this collection of delicious recipes from bartenders from around the world, with a special emphasis on New York City. Discover more than 400 recipes and the wit and wisdom of decades of this venerable paper’s best cocktail coverage. Reddicliffe has carefully curated this essential collection, with memorable writing from famed New York Times journalists like Craig Claiborne, Toby Cecchini, Eric Asimov, Rosie Schaap, Robert Simonson, Melissa Clark, William L. Hamilton, Jonathan Miles, Amanda Hesser, William Grimes, and many more.

Beer A Tasting Course: A Flavor-Focused Approach to the World of Beer by Mark Dredge DK (November 8, 2022) Beer is now brewed in a dizzying variety of styles, available to enjoy like never before. Let’s drink to this diversity with a new appreciation of just how complex and mind-expanding beer can be. Crack open this book and enjoy a series of guided tastings of more than 50 different beer styles—from smoked black lager to sour-fermented wild ales, triple green-hopped IPAs and cask-matured barley wines. With each tasting, you will learn to identify how aroma, taste, texture, and finish all combine to create the distinctive flavor profile of the particular beer style. You will discover which unique ingredients and aspects of the brewing process combine to produce each style, while quick reviews of the best examples from around the world will lead you to explore further. To help establish your beer palate, the course starts with a solid grounding in the range of flavors found in beer and the art of detecting them—opening your nose, mind, and throat to the complete sensory experience of flavor and pouring the perfect glass! Travel through time and across the globe to grasp the ongoing story of beer, its heritage, and its innovation. Also learn how to pair beer with food and to cook with beer. In the end, you always return to what really matters: that miraculous glass of cold, liquid joy.

Holy Waters: Searching for the sacred in a glass by Tom Morton Watkins Publishing (November 8, 2022) Tom Morton has travelled the world in search of the finest drams the planet has to offer. His journeys reveal the links between faith and alcohol, between spirits and the spiritual. From Christianity’s Holy Communion to the temple libations of Japan, through the rum concoctions of Haitian Voodoo to the monastic producers of every liquid from beer to “tonic” wine. And of course Tom’s beloved whisky, brewed in many corners of the world. Holy Waters is Tom’s journey to the spiritual heart of whisky, sake, rum, Champagne, beer, mead and a variety of wines. With great insight, humour and for the most part sobriety, he traces the links between brewing, winemaking, distilling and worship, from ancient pagan rites to the most modern Trappist technology. He revels in the lore and mysteries of craft production, the elemental, magical love stories, the passionate relationships between human and landscape, grain and pure water, grape and fire. And he does so on a motorcycle which, to his astonishment, runs very well on cask-strength Islay single malt. This book is a celebration of cultures and artisan craft, a book for food and drink, travel and history lovers.

The Curious Bartender: In Pursuit of Liquid Perfection: Recipes for the finest cocktails by Tristan Stephenson Ryland Peters & Small (November 8, 2022) 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’s New Testament is the sixth book by bestselling author and legendary bartender Tristan Stephenson. You’ll find 64 of the finest cocktails: 32 perfected classics and 32 game-changing reinventions of classics. Tristan makes you discover tastebuds and talents you never knew you had. You will find recipes for everything from a White Russian or a Tom Collins to an Umami Bomb or a Giraffe. He’ll show you the tools of the trade, the techniques he swears by and how to experiment to create your own cocktail sensations at home. Tristan’s done all the hard work for you – all you have to do is leaf through the pages of his book.

All Belgian Whiskies by Patrick Ludwich & Karel Puype Stichting Kunstboak (November 11, 2022) Belgium has all the assets to become a true whisky country. The knowledge required to make whisky is readily available, thanks in part to our centuries-old culture of beer and jenever. A number of Belgian jenever distilleries and breweries have been experimenting with whisky for quite some time, but the concept of ‘Belgian whisky’ only really took off in the recent past. Every year new initiatives arise and time after time the announced releases are sold out in no time. Belgian whisky is appreciated, has become a sought-after collector’s item and regularly wins gold and silver at international competitions. For the first time, an overview of Belgian whiskies and whisky houses is published in book form. An indispensable reference work for collectors and whisky lovers alike. Text in English, Dutch and French.

Intoxication: An Ethnography of Effervescent Revelry by Sébastien Tutenges Rutgers University Press (November 11, 2022) For two decades, Sébastien Tutenges has conducted research in bars, nightclubs, festivals, drug dens, nightlife resorts, and underground dance parties in a quest to answer a fundamental question: Why do people across cultures gather regularly to intoxicate themselves? Vivid and at times deeply personal, this book offers new insights into a wide variety of intoxicating experiences, from the intimate feeling of connection among concertgoers to the adrenaline-fueled rush of a fight, to the thrill of jumping off a balcony into a swimming pool. Tutenges shows what it means and feels to move beyond the ordinary into altered states in which the transgressive, spectacular, and unexpected take place. He argues that the primary aim of group intoxication is the religious experience that Émile Durkheim calls collective effervescence, the essence of which is a sense of connecting with other people and being part of a larger whole. This experience is empowering and emboldening and may lead to crime and deviance, but it is at the same time vital to our humanity because it strengthens social bonds and solidarity.

LoveSexy Cocktail Guide by André Akinyele BookBaby (November 12, 2021) Shake Up Your Sexy with 138 alluring recipes and illustrations celebrating songs by Prince! “LoveSexy Cocktail Guide” is a curated collection of 138 Prince song inspired cocktail recipes and illustrations. This is a must-have book for fans of an incredible man who revolutionized the music industry. This one-of-a-kind book is an A-to-Z guide of Prince song inspired cocktail recipes for making classic, contemporary, and fun drinks to celebrate Prince. These pages contain classic cocktails inspired from the song catalog of Prince―an astonishing artist, entertainer, musician, and songwriter in pop culture. Make a cocktail playlist from the curated Prince songs included, and decode the mysteries behind each song alongside tasty, inspired recipes.

Seattle Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of Over 100 Recipes Inspired by the Emerald City by Neil Ratliff Cider Mill Press (November 15, 2022) Discover the unique Seattle vibe with delicious recipes from some of the city’s top mixologists and bartenders. Explore the best places to drink in the city with chapters divided by neighborhood and remake your favorite local beverages at home. Enjoy recipes from Emerald city bars that take full advantage of local flair and flavor, with stunning photographs that capture the heart of this colorful port city. Find tips and techniques of the trade in interviews with prominent bartenders. From dive bars to craft cocktail bars, Seattle has it all, and you can bring it home with you. Whether you save these recipes for a rainy day or enjoy them in the sunshine, these cocktails will make you feel like you’re at the top of the Space Needle.

Cocktail Time!: The Ultimate Guide to Grown-Up Fun by Paul Feig William Morrow Cookbooks (November 15, 2022) Famed TV and film writer, director, and producer Paul Feig is obsessed with cocktails and cocktail culture. It’s about having great conversations with friends. It’s about putting on your best clothes and throwing a smart gathering or heading to your favorite bar and having an interesting chat with the bartender. And it’s about staying home, mixing a drink and sipping it in a beautiful glass as you watch a great old movie by yourself. Cocktail Time! is a love letter to the aesthetics and culture around cocktails. It’s guaranteed to make you want to up your party-giving game—or at least your home bar situation. And it’s an immensely charming and readable window into one man’s friendly obsession.

Imbibing for Introverts: A Guide to Social Drinking for the Anti-Social by Jeff Cioletti (Author), Elena Makansi (Illustrator) Skyhorse (November 15, 2022) Long before the term “social distancing” entered the lexicon, introverts were thriving. But let’s clear one thing up right away: Being introverts doesn’t mean we’re all a bunch of hermits. Introverts like going out as much as the next person—as long as it’s a manageable, crowd-less situation with comfortable places to sit! The emptier the bar, the better. The less likely to be bothered by—GASP—other people, even more ideal. As a professional drinks writer and editor who travels solo a great deal for a living, the author has learned a thing or two about drinking alone. For instance, seclusion is key. Look for a bar that offers numerous opportunities to sequester yourself. Avoid the communal tables, sit as close to the end of the bar as possible (a corner two-top in a darkened room is best-case-scenario), and don’t skimp on the beverage: Order something with complexity that makes you quietly contemplate what’s in your glass, how it got there, and how your surroundings are accentuating the drinking experience. Tiki bars are among the most conducive to that vibe, as everything from the ingredients, to the décor, to the music is designed for just soaking it all in without distraction, but never discount the daytime dive bar either. Imbibing for Introverts combines the social survival tactics taught in guides like The Introvert’s Way with the appreciation for thoughtful drinking found in travelogues like Around the World in 80 Cocktails. From Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas, to New York’s Dead Rabbit cocktail bar, to San Francisco’s Chinatown dive bar Li Po, Imbibing for Introverts helps solo drinkers confidently pull up a seat at every genre and subgenre of drinking establishment. The book begins in readers’ most comfortable setting—their own homes—before taking them out on the town, to bars across the country and, finally, overseas. There are more than a dozen chapters divided by bar type, along with an introduction (“Introvert’s Manifesto”) and epilogue (“Quarantine Confessions”). Each chapter features drink recommendations and cocktail recipes that relate to the particular setting, so if desired, you could also partake without the annoyance and sometimes anxiety-ridden task of leaving the house.

The Anchor Brewing Story: America’s First Craft Brewery & San Francisco’s Original Anchor Steam Beer by David Burkhart (Author), Fritz Maytag (Foreword) Ten Speed Press (November 15, 2022) San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co. is one of America’s oldest breweries, with an extraordinary heritage rooted in the California Gold Rush. Undaunted and resilient, it has survived earthquakes, fires, insolvency, and Prohibition. In 1965, when mass-produced, mass-marketed beer completely dominated the American brewing landscape, Fritz Maytag rescued the nation’s smallest brewery and its unique Anchor Steam Beer from the brink of bankruptcy. Focusing on tradition, quality, and flavor, Maytag transformed Anchor Brewing, igniting a revolution that paved the way for today’s craft beer movement. Anchor brewery historian David Burkhart tells the story of America’s first craft brewery in this compellingly definitive insider’s guide. With three hundred images—most shown for the first time—and original homebrew recipes for four of Anchor’s iconic brews (Anchor Steam, Anchor California Lager, Anchor Porter, and Liberty Ale), The Anchor Brewing Story is a book for beer drinkers, homebrewers, pro brewers, entrepreneurs, San Francisco–philes, and anyone who loves a good comeback tale.

Colorado Cocktail Cookbook Vol 2 by Chad Chisholm Liferich Publishing (November 15, 2022) Who’s ready for a second round? Colorado Cocktail Cookbook Vol 2 packs a punch with 54 recipes from the state of Colorado. Mixing at home or enjoying at your favorite haunt, this book is a guide to creative cocktails throughout the state. Elevating the mixologist experience in the Mile High State, this is a perfect compendium to Volume 1!

Craft: The Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails by Molly Kimball (Author), Melanie Warner Spencer (Author), & Ethan Skaggs Pelican Publishing (November 21, 2022) The clink of ice, the fragrance of fresh herbs, and the ritual of pouring artisanal spirits into a shaker or glass are all integral to the timeless experience of crafting a sophisticated cocktail. When we aren’t drinking, whatever the reason may be, we still want to enjoy elegant, thoughtful beverages. This philosophy is at the heart of Craft: The Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails. Inspired by the talented bar staff of dozens of Eat Fit restaurant partners, these zero proof recipes surpass sugary mocktails and basic soda spritzers, proving that it’s truly possible to create remarkable, elevated drinks that are alcohol free with little or no added sugars. Featuring more than 50 recipes, as well as guides to barware, bitters, glassware, and everything else you need to craft a fully sensorial cocktail, this book is an essential–and beautiful–resource for every home mixologist’s library.

Behind the Bar: Gin: 50 Gin Cocktails from Bars Around the World by Alia Akkam Hardie Grant (November 22, 2022) In Behind the Bar: Gin, Alia Akkam gives a guided tour around bars around the world and their gin cocktails. From the Enzoni Cobbler at the Gin Palace in Melbourne to a Southern riff on the Gin & Tonic at The Gin Joint in Charleston, there is a simple recipe for anyone wanting to whip up a cocktail at home in no time. Along with recipes, Behind the Bar: Gin explores stories surrounding the bars and their cocktails, as well as interesting gin-based nuggets of inspiration – from sloe gins, the Negroni Sbagliato, to guides on tonics and punches, there is a lot to discover! With its beautiful illustrations and accessible style of writing, this will appeal to the armchair traveler as much as the keen home bartender.

On Champagne: A tapestry of tales to celebrate the greatest sparkling wine of all by Susan Keevil (Editor), Tom Stevenson (Introduction) Academie Du Vin Library Ltd (November 23, 2022) Champagne is never a simple glass of fizz… As soon as the cork flies, the first sip reveals a wine of fascinating complexity. For even the most modest non-vintage cuvée, a bevy of blending decisions, multi layers of history and the incalculable climate of this northern corner of France all come into play. In On Champagne the thoughts, opinions and conclusions of the world’s finest champagne writers gather to reveal this wine’s action-packed trajectory from the myth of its accidental discovery – not in France, we find, but in the cider cellars of England – to the development of a high-tech champagne fit for space travel. It’s a journey that starts and ends with capturing that sparkle in a bottle and along the way beguiles us with the nuances of its chalky terrain, the determination of rebels from Ambonnay to Avize, and the mystery of a champagne cellar under the sea. We meet the pioneers who created the great champagnes of the past and the personalities who are ‘greening’ this landscape, nurturing it through climate change to shape the exquisite champagnes of the future.

Raising the Bar: A Bottle-by-Bottle Guide to Mixing Masterful Cocktails at Home by Brett Adams & Jacob Grier Chronicle Books (November 29, 2022) Instead of drawing on esoteric bottles of liquor, complicated syrups, and obscure sodas, this book takes readers through the home bar bottle by bottle, ensuring that every ingredient is versatile enough to be used to the last drop. Building on a very basic cocktail pantry, each chapter thoughtfully introduces a new bottle and explains how it opens new possibilities for cocktails. Each chapter builds on the one before, so readers never encounter recipes calling for unfamiliar spirits or ingredients. RAISING THE BAR allows readers to set their own pace and maximize the usefulness of the spirits they bring home. This book will be a go-to reference for the home bartender that is practical enough for the day-to-day and special enough for a party. With handsome graphics and a smart focus on what’s already in stock, it’s what home mixologists can turn to when they want creative and delightful drinks without a bar cart full of single-use bottles.

The Five-Bottle Bar: A Simple Guide to Stylish Cocktails by Jessica Schacht Touchwood Editions (November 29, 2022) From the co-founder of Ampersand Distilling Company, a collection of cocktail recipes that relies on just five bottles to build your bartending style with ease and confidence. Think of it as the capsule closet for cocktails. Five bottles around which your inner bartender can emerge with skill, savvy and a little flare for the dramatic when it’s called for. Playwright, columnist, and co-founder of Ampersand Distilling Company, Jessica Schacht knows we all contain multitudes and believes with a little curation and mastery of the basics, we can succeed at elevating the everyday and cultivating a good cocktail hour. The bottles: gin, whiskey, sweet and dry vermouth, and Campari (plus bonus recipes for bubbly). The setting: living room, backyard, window seat, and the wild beyond. The mixologist? Oh, that’s you. In this beautifully photographed collection, Jessica Schacht, co-founder of Ampersand Distilling Company, presents her take on classics (like the G & T, the Old Fashioned, the Martini, and the Negroni), collections (sours, punches, and such), and contemporaries (a few inventive new drinks to pique your creativity). There’s a chapter of zero-proofs in part inspired by the abundance of new alcohol-free spirits on the market now, and another dedicated to keeping your vacation drinks game classy, from the airplane to the B&B to the beach. In addition to the recipes The Five-Bottle Bar supplies a solid foundation in bartending basics (tools, techniques, thoughts on glassware and garnishes), the condensed history of spirits, and tips for setting up your minimalist bar cart.

Drink Like a Local London: A Field Guide to London’s Best Bars by Felipe Schrieberg Cider Mill Press (November 29, 2022) Explore the most popular hotspots, tube stops, and drinks that London has to offer. From classy rooftop bars to eccentric, hidden watering holes, take a tour through London’s diverse cocktail scene with this guide. Discover the unique character of each location and the signature recipes from these venues. You will feel like you’re really there long before you order your first drink. Inside you’ll find 50 bar profiles and bartender highlights, beautifully illustrated pages that showcase the heart of each location, and background on the bustling history of the London bar scene. Never be without a drink with recipes from timeless locations and profiles on some of the best bartenders you’ve never heard of. Bring London’s charm to your home bar anywhere in the world. You’ll find yourself right at home with Drink Like a Local London.

150 Bars You Need to Visit Before You Die by Jurgen Lijcops Lannoo Publishers (November 30, 2022) Since 150 Bars You Need to Visit Before You Die came out in 2018, more than 17,000 copies have been sold. Time for an updated version, with no less than 50 new bars. Discover which bars you must visit worldwide for their delicious cocktails, unique interiors or authentic atmosphere. Sommelier and spirits connoisseur Jurgen Lijcops once again takes you on a trip/bar crawl around the world and also gives you the best cocktail recipes en cours de route.

Decanter: The World’s Wine Legends: Over 100 of the World’s legendary bottles of wine by Stephen Brook Sona Books (December 1, 2022) For many years the world’s most successful wine magazine published on their last page a monthly Wine Legend. These were and, in some cases, still are the most sought after wines around the world from specific vineyards and vintages. Names that can bring a shiver to the back of a wine lover’s neck and be spoken about in hushed tones. Chateau Palmer ’61, Ridge, Monto Bello 1970, Biondi-Santi, Tenuto il Greppo 1975 to name but a few. This book brings these wines together for the first time, over 100 absolutely legendary wines. With an introduction by Stephen Brook who pulled together the information and the photographs, this is a beautiful gift for anyone who enjoys wine.

Cheers!: Cocktails & Toasts to Celebrate Every Day of the Year – A Cocktail Book by Philip Greene Union Square & Co. (December 6, 2022) Philip Greene, winner of the 13th Annual Spirited Award for Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History or Spirits, pairs each day of the year with a cocktail recipe that represents it, along with a toast in celebration! For every day of the year, Cheers! offers delicious cocktail recipes along with a backstory connecting the recipe to a particular day and a toast to raise in celebration. Greene draws on a range of interesting and (usually) fun events, some significant and some trivial, from the pages of history, literature, sports, entertainment, and more. Many of the toasts are classics culled from cocktail and bartending books dating to the nineteenth century, the works of Shakespeare, and other timeless sources. While the book undoubtedly acknowledges the usual noteworthy dates from around the world (New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc.), it also features a new twist on standard observances, offering a fresh story, angle, and drink.

Twist: Your Guide to Creating Inspired Craft Cocktails by Jordan Hughes Page Street Publishing (December 13, 2022) Learn how to make a great, well-balanced and properly executed cocktail with this stunning resource and recipe book from award-winning spirits writer Jordan Hughes. In over 75 killer recipes, you’ll master classics like the Martini and Old Fashioned, discover what makes these builds so timeless and how to use their tried-and-true specs to create your own riffs, twists and deliciously modern craft cocktails. Shake up a perfect Margarita then experiment with the spicy carrot and mezcal Power-Up Technique. Read into the “bastardized” evolution of a classic Daiquiri, then go crazy with a Guava Daiquiri, served over crushed ice with a hint of absinthe. Enjoy the bubbly French 75 and new Pisco and passion fruit Peruvian 75, or the spirit-forward Manhattan and its unique spin the Nocturnal Burn, made with cacao tequila and chili liqueur. There’s something for every palate in these pages! And with tons of information on stocking your home bar, making your own syrups and practicing proper technique, you’ll unlock a whole new world of mixology and hone your bartending skills.

GSN Presents: How Well Do You Know Your Whiskey?

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

Whiskey & Geography

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whiskey & Its Ingredients

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

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

Where To Get Started

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

Article by Devin Mills – Distilling Craft

Basics of Mixology: The Indispensable Modifier

pama_bottleToday’s post is sponsored by PAMA liqueur.  Follow @PAMAPros on Twitter!

Cocktails really come down to one basic principle: a mixture of at least two flavors.  Once you decide what you want to use as the base spirit (think of this as your main course), then you can decide what kinds of additional flavors will accent and highlight the inherent qualities of the liquor.

I do most of the cooking around the house, as well as mix the cocktails.  More and more, I see the two as almost interchangeable.  Really, the only real difference is that cocktails are sipped and not chewed.  Think about it.  We have hot and cold cocktails, ones that use vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs, and they all utilize some kind of basic recipe which can be varied to everyone’s tastes.  Not sweet enough?  Add a bit of simple syrup.  Not sour enough?  Add an extra squeeze of citrus.  Too alcohol heavy?  Add a bit of water, juice or soda.

So, suppose you want to make a gin based cocktail, but you want to play around with it and make it a little softer, a little fruitier.  The addition of a modifier is what you’re looking for.  This can be anything from fruit juice to an amaro to a liqueur.  If you really want to taste the effect a modifier has upon the base spirit, try this experiment:

Taste the base spirit by itself.  Then, take one ounce of your base spirit and add a quarter ounce of your modifier.  Taste again.  Keep adding a quarter ounce and tasting, experiencing how the flavors interact with one another.  At some point, you will find the perfect ratio you prefer.  Make a note of this.  Then try adding a quarter ounce of a third ingredient to your perfect ratio and see what happens.  Generally, most classic cocktails (the ones that have been around for over 75 years) are two or three ingredient drinks.  Of course, bitters and garnishes come into play as well, but in general you can make a decent cocktail without either of these.

PAMA liqueur is an exemplary modifier.  It adds tartness, some sweetness, fruitiness, color and texture to cocktails.  It also works extremely well with just about any spirit you want to use.  In tiki style drinks, I always use a 50/50 blend of real grenadine and PAMA when it calls for grenadine syrup.  It also works in classic drinks like the Jack Rose and the Monkey Gland.

Here’s an original cocktail of mine you’re welcome to try.  With this, I decided to use PAMA as the base and then modify it with citrus, sugar and spice.  It is based on the classic Mexican Sangrita.

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Shangra-Lita (Blair Frodelius)
1.5 oz Pama Liqueur
1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
0.75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp simple syrup
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
0.5 oz Club soda

Mix all ingredients except club soda in an ice filled shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top off with club soda.  Stir gently.

Basics of Mixology: Training

PAMA_bottleToday’s post is sponsored by PAMA liqueur.  Follow @PAMAPros on Twitter!

Go to most bars in any city, doesn’t matter if it’s New York, New Orleans or San Francisco. Chat up the bartender and ask them what kind of training they got when they were starting out.  Nine times out of ten, they will usually laugh and say, “none”.  It amazes me that a lot of bartenders who have been working for years, still get by with a minimal amount of knowledge and training  It doesn’t have to be that way.  There are several well-respected programs and organizations available to bartenders which will both increase their knowledge and understanding behind the flavor profiles of mixology; but also their skill behind the stick.  Better drinks mean better tips and returning customers.

I was lucky that my early efforts in bartending were helped by some of the luminaries in the cocktail world. Not only did I do a lot of reading, studying and practicing on my own, but over the years I’ve had the opportunity to learn from experts like Paul Pacult, Steve Olson, David Wondrich, Doug Frost and Andy Seymour from the B.A.R. (Beverage Alcohol Resource). Each brings years of practical experience, knowledge and insight into the world of spirits and mixology.  Without them, I would most likely not have started Good Spirits News or made my interest in the world of cocktails more than just a passing hobby.

Each year, PAMA recognizes the importance of learning in the field of spirits, liqueurs and mixology by sending three exceptional bartenders to the intensive five-day B.A.R. program in New York City which enables them to achieve the coveted B.A.R. diploma.  This year Chad Arnholt (Trick Dog, San Francisco), Joy Richard (Citizen Public House/Franklin Restaurant Group, Boston) and Pamela Wiznitzer (The Dead Rabbit, New York) all benefited from the 40 hour course.

In addition, PAMA holds an annual competition open to all professional bartenders which this year will be judged by B.A.R.’s Paul Pacult and Steve Olson, along with Clover Club and Pegu Club’s Julie Reiner, The Butterfly’s Eben Freeman and Heaven Hill Distillery’s Director of Marketing, Kate Shapira Latts.  You can enter your original PAMA cocktail here.

In the autumn of 2012 PAMA held the first Pamalympics in NYC where Josh Perez of Booker & Dax took home the gold medal. The recipe for his winning cocktail is below*.  As well, starting this month PAMA will debut a series of themed events entitled the Bar Star Media Series which will take place in major cities around the country. PAMA also regularly sponsors several cocktail events around the country including the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail, Kentucky’s Camp Runamok and regional USBG (United States Bartenders Guild) Monthly Mixers.

It’s clear that PAMA actively supports the bartending community.  Reason enough to raise a glass to their ongoing commitment to helping bartenders bring their “A” game to their customers.  Cheers!

PAMA-Cho-Bana
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Honey
1 oz. Chobani Greek Yogurt, whipped
Finely Ground Fennel, for garnish

Directions: Stir PAMA, bourbon and honey in a mixing glass with ice for approximately 15-20 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Float whipped Chobani Greek Yogurt on top and garnish with a dash of finely ground fennel.

Josh Perez in action

Josh Perez in action

Basics of Mixology: Grenadine

PAMA_bottleToday’s post is sponsored by PAMA liqueur.  Follow @PAMAPros on Twitter!

These days, customers expect that their cocktails will be made with fresh citrus, high quality spirits, and often hand-crafted syrups, bitters and mixers.  So, when it comes to choosing what you put in your cocktails, it makes sense to go the extra mile and use all-natural ingredients whenever possible.

Pomegranate is a flavor that has been used in cocktails for over a century, although many bartenders many not know it.  Pomegranate syrup is more commonly known as grenadine. The use of grenadine in cocktails dates back to the 1890’s, starting as a substitute for raspberry syrup, and by the 1920’s took over from its berry cousin entirely.  Classics such as the Jack Rose, the Bacardi Cocktail and often the Clover Club, utilize grenadine.  One particular favorite of mine, The Hurricane, calls for grenadine, but very few bars actually include it in their recipes.

Even NOLA’s Pat O’Brien’s which debuted the drink in the 1940’s no longer makes the Hurricane from scratch, but instead uses a powdered drink mix.  The most authentic you can find today in the French Quarter is served at the oldest bar, Lafitte’s.  They use real pomegranate syrup. The difference is discernible.

Traditionally, grenadine (from the word grenade, which looks a lot like a pomegranate) gives cocktails a red color, a slightly tart and fruity flavor, as well as adding some sweetness from the sugar.  However, most grenadine syrups on the market today don’t even use real pomegranate juice in their product. One look at the ingredients listed on a typical bottle found in your local grocery store will reveal that it is usually a conglomeration of corn syrup, artificial flavor and color with an unappetizingly named preservative.

Several years ago, I made the switch to making my own grenadine from fresh fruit and Demerara sugar.  When PAMA was introduced in 2006, I quickly became a convert to the liqueur when I discovered that mixing a 50/50 blend of homemade grenadine syrup and PAMA gave my drinks extra texture, depth of flavor and rich pomegranate character. PAMA is all natural, made with California pomegranate juice in addition to a blend of vodka and tequila to bring it up to 34 proof and keep it stable.

As autumn approaches, I feel that a fruit based cocktail is a perfect way to transition from one season to another.  Below is a recipe for Sangria that is all-natural and includes PAMA to give it some extra pizzazz.

PAMA Sangria5c5b752dc7d3e0cd992573daca4b711e
Glass: White Wine
Garnish: Apple Slice, Orange Wheel, Pomegranate Seeds

Ingredients:
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz. Brandy (I recommend a VSOP cognac)
3 oz. White Wine (I prefer a Pinot Grigio)
1/2 oz. Triple Sec (Cointreau is recommended)
1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
club soda

Method: Combine all ingredients except club soda and wine in a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into glass filled with ice and wine. Top with club soda and garnish.

GSN Update: The Barrel Aged Cocktail Project 1.2

one liter black barrelIt’s been almost seven weeks since I laid a batch of Negronis and Manhattans to rest in Deep South oak barrels.  The target of 58 days is soon approaching.  Tasting each one now, here are my thought on how they are progressing.

Manhattan: The wood has lent a smokiness to the flavor that is quite intriguing.  This is almost ready for use.  I think a few more weeks will smooth out the few remaining rough edges.  Next time, I think I’ll try using a higher end vermouth and see what happens. (see my previous post about what brands I used).

Negroni: I am amazed at how smooth it has become.  Really almost buttery in mouthfeel.  The flavor is excellent and the balance of sweet, dry and herbal has become a cohesive whole.  I might pull this from the barrel in the next week and use it as is.

Overall, it is clear that barrel aging affects the overall character of each cocktail in a positive way.  I’m already thinking of future cocktails that will benefit from this process.

Cheers!

GSN Update: The Barrel Aged Cocktail Project 1.1

phpThumb.phpOne month ago today, I began my first experiment in aging cocktails with two one-liter oak casks sent to me by Deep South Barrels.  I’ve not done much with them since, other than rotating them once a week, and admiring their look on my bar.  But, today, I pulled samples from each and gauged how they are coming along.

The first is a Negroni using Aviation Gin, Campari, and Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth. The other is a Manhattan using Rittenhouse Rye, Cinzano Sweet Vermouth, and Angostura bitters.

The Manhattan shows definite signs of wood aging, especially in conjunction with the rye.  It’s quite spicy, but balanced by an almost fruity sweetness in the vermouth.  It’s coming along, but not quite there yet.  I’ll check back in a few weeks.

The Negroni is quite smooth and amazingly balanced considering there’s no dilution.  The Campari has been tempered by the oak, and the gin has a lovely creaminess.  I could drink this now, but I know that it will just continue to get better.

Overall, I am happy with the results and will continue to keep you updated with my progress.

Cheers!

Basics of Mixology: Balance

One of my life mottos is “Balance in everything”.  For awhile I even contemplated getting the word tattooed in kanji on my arm.  That hasn’t happened, but I still look for balance.  Especially in cocktails.

As with food, balance in cocktails should be one of the benchmarks when creating something that a customer or yourself will enjoy experiencing.  There really isn’t much of an excuse for making a drink that is unbalanced.  All it takes is learning the individual flavor profiles of each ingredient that you’ll be using.  It’s a simple formula, that allows you to create something on the fly, that will taste good.  There are certain ratios that work most of the time.  A balance of sweet, sour, strong and weak along with the ubiquitous umami tends to be the golden mean of mixology.

Think of the classic cocktails that have been around for over a century.  The daiquiri, the Manhattan, the martini; all are triads of a balance of ingredients tempered by the addition of water.  Even creating homemade sour mix calls for balance.  The right ratio of citrus to sugar ensures a proper flavor.  When creating a cocktail from scratch, start with your base ingredient, and then add less of the secondary ingredient than you think will work.  If it needs more, you can always add it in; but like a food recipe, if you add too much salt or pepper at the beginning, it’s inedible.  This is a trick that I’ve learned over the years.  Taste your creation and see how the addition of just a quarter ounce affects the overall balance between flavors. Balance can be achieved through a few key points which if you remember them will serve your bar well.

1) The ingredients should form a cohesive whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
2) No one ingredient should stand out as being different enough to grab your attention.
3) Avoid extremes.  i.e. – really sour, really sweet, really smokey, really salty, etc….
4) Simple is best, but best is not always simple.
5) Taste each ingredient on its own, and then taste how it works with the other ingredients.

As this article is sponsored by PAMA liqueur, I want to mention that PAMA works wonders in cocktails calling for grenadine.  Most commercial grenadines are good for throwing in the trash, to be honest.  Artificial flavor, color and the inevitable corn syrup are what most people are familiar with.  Plus, they’re incredibly sweet and don’t add the tartness that real pomegranate would.  PAMA has a natural flavor which is balanced between sweet and sour, along with a subtle alcohol kick.  Be aware that when using PAMA as a substitute for grenadine in a recipe, that you will use less than is called for, due to it’s slightly tart quality.  But, this in itself is a plus; giving the drink an edge that moves beyond the sickly sweet drinks that so many bars seem to dole out.

In the end, balance is the mark of a not merely a quaffable beverage, but one that is truly luscious and noteworthy.  Best of luck with your next original creation!  In the meantime, check out this cocktail courtesy of Eben Freeman.

103929369Marie Antoinette
Glass: Glass Flute
Garnish: Cherry

Ingredients:
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz. Gin
1 oz. Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
Champagne

Method: Combine all ingredients except Champagne in a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled glass and top with Champagne.

Basics of Mixology: Versatility

Just as in any aspect of life, the more versatile you are, the better your chances of success.  The same thing applies to mixology, and by extension creating great cocktails.  You don’t need to own a lot of complicated tools, or even a back bar’s worth of liquor to be able to make innovative and tasty drinks at home.

Think about the base spirits you’re familiar with.  These are generally broken down into the following styles: brandies, whiskies, rums, gins, vodkas and tequilas.  90% of the cocktails you’ve ever had or will make call for one of these spirits.  Iconic drinks using these include the Sidecar (cognac), Manhattan (bourbon or rye), Daiquiri (white rum), Martini (London dry gin), Moscow Mule (Russian vodka), and Margarita (blanco tequila).

One thing to realize is that each of these drinks only use three ingredients.  Usually a base spirit, a modifier (usually a sweetener like a liqueur or simple syrup, sometimes an aperitif), and a souring agent (juice) or bitters.  I’ve previously discussed the use of modifiers here.  But, to talk just a bit more about modifiers; they generally work well with any base spirit, as long as they are used in the right proportion.  Which is why you should always measure your ingredients using a jigger or similar measuring device.  You can free pour all you want, but it’s doubtful that your drinks will come out exactly the same every time.

In any case, try the following experiment.  Mix the same drink using different ratios.  For example, try stirring a martini with gin and vermouth using a 3-1 ratio, a 2-1 ratio and a 1-1 ratio.  Then taste each one.  You can see how various flavors within the ingredients either blend or tend to dominate the overall profile.  Now try adding one dash, two dashes and three dashes of orange bitters to each drink, then stir.  Taste again.  The bitters will bring a larger cohesiveness to the cocktail in varying degrees depending on how much you use.  Now consider that just these three ingredients: gin, vermouth and bitters contain dozens of flavenoids from the infusions of various herbs and spices.  Even a relatively simple drink like the martini becomes rather complex flavor-wise.

This article’s sponsor is PAMA liqueur.  What is particularly interesting about PAMA is that it works well with all of the base spirits mentioned above.  Having a sweet and tart flavor, it never overwhelms a drink, but rather lifts and enhances it when used in the correct ratio. Experiment #2 is to try and use PAMA as a 4th ingredient in some of your favorite cocktails and see what happens.  Start out using a 1/4 ounce, and then add another 1/4 ounce if you feel the pomegranate flavor is still buried.  You can create new and interesting variations on the classics at any time in this way.  To get you started, here’s a recipe that has a tiki/faux tropical profile.

Cheers!

A Bird in the Hand (Recipe by Eben Freeman, courtesy of PAMA)
Glass: Tiki Mug
Garnish: Pineapple Leaf, Cherry, and Orange Wheel
Ingredients:
1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz. Spiced Rum
½ oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Lime Juice
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
Dash Simple Syrup

Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into mug, fill with crushed ice, stir, and top with more crushed ice.

Basics of Mixology: Texture

Early pioneering mixologists knew that great cocktails were more than just a collection of sweet, sour, strong and weak elements.  They used a holistic approach to their drink making, which included visuals (the Blue Blazer is a great example), scent (fresh-cut citrus peel sprays the surface with oils) and texture (the inclusion of egg white).  This time around we’re going to focus on texture.

Unfortunately, most bartenders ignore this important aspect of cocktails.  Martinis are shaken, Old-Fashioneds are a muddled mess of fruit and soda water, and Margaritas come out of a sour-mix slush machine.  I suppose one could argue that these relatively recent changes to the classics are what people expect when they order one from the bar.  But, these are not how they were originally intended to be made, nor are they improvements by any standard.

The texture of a drink means that it has a pleasantly smooth character and that it visually appears to have an elegant and somewhat sexy appearance.  Think of satin, and visualize how it feels in your hand.  Texture in a cocktail does much the same thing.

With PAMA liqueur, many drinks can achieve a smoothness which incorporates all of the above aspects in a cocktail.  Visually, it is a rich, and luscious garnet color.  The olfactory response is mouth-watering due to its intense fruit nose.  The tannins in the juice bring a perceived dryness (similar to what you find in dry red wines) creating a natural mouth-watering response, which in turn gives the drink extra texture.  But, most of all, the blend of pomegranate juice and spirits has a sleek and smooth texture which translates into the glass as pure sophistication and luxury.

Try the recipe below and see what I mean.  Make sure you use a good Cognac and not a brandy.  It makes all the difference.

50/50 Proposition
Glass: Snifter
Garnish: Dash Orange Bitters (I recommend Bitter Truth)
Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 1/2 oz. Cognac
Method: Combine all ingredients in a chilled mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 40 seconds. Strain into chilled snifter set with 1 large ice-cube.

For more recipes, click on the PAMA ad on the right of Good Spirits News.

Basics of Mixology: Modifiers

The craft of mixology is one akin to many popular card games.  Easy to learn, difficult to master.  If it were easy, we’d win every custom cocktail contest and make a name for ourselves in no time.   But, there really are just a few basics which everyone should know and understand when creating an original cocktail.   Let’s start with the ingredients.  Almost all cocktails can be broken down into three magic parts: 1) a base spirit, 2) a modifier, and 3) a visual or flavor enhancer, often both.

Base spirits are the easy part.  What will you use as the foundation of your cocktail?  In general you have brandies, whiskies, rums, gins, vodkas and agave based spirits.  The next step is choosing what to add to it.  This is called “The Modifier” or in simpler terms, what makes a cocktail, a cocktail.  If you were to take a base spirit and shake it with ice, then strain it into a cocktail glass and serve it; you would not have made a cocktail.  A modifier takes what you’re already working with, adds to and enhances it, until you have something more interesting and marvelous than either ingredient on it’s own.  A modifier not only takes the edge off an 80 proof spirit, but clarifies the character of the spirit in the same way spices work in cooking.  You can add additional modifiers, bitters, colored liqueurs, creams, herbs or what have you.  The first modifier is really what starts the whole ball rolling.

As this post has been sponsored by the good folks at PAMA liqueur, I’d like to focus on their product as a suggested modifier to work with this month.  I’ve been using PAMA myself for several years now and have recommended it to many people as a high quality and quite useful product.  Unlike many grenadine syrups you’ll find on the market, PAMA actually uses real pomegranates with a color and flavor both natural and enticing.  It’s also 34 proof, which adds a depth and richness to a cocktail, and also boosts the overall quality of the finished product. I often use a 50/50 mix of a real grenadine syrup (which is quite sweet) and PAMA (which has a bright, tart quality) to any cocktail calling for grenadine.

If your customers are looking for something which goes beyond the usual cloying sweetness of a Tequila Sunrise for instance, try using my 50/50 ratio and see what they say.  Watch for their facial reaction also.  It’s sure to start an interesting dialogue.  It also works especially well in the classic Jack Rose cocktail.

If you want to experiment even further, try using PAMA as an alternative to the usual citrus juice/simple syrup blend found in a sour mix or fruit based liqueur such as triple sec.  Remember, Pama is less sweet and more tart than most liqueurs, so you may want to begin by using a different amount than the recipe states.  The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination!  Have fun, and keep mixing!

Here’s a new cocktail for you to try, courtesy of PAMA:

PAMA & Rye
Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Orange Wheel
Ingredients:
1 oz. PAMA
1 oz. High Proof Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice

Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker.  Add ice and shake vigorously.  Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish.