GSN presents our quarterly seasonal roundup of recommend spiritous books. If you’re beginning Dry January, you will find some ideas here, as well as some that call for fresh springtime ingredients from the garden, along with some foodstuffs from iconic Brooklyn bars (that hopefully will still be in business after the pandemic ends). Enjoy!
The Low-Proof Happy Hour: Real Cocktails Without the Hangover by Jules Aron Countryman Press (January 5, 2021) If your cocktail hour usually includes a martini or a manhattan, you may equate lower alcohol options with a dreaded light beer. But it doesn’t need to be that way! In this revolutionary new book, Jules Aron reveals the secret behind low-proof libations that satisfy all your senses without knocking you off your feet. By building your drinks with a delicious array of lower-proof alcohols, such as amari, sherry, herbal liqueurs, and shochu, you’ll balance out the high-proof components like gin and tequila. These tricks can also apply to traditionally lighter drinks, too. Aron embraces garden-to-glass trends with spice-infused vodka, sweet-and-sour shrubs, and other, more health-conscious drinks.
Zero Proof Drinks and More: 100 Recipes for Mocktails and Low-Alcohol Cocktails by Maureen Petrosky Robert Rose (January 15, 2021) Zero Proof Drinks and More offers delicious and mindful drinks for every guest and every occasion. Maureen Petrosky, an Entertaining and Lifestyle Expert who appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show and hosts multiple video series on Today.com, shares over 100 no-alcohol and low-alcohol recipes for cocktails, spritzers, ciders, coffees, shandys and radlers, and a whole lot more. 52 percent of Americans who drink alcohol report that they are actively trying to cut back. The choice for no- and low-alcohol drinking is as individual as the drinks themselves: health concerns; calorie reduction; religion; cultural trends; pregnancy… Zero Proof Drinks and More has the perfect flavor for every palate along with easy tips and tricks for creating the perfect on trend drink. Mindful drinking is no longer relegated to Dry January — this is now a year-round trend.
Distilling Whiskey: Your DIY Guide to Producing, Aging and Tasting Whisky & Bourbon by Wade Westbay Green (January 30, 2021) This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about distilling, from mashing your rye to fermentation and stills to aging ‘the water of life’. Become a craftsman and impress your friends’ taste buds. The book covers every step from picking ingredients to tasting and even mixing your self-made whiskey. Crafting your own Whiskey will save you tons of money, allow you to experiment with the best flavors, and get you gallons of gold. Learn how to make the perfect whiskey from Wade Westbay, an experienced distiller based in Minnesota. With this book, he brings over 12 years of distilling experience right to your hands. Get to know the insider secrets of crafting whiskey with just one click. This book covers every step along the way of both the process and after in detail. Understand what is happening in the still, the barrel, and how a perfect whiskey triggers your taste buds. Get inspired, creative, and make your own. Step into the art of distilling that will teach you a respected and sought-after skill set.
Gin O’clock: A Year of Ginspiration by Craft Gin Club HarperCollins (February 2, 2021) Whether you are a gin aficionado or simply gin-curious, this book from the experts at Craft Gin Club contains everything you’ll ever need to know about the juniper spirit. With recipes for refreshing ice-cold punches through to warming winter serves, marinated main courses to delicious desserts, Gin O’Clock proves it’s always a good time for gin, no matter the season. Packed with tips including: Hosting the perfect gin-tasting, Growing your own garnishes, Making simple syrups, and Creating your own gin truffles.
The Wildcrafted Cocktail: Make Your Own Foraged Syrups, Bitters, Infusions, and Garnishes; Includes Recipes for 45 One-of-a-Kind Mixed Drinks by Ellen Zachos Storey Publishing, LLC (February 16, 2021) Meet the natural lovechild of the popular local-foods movement and craft cocktail scene. It’s here to show you just how easy it is to make delicious, one-of-a-kind mixed drinks with common flowers, berries, roots, and leaves that you can find along roadsides or in your backyard. Foraging expert Ellen Zachos gets the party started with recipes for more than 50 garnishes, syrups, infusions, juices, and bitters, including Quick Pickled Daylily Buds, Rose Hip Syrup, and Chanterelle-infused Rum. You’ll then incorporate your handcrafted components into 45 surprising and delightful cocktails, such as Stinger in the Rye, Don’t Sass Me, and Tree-tini.
Cocktails, Mocktails, and Garnishes from the Garden: Recipes for Beautiful Beverages with a Botanical Twist (Unique Craft Cocktails) by Katie Stryjewski Yellow Pear Press (February 16, 2021) Step inside a bartender’s apothecary, forage for garnishes, and craft some of the most popular cocktails, mocktails, and beverages. This beautifully photographed compendium of craft cocktails includes examples of garnishes and interesting ingredients to give any drink a botanical twist. Creating your very own herb bar and garnish garden for craft cocktails. A cocktail recipe book from the wild; Cocktails, Mocktails and Garnishes from the Garden features examples of garnishes and general know-how. With a reference guide of herbal and floral flavors that complement different spirits, and details about what to plant and how to grow your very own herb bar, readers craft cocktail recipes alongside nature.
American Cider: A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage by Dan Pucci & Craig Cavallo Ballantine Books (March 2, 2021) Cider today runs the gamut from sweet to dry, smooth to funky, made from apples and sometimes joined by other fruits—and even hopped like beer. In American Cider, aficionados Dan Pucci and Craig Cavallo give a new wave of consumers the tools to taste, talk about, and choose their ciders, along with stories of the many local heroes saving apple culture and producing new varieties. Like wine made from well-known grapes, ciders differ based on the apples they’re made from and where and how those apples were grown. Combining the tasting tools of wine and beer, the authors illuminate the possibilities of this light, flavorful, naturally gluten-free beverage. And cider is more than just its taste—it’s also historical, as the nation’s first popular alcoholic beverage, made from apples brought across the Atlantic from England. Pucci and Cavallo use a region-by-region approach to illustrate how cider and the apples that make it came to be, from the well-known tale of Johnny Appleseed—which isn’t quite what we thought—to the more surprising effects of industrial development and government policies that benefited white men. American Cider is a guide to enjoying cider, but even more so, it is a guide to being part of a community of consumers, farmers, and fermenters making the nation’s oldest beverage its newest must-try drink.
Brooklyn Bar Bites: Great Dishes and Cocktails from New York’s Food Mecca by Barbara Scott-Goodman & Jennifer May Rizzoli Universe Promotional Books (March 9, 2021) Brooklyn continues to be a food mecca known for its innovative restaurants and bars, drawing tourists and locals alike. Although several cookbooks have featured Brooklyn eateries, none have focused exclusively on the innovative bar scene. Food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman discovers amazing spots in her hometown of Brooklyn and presents their unique recipes for serving creative cocktails and artisanal beers, accompanied by small dishes. In this informative cookbook, well-known food writer Scott-Goodman celebrates Brooklyn’s happening bar culture–from the mixologists who craft classic and original cocktails, to the talented chefs who create delicious dishes made with fresh-from-the-market ingredients to accompany the drinks. Featured are over 110 recipes for cocktails, delectable snacks, sandwiches, and small plates. Their range of flavors is vast and extremely appealing for today’s urbane palate.
Negroni: More than 30 classic and modern recipes for Italy’s iconic cocktail by David T Smith & Keli Rivers Ryland Peters & Small (March 9, 2021) The Negroni has been a favorite with discerning cocktail drinkers for over a century but has perhaps never been as popular as it is today. What started off as a simple, equal-parts, three-ingredient cocktail (campari, gin, vermouth) has become a global sensation. Included here are recipes for classic Negronis from straight-up over ice to a sparkling aperitivo spritz. This basic formula is then played with in endless ways with Negronis designed for different seasons; bright and citrusy summer versions; cozier, spiced winter drinks; and celebratory cocktails for special occasions. These exciting variations make use of both dry, sweet, and aged vermouths, along with ports and sherries, and some truly experimental non-gin negronis (made using bourbon, rum or even mezcal) really open up the playing field.
Schumann’s Whisk(e)y Lexicon by Stefan Gabányi Rizzoli (March 16, 2021) A completely updated new edition of the classic guide to the whiskeys of the world by the whiskey expert from Charles Schumann’s famed Schumann’s bar in Munich. Featuring over a thousand entries, this handbook discusses the world’s leading and lesser-known whiskeys, making it an ideal source for the aficionado and the budding novice alike. Every traditional type of whiskey is included: Scotch single malt, blends, vatted malts, single grains, and Irish, as well as those from the new world (bourbon, rye, and Canadian). The book also takes a serious look at trendy new whiskeys emerging from Japan and continental Europe and explores how unique flavors are created through variations of ingredients, distilling techniques, and aging. Organized alphabetically in the style of a dictionary, the volume is rounded out with additional advice on serving, collecting, and storage. Every manner and nuance of whiskey is discussed between the book’s elegant covers.
Cocktails of the Movies: An Illustrated Guide to Cinematic Mixology New Expanded Edition by Will Francis & Stacey Marsh Prestel; Illustrated edition (March 16, 2021) Now available in a new expanded and updated edition, Cocktails of the Movies serves up the 72 greatest cocktails to have featured on film. Take a journey through Hollywood’s lifelong love affair with cocktails, celebrating the greatest characters and their iconic drinks through original illustrations and easy-to-follow recipes. From Marilyn’s Manhattan in Some Like It Hot to The Dude’s White Russian in The Big Lebowski, there’s something for everyone. Each cocktail is accompanied by the recipe, method, a history of the drink and a synopsis of its scene in the movie alongside full-color original artwork.
The Infused Cocktail Handbook: The Essential Guide to Homemade Blends and Infusions by Kurt Maitland Cider Mill Press (March 16, 2021) Pump up the flavors of spirits and mixers with The Infused Cocktail Handbook, the essential guide to homemade blends and infusions. The illustrated recipes explain which ingredients go best when infusing vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, rum, and sherry and cover a range of globetrotting flavor profiles, from Earl Gray tea to lemongrass, cardamom, and walnuts, as well as gummy bears and bacon. With The Infused Cocktail Handbook not only will you know how to make your very own signature cocktails, you’ll save money doing it.
Tokyo Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of Over 100 Recipes Inspired by the Eastern Capital by Nicholas Coldicott Cider Mill Press (March 30, 2021) With over 13.5 million residents squeezed in to 845 square miles, Tokyo stands as one of the world’s most beguiling cities. On the surface it appears to be nothing but towering buildings and glaring lights. But once you get to know the city, its 23 wards reveal hidden alleyways, along many of which you can find singular drinking establishments. Tokyo Cocktails takes you inside the city’s best bars and introduces you to bartenders and mixologists conjuring up drinks that reflect the city’s essence, namely how thousands of years of tradition fuse with myriad contemporary influences. Featuring over 100 recipes that honor and reinvent classics and make the best of local ingredients, this book is the ideal cocktail enthusiast’s guide to drinking like a local, whether you’re making a trip to Tokyo or staying at home and simply wishing you were there.
The Artisanal Kitchen: Summer Cocktails: Refreshing Margaritas, Mimosas, and Daiquiris―and the World’s Best Gin and Tonic by Nick Mautone Artisan (March 30, 2021) Summer Cocktails is the newest addition to the Artisanal Kitchen series, adapted from Raising the Bar (Artisan, 2004) by master mixologist Nick Mautone. This is a handy guide to summer beverages, with information on everything from how to mix the perfect cocktails, prep drinks ahead of time, and choose the proper drinkware to how to use sorbet ice cubes for a burst of flavor and how to turn cocktails into punches for a larger crowd. It’s packed with easy‑to‑follow recipes for warm-weather favorites, including the mimosa and Tom Collins, as well as classics with a twist (think Pineapple Slings), icy drinks (Frozen Mango Smash), nonalcoholic options (Faux Margaritas), and so much more. Both home and professional mixologists can rely on the book for fail-proof cocktails recipes and will return to Summer Cocktails year after year for seasonal favorites.