Just a few summer books to be on the lookout for in the next three months. Make yourself a drink and read a book. Pretend you’re on vacation.
Botany at the Bar: The Art and Science of Making Bitters by Selena Ahmed, Ashley Duval, et al. Roost Books (July 2, 2019) Not only are bitters the backbone to every great cocktail, these plant-packed elixirs have long been used to support health and well-being, add flavor, and stimulate the senses. Take a trip around the world with ingredients like saffron, grapefruit, hibiscus, and lemongrass and then bring them home to your kitchen. Be your own alchemist and mixologist, with recipes for creating bitters, syrups, shrubs, and cocktails. With these unique flavor combinations of spices, roots, fruits, and flowers, your drinks will never be the same.
How the Gringos Stole Tequila: The Modern Age of Mexico’s Most Traditional Spirit by Chantal Martineau Trinity University Press (July 9, 2019) Once little more than party fuel, tequila has graduated to the status of fine sipping spirit. How the Gringos Stole Tequila traces the spirit’s evolution in America from frat-house firewater to luxury good. But there’s more to the story than tequila as upmarket drinking trend. Chantal Martineau spent several years immersing herself in the world of tequila–traveling to visit distillers and agave farmers in Mexico, meeting and tasting with leading experts and mixologists around the United States, and interviewing academics on either side of the border who have studied the spirit. The result is a book that offers readers a glimpse into the social history and ongoing impact of this one-of-a-kind drink. It addresses issues surrounding the sustainability of the limited resource that is agave, the preservation of traditional production methods, and the agave advocacy movement that has grown up alongside the spirit’s swelling popularity. In addition to discussing the culture and politics of Mexico’s most popular export, the book takes readers on a colorful tour of the country’s Tequila Trail, as well as introducing them to the mother of tequila: mezcal.
Flask: 41 Portable Cocktails to Drink Anywhere by Sarah Baird Chronicle Books (July 23, 2019) A compilation of portable drinks, Flask comprises 41 classic and contemporary cocktail recipes that can be transported anywhere. From imbibing in the great outdoors to ringing in the New Year, the book offers recipes for all of life’s greatest moments. Bold, vivid infographics detail drink recipes for 6- and 17-ounce flasks, perfect for sipping solo or sharing with friends. Accessible and fun, the book includes a brief history of flasks, common dos and don’ts, and an interactive quiz, all within a sleek, handsome package featuring a die-cut window and bright silver foil endpapers.
All Day Cocktails: Low (And No) Alcohol Magic by Shaun Byrne & Nick Tesar Hardie Grant (August 20, 2019) Celebrating seasonal ingredients, and with a focus on sustainability, All Day Cocktails showcases nearly fifty varieties of citrus, berries, tropical fruits, stone fruits, pome fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts. Each variety features a versatile prep recipe that can extend into your cocktails and beyond, meaning All Day Cocktails is much more than your average cocktail book. All Day Cocktails brings you ninety cocktail recipes + fifty prep recipes, including: bitters, caramels, cordials, coulis, granitas, honeys, jams, jellies, juices, kefirs, liqueurs, sherbets, shrubs, syrups, tisanes and vinegars.
Cocktails with a Twist: 21 Classic Recipes. 141 Great Cocktails by Kara Newman Chronicle Books (August 27, 2019) For anyone looking to expand their palate and discover a new favorite go-to drink, this inventive cocktail book is just the thing. Each chapter is based on a classic (like the Manhattan), but inside the unique gatefolds, readers will discover numerous riffs (like swapping Irish whiskey for rye to make a Blackthorn, or substituting amaro for vermouth to make a Black Manhattan). More than 100 variations on 21 modern classic cocktail recipes are accompanied by helpful tips on keeping a well-stocked bar, garnishing drinks, and throwing a party. With bold coloring and a foil cover, Cocktails with a Twist is a handsome addition to any home bar. And with 21 gatefolds, with classic recipes and intriguing variants, this is a cocktail book unlike any other.
Gin Galore: A Journey to the Source of Scotland’s Gin by Sean Murphy & Alison Soye Black & White Publishing (September 1, 2019) With a stellar cast of 50 unique gins, this book explores the boutique tipples reinvigorating the landscapes of Scottish gin. Gin can be relatively simply produced, which enables craft gin distilleries across Scotland to create a refreshing range of boutique products, many of which are making some seriously big waves around the world. Did you know, for example, that a Scottish gin has recently been crowned the “World’s Strongest Gin”—taking the title from a Swedish distillery? There’s no better time to be a gin fan, to get to know Scottish gin and the intriguing stories behind it. This guide will make the perfect companion for gin lovers around the world, as well as gin-loving tourist visitors to Scotland.
The Good Reverend’s Guide to Infused Spirits: Alchemical Cocktails, Healing Elixirs, and Cleansing Solutions for the Home and Bar by Steven Grasse, Sonia Kurtz & Michael Alan Skyhorse (September 3, 2019) A bottle of rectified alcohol, like The Good Reverend’s Universal Spirit from Tamworth Distilling, is a bottle of possibilities. In these pages, you’ll discover over 100 recipes for infusions, tinctures, cocktails, cordials, elixirs, punches, and even household cleaners. This handbook will teach you to replicate famous liqueurs and classic cocktails, and help you prepare perfect garnishes and celebratory toasts. With step-by-step instructions and photos, you’ll learn processes culinary, scientific, and alchemical to improve everything from your parties to your health. You’ll learn the processes of osmosis and dissolution that create the perfect infusions. You’ll be given the secrets to prep for guests lists of 1 or 100.
Cheers to Michigan: A Celebration of Cocktail Culture and Craft Distillers by Tammy Coxen & Lester Graham UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN REGIONAL (September 3, 2019) Cheers to Michigan is a toast to cocktail culture in the Mitten and the state’s flourishing craft cocktail and distillery movements. Based on Cheers!, Lester Graham and Tammy Coxen’s popular cocktail segment on Michigan Radio (NPR), this book gathers forty-five of the authors’ favorite cocktail recipes celebrating the Great Lakes State—its history, its people, its culture, even its weather! Throughout, the authors mix in dashes of Michigan’s fascinating drinking history, entertaining profiles of award-winning cocktail bars, distilleries, and individual spirits from the region, as well as helpful tidbits for preparing top-shelf cocktails on your own. Learn how to mix a Bullshot, the Detroit-born cocktail containing Campbell’s Beef Broth—Marilyn Monroe famously called the drink “a horrible thing to do to vodka.” Or try out the authors’ Whiskey Sour recipe honoring the true story of Valentine Goesaert, a Dearborn woman who challenged the constitutionality of a Michigan law prohibiting female bartenders and in 1948 took her case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Whether you’re a fan of whiskey, gin, or vodka—of the latest cocktail trends or all-time classic drinks—there’s something in this book for all tastes. What’s constant is that each drink showcases a uniquely Michigan twist, making this book perfect for anyone who loves the state, its history and culture, or simply the delicious, delightful, and distinctive cocktails it has inspired.
Spritz Fever!: Sixty Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails by Elouise Anders & Sarah Hankinson Smith Street Books (September 3, 2019) The 60 spritz recipes in Spritz Fever! are in the cocktail style of the decade. Seeing as most spritzes are low(ish) in ABV (well, certainly lower than wine, anyway), they’re the ideal companion for any day-drinking event. Plus, as most Instagram feeds can attest, spritzes aren’t just a drink…they’re a lifestyle. These bubbly wonders speak to a careless Italian summer spent reclining by the beach in fine and flowing linen. What can be so easy to forget is that spritzes are so much more than just Aperol and bubbles. In this book, you’ll learn about the classic European liqueurs, like Cynar, Campari, Luxardo Bitter, Meletti, and more. Moreover, you’ll discover the nuances between prosecco, cava, and champagne can create different textures as the bubbles in each effervesce uniquely. Plus, read up on how citrus garnishes must be matched appropriately to each drink’s flavor profile and, of course, color. Above all, the perfect ratio of liqueur-to-bubbles changes for each recipe. Spritz Fever! explains all of this, alongside its dreamy illustrations.
The Martini Cocktail: A Meditation on the World’s Greatest Drink, with Recipes by Robert Simonson Ten Speed Press (September 17, 2019) The first book in decades to celebrate and explore the history of the most iconic of classic cocktails, the martini, with 50 recipes. A classic martini includes gin, vermouth, sometimes bitters, a lemon twist or olive, and lots of opinions–it’s these opinions that New York Times cocktail writer Robert Simonson uncovers in his exploration of the long and tangled history of the classic martini and its subtle variations. The book features examples of age-old recipes, such as the first martini recipe published in 1888, modern versions created by some of the world’s best bartenders, and martinis sought out by enthusiasts around the world, from Dukes Bar at the Dukes Hotel London to Musso and Frank Grill in Los Angeles. In The Martini Cocktail, you’ll discover everything you need to know about what components make a great martini, as well as a collection of 50 recipes to create your own drinks (and form your own opinions) at home.
Gather Around Cocktails: Drinks to Celebrate Usual and Unusual Holidays by Aaron Goldfarb Dovetail (September 24, 2019) Gather Around Cocktails is a collection of 45 recipes that take you through a year of holidays and other unexpected occasions to celebrate with friends and family. Included are refreshing twists on classics like Christmas nogs, mulled wines, and New Year’s Eve and Day tipples, as well as cocktails for delightful new festivities: easy apres ski drinks, a batched Superbowl spritz, and a romantic Valentine’s Day cocktail for two. Complete with tips on creative ways to serve your guests–from a self-serve Bloody Mary bar to a champagne tower–making drinks for two or 100 has never been easier.