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Posts Tagged ‘Fred Minnick’

Yes, it’s time to once again drool over all of the new boozy books coming out in the next few months. Well, don’t literally drool on them. Regardless, these libatious literary works will be bound to leave an impression on you. Ok, enough with the puns…

Whisky Rising: The Definitive Guide to the Finest Whiskies and Distillers of Japan by Stefan Van Eycken (Author), Jim Meehan (Foreword) Cider Mill Press Raise a glass to Japanese whisky! Whisky Rising is the essential reference with revolutionary new insights into the emerging world of Japanese whisky, featuring profiles on distilleries new and old (some so new, they don’t even have whisky yet!), interviews with master distillers and blenders, and reviews and tasting notes for the best of the best, plus a definitive catalog featuring all of the must-drink whiskies! Follow the whisky bar guide and learn something new from the nosing and drinking tips. Whisky Rising will give you a taste of the good stuff!

The Periodic Table of Cocktails by Emma Stokes Abrams Image The Periodic Table of Cocktails is a fun, concise, and appealingly geeky new concept to cocktail appreciation. The foundation of the book is a periodic table organized by cocktail styles (Martinis and Up, Fruity/Tropical, Highballs/Muddles, Collinses/Fizzes, etc.) and by predominant base alcohols across the chart’s rows (vodka, gin, tequila, etc.). If you like one cocktail in the table, you should enjoy all the cocktails that surround it. The book also offers the background history and make-it-yourself recipe for each of the more than 100 “elements” or cocktails. The book will be published with a companion volume, The Periodic Table of Wine.

The Craft Cocktail Compendium: Contemporary Interpretations and Inspired Twists on Time-Honored Classics by Warren Bobrow Fair Winds Press Whether you’re new to mixing drinks or have been creating your own cocktails for years, The Craft Cocktail Compendium has everything you need to know to mix, shake, or stir your way to a delicious drink. With over 200 craft cocktail recipes, expert mixologist Warren Bobrow will help you broaden your skills and excite your taste buds with unique takes on timeless favorites and recipes you’ve likely never tried before.

The Curious Bartender’s Rum Revolution by Tristan Stephenson Ryland Peters & Small The Curious Bartender’s Rum Revolution is the fifth book by bestselling author Tristan Stephenson. Explore rum’s remarkable history from its humble origins to its status as life-blood of the Royal Navy and its love affair with Cuba. Discover its darker past, with tales of devils, pirates and its reputation as the revolutionary spirit. This fabled drink is in the midst of another revolution, transforming from uninspiring grog to premium product, with aged and spiced premium varieties leading the charge. Learn about how rum is made, from the science of sugar cane and molasses to distillation and unique ageing techniques. The Rum Tour will transport you to the most exciting rum distilleries the world has to offer, with Tristan’s signature tasting notes guiding you towards the right rum at the right time. Explore the legendary Caribbean home of rum to the pioneering rum makers around the world-embracing dynamic new techniques and taking flavor to dizzy new heights. Finally, Tristan’s mixology skills will help you master jazzed-up versions of the Mai Tai and Mojito, perfect a Planter’s Punch and keep you on trend with Brazil’s famous Caipirinha and Batida cocktails, made with rum’s sister spirit, cachaça.

Rum Curious: The Indispensable Tasting Guide to the World’s Spirit by Fred Minnick Voyageur Press Once the drink of sailors and swashbuckling pirates, rum is the most versatile — and the most varied — spirit in the world. It is consumed neat as a sipping drink, on the rocks, and in a dizzying variety of cocktails like the mai tai, mojito, and pina colada. In Rum Curious, author Fred Minnick first takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the world of rum, describing its many styles; explaining the great variety of fermenting, distilling, and maturing processes; and highlighting distillers and distilleries. He then teaches the reader about tasting rum — revealing the experience offered by brands ranging from the familiar to the unusual and obscure. A final section provides recipes for classic and innovative rum cocktails from around the world. Rum Curious is the one book the reader will need to understand and appreciate rum in all its glorious variety.

Lost Recipes of Prohibition: Notes from a Bootlegger’s Manual by Matthew Rowley Countryman Press American Prohibition was far from watertight. If you knew the right people, or the right place to go, you could get a drink―most likely a variation of the real thing, made by blending smuggled, industrial alcohol or homemade moonshines with extracts, herbs, and oils to imitate the aroma and taste of familiar spirits. Most of the illegal recipes were written out by hand and secretly shared. The “lost recipes” in this book come from one such compilation, a journal hidden within an antique book of poetry, with 300 entries on making liquors, cordials, absinthe, bitters, and wine. Lost Recipes of Prohibition features more than 70 pages from this notebook, with explanations and descriptions for real and faked spirits. Readers will also find historic and modern cocktails from some of today’s leading bartenders.
Full-color illustrations throughout.

Absinthe: The Exquisite Elixir by Betina J. Wittels (Author), T.A. Breaux (Editor) Fulcrum Publishing Take an intimate look into the contemporary world of absinthe. International in scope, Absinthe: The Exquisite Elixir is a visually rich journey into an alluring subculture. Filled with color reproductions of classic and current lithographs, posters, cartoons, as well as photos of antiques, glassware, and other tools of the absinthe drinker, this new and comprehensive guide explains and illustrates the history, culture, and mystique of the drink known as the Green Fairy. The authors provide insights into the controversy and effects of the Green Fairy through the stories of famous connoisseurs, including Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso. In addition to a rich history, this detailed new guide includes recipes, reviews of existing Absinthe brands, and absinthe’s contemporary culture and ritual. Confirmed absinthe drinkers, neophytes, the curious, and collectors will all find this book equally intriguing and seductive.

 

 

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Ernest Hemingway drinking and writing at the same time. Now that’s talent!

It’s hard to believe that autumn is here already.  Time to curl up with a good book, a great drink and a thirst for knowledge. Here are some GSN recommended books to be on the lookout for this fall.

51phkdc7uxl-_ac_us160_Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey by Fred Minnick (Voyageur Press) – Bourbon is not just alcohol — this amber-colored drink is deeply ingrained in American culture and tangled in American history. From the early days of raw corn liquor to the myriad distilleries that have proliferated around the country today, bourbon has come to symbolize America. In Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, award-winning whiskey author Fred Minnick traces bourbon’s entire history, from the 1700s with Irish, Scottish, and French settlers setting up stills and making distilled spirits in the New World through today’s booming resurgence. He also lays out in expert detail the critical role this spirit has played throughout the cultural and even political history of the nation — from Congress passing whiskey-protection laws to consumers standing in long lines just for a glimpse of a rare bottle of Pappy Van Winkle — complemented by more than 100 illustrations and photos. And most importantly, Minnick explores the mystery of who most likely created the sweet corn liquor we now know as bourbon. He studies the men who’ve been championed as its inventors over time — from Daniel Boone’s cousin to Baptist minister Elijah Craig — and, based on new research and never-before-seen documentation, answers the question of who deserves the credit.

51keylluful-_ac_us160_Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press) – The European tradition of making bittersweet liqueurs–called amari in Italian–has been around for centuries. But it is only recently that these herbaceous digestifs have moved from the dusty back bar to center stage in the United States, and become a key ingredient on cocktail lists in the country’s best bars and restaurants. Lucky for us, today there is a dizzying range of amaro available—from familiar favorites like Averna and Fernet-Branca, to the growing category of regional, American-made amaro. Amaro is the first book to demystify this ever-expanding, bittersweet world, and a must-have for any home cocktail enthusiast or industry professional. Starting with a rip-roaring tour of bars, cafés, and distilleries in Italy, amaro’s spiritual home, Brad Thomas Parsons—author of the James Beard and IACP Award–winner Bitters—will open your eyes to the rich history and vibrant culture of amaro today. With more than 100 recipes for amaro-centric cocktails, DIY amaro, and even amaro-spiked desserts, you’ll be living (and drinking) la dolce vita.

51imjwjtbfl-_ac_us160_Whisky Japan: The Essential Guide to the World’s Most Exotic Whisky by Dominic Roskrow (Kodansha USA) – Japanese whisky is finally getting the international recognition it deserves. Originally created to emulate the malts of Scotland, Japanese whiskies now hold a distinct and unique place among other world-class spirits. Yet, despite having a history going back nearly a century, and winning many prestigious awards in recent years (including Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards in 2016, 2013, 2011, and 2010, and The Whisky Bible’s World Whisky of the Year in 2013), Japanese whiskies have remained enigmatic and exotic. UntiI now. In WHISKY JAPAN, the most comprehensive book on Japanese whisky ever available in English, renowned expert Dominic Roskrow reveals what makes Japanese whisky so special and sought-after by whisky connoisseurs everywhere. He introduces the companies that make Japanese whisky, and offers detailed portraits of these distilleries, explaining their complex production processes, traditions, and the new innovations that have allowed them to take on and surpass the competition. The reader is carried along on a journey to the very heart of Japanese whisky making, with extensive tasting notes for all the leading expressions, a special selection of rare Japanese treasures, profile interviews with key personalities, and over 500 beautiful photographs and illustrations. Here are the whisky makers, blenders, independent bottlers, retailers, collectors, bloggers, and bartenders. There is a lively guide to the best bars around the world in which to taste Japanese whisky, a section on whisky cocktails and food pairings, and useful travel tips on how to get to the distilleries, where to stay, what to eat, and what else there is to do in the area.

51u4ke37fzl-_ac_us160_The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes by Lou Bustamante (Weldon Owen) – Learn everything you need to know to craft the perfect cocktail—or two, or three…but who’s counting? Spirits writer and expert Lou Bustamante, in partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild, collects the best cocktail recipes, techniques, and histories in this must-have volume that has a place in every home bar. From worldwide classics to creative new combinations and packed with expert tips from bartenders across the globe, The Complete Cocktail Manual will help you stock your bar, impress your friends, and throw one hell of a party.

41qt1gqqc2l-_ac_us160_Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske & Georgette Moger-Petraske (Phaidon Press) – Regarding Cocktails is the only book from the late Sasha Petraske, the legendary bartender who changed cocktail culture with his speakeasy-style bar Milk & Honey. Here are 85 cocktail recipes from his repertoire—the beloved classics and modern variations—with stories from the bartenders he personally trained. Ingredients, measurements, and preparations are beautifully illustrated so that readers can make professional cocktails at home. Sasha’s advice for keeping the home bar, as well as his musings, are collected here to inspire a new generation of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts.

41unu560xvl-_ac_us160_The Canon Cocktail Book: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar by Jamie Boudreau & James O. Fraioli (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) – Home to the Western Hemisphere’s largest spirit collection, Seattle bar Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium has achieved unprecedented, worldwide acclaim. Named Best Bar in America by Esquire, Canon received Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards for World’s Best Drinks Selection (2013) and World’s Best Spirits Selection (2015), and Drinks International included it on their prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars list. In his debut, legendary bartender and Canon founder Jamie Boudreau offers 100 cocktail recipes ranging from riffs on the classics, like the Cobbler’s Dream and Corpse Reviver, to their lineup of original house drinks, such as the Truffled Old Fashioned and the Banksy Sour. In addition to tips, recipes, and formulas for top-notch cocktails, syrups, and infusions, Boudreau breaks down the fundamentals and challenges of opening and running a bar—from business plans to menu creation. The Canon Cocktail Book is poised to be an essential drinks manual for both the at-home cocktail enthusiast and bar industry professional.

imagesTequila Cocktails by Brian Van Flandern (Assouline) – Tequila Cocktails is the fourth in Brian Van Flandern’s series of award-winning books, centering on Casamigos Tequila by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman. This volume shines a spotlight on the title beverage: the smoothest, best-tasting tequila from their master distiller in Jalisco, Mexico, with a taste so good that adding salt or lime would be gilding the lily. The Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo varieties are truly the quintessence of Mexico’s favorite beverage. This volume includes sixty delectable recipes.

511dorr5kxl-_ac_us160_Grog: A Bottled History of Australia’s First 30 Years by Tom Gilling (Hachette Australia) – The marines on the First Fleet refused to sail without it. Convicts risked their necks to get hold of it. Rum built a hospital and sparked a revolution, made fortunes and ruined lives. In a society with few luxuries, liquor was power. It played a crucial role, not just in the lives of individuals like James Squire – the London chicken thief who became Australia’s first brewer – but in the transformation of a starving penal outpost into a prosperous trading port. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, Grog offers an intoxicating look at the first decades of European settlement and explores the origins of Australia’s fraught love affair with the hard stuff.

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511rbpaarHL._AA160_The Beer Bible by Jeff Alworth (Workman Publishing)  In spite of the massive 644 page count, this book really only represents a well rounded primer on beer.  Beer is like wine, in that there are so many varieties and styles from around the world that one book can’t contain everything.  Still, all of that taken into account, this book is an excellent introduction into finding out which beer styles you will enjoy the most.  Broken down into four sections (ales, lagers, wheat beers, and tart/wild ales), each has subsections on variations of style, highlighted breweries, recommended brands and the processes used by brewers around the globe.  The writing is easy to read, but somewhat dry.  This would make a great textbook for a college course on beer.  About the only thing I wish had been added would be short tests after each section to test the knowledge you hopefully learned.  GSN Rating: A-

518mLT5pdpL._AA160_Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker by Fred Minnick (Zenith Press)  Lord knows there are already plenty of books written about whiskies.  Not too many focus exclusively on Bourbons.  After explaining what makes a bourbon (there are legal regulations), author Minnick delves into the intrigues behind some of the biggest brands and their sometimes controversial histories.  This makes for interesting reading that few people have access to.  The next section of the book goes into ingredients, techniques and how to do informed tastings.  But, the bulk is devoted to the many different brands, agings and expressions available today.  You could easily spend a small fortune buying each bottle listed here.  Perhaps a better choice is to take this book with you to your local well-stocked whiskey bar and sample a few shots per week.  But, even if you don’t, this book will make you want to.  GSN Rating: B+

51NJo2sASrL._AA160_The Cocktail Chronicles by Paul Clarke (Spring House Press)  Paul Clarke celebrated the 10th anniversary of his blog by publishing this book, essentially a redistillation of the hundreds of articles he’s written over the years.  Starting with the cocktail renaissance, which began right around the most recent turn of the century, author Clarke quickly recaps some of the best cocktails from the past 150 years along with the particular spirits, liqueurs and modifers that each utilize.  The next chapter highlights five of the cocktail powerhouses that have inspired countless other variations: the Daiquiri, Old-Fashioned, Manhattan, Martini and Negroni.  Another section is devoted to contemporary drinks, whether soon to be classics or those just interesting enough to garner a mention at this point in history.  Many of the recipes come from the leading lights of the world’s best cocktail bars post-2000.  The book closes with a short section on the tools needed to make the drinks.  Overall, the book reminds me of Dale DeGroff’s ubiquitous tome, “The Craft of the Cocktail“, minus the pretty pictures.  But, Clarke’s book has a certain mid-century modern charm to it by using simple autumnal colored illustrations scattered throughout.  GSN Rating: A-

512u8W-290L._AA160_The Seeker’s Guide to Bartending by Jennifer Crilley (TheSeekerGuides.com)  This is not a cocktail guide, or even bartending skills 101.  This is a book designed to help any working bartender learn to love their work, and do it stress-free.  In just a few hundred pages, you will learn how to focus on what is in front of you (tools, customers, work station, fellow employees) and move beyond the distractions (money, time, relationship issues, emotions).  Each chapter focuses on one aspect of using your holistic self to become one with the job at hand, and gives examples of how they translate into the everyday issues that all bartenders face.  If any of you have heard Gary ‘gaz’ Regan talking about his Mindful Bartending program, you will recognize many of the same techniques here.  The most useful aspect of this book is that there are dozens of workbook pages devoted to helping you to clearly define your thoughts and goals, while also working out solutions tailored to you.  A great book that is not only practical, but a valuable asset for everyone behind the stick.  GSN Rating: A

41E9h4EZbPL._AA160_The Umami Factor by Robert Rivelle George (Schiffer Publishing)  What makes a great drink?  Some would argue it is the recipe, or perhaps the skill of the bartender.  Maybe it’s just the locale, the company you’re with or the mood you’re in.  This book argues that it is you yourself via taste receptors in both your mouth and stomach.  Umami, literally “deliciousness” is the fifth taste sensation.  The other four being, salty, sweet, sour and savory.  Umami was a Japanese term created over 100 years ago that has been scientifically borne out.  Author Robert George, himself a brewer, states that the combination of unique yeasts and grains or fruits creates an umami in all fermented beverages.  Gaining an understanding of how different combinations interact and beget new flavors is fascinating in itself.  But, as a bonus, there are dozens of recipes for making obscure beverages like metheglin and braggot, along with more familiar drinks like beer, whiskey and rum.  The only real disappointment is that all the measurements are in grams rather than ounces, making extra work for us backward Americans.  This is a fascinating book that will enlighten you as to why fermentation is the basis of why we like to drink.  GSN Rating: A-

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