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Posts Tagged ‘Neil Ridley’

Time for our autumnal round-up of some great new publications for the drinking enthusiast! This time around we have a selection of volumes focusing on everything from retro and platinum age cocktails to home brewing, from mixers to bitters, along with several books focused on drinking culture in specific locales.  Cheers!

Bay Area Cocktails: A History of Culture, Community and Craft (American Palate) by Shanna Farrell,  Jon Santer, Vaughan Glidden & Nando Alvarez-Perez (The History Press) An American invention, the cocktail fluctuated in popularity following Prohibition and had firmly taken root in the culinary landscape by the 1990s. The Bay Area played a significant role in reviving it–as much as New York and London. From the distillers who pioneered craft spirits and Alice Waters’ revolutionary take on simple, fresh food at Chez Panisse to the bartenders who cared enough to grow a dedicated cocktail community, this is the story of how the Bay Area shaped the art of elevated drinking in America. Through oral history interviews and recipes, author Shanna Farrell chronicles the narrative history of the modern cocktail renaissance.

New York Cocktails by Amanda Schuster (Cider Mill Press) With bars, lounges and pubs dotting almost every block in the city, the Big Apple has an unmatched and incomparable cocktail culture—and now you can travel straight to the epicenter of this trendsetting city with more than 100 creative, as well as classic, cocktail recipes. Take a virtual tour of iconic NYC establishments through breathtaking, full-color photography, scene-setting bar descriptions, and mixologist insights—and a plethora of party planning pointers, shopping tips, and must-visit hotspot suggestions make this the perfect guide to the cosmopolitan art of New York City cocktail crafting. With thirst-inducing, full-color photography throughout, and cocktails inspired by New York City movers and shakers, writers, and mixologists, New York Cocktails features unique libations shared by the best bartenders in the City That Never Sleeps, as well as signature new twists on the classics.

Road Soda: Recipes and techniques for making great cocktails, anywhere by Kara Newman (Dovetail) It’s often difficult for a cocktail enthusiast to find a decent drink on the road, especially when faced with the limited selection offered by hotel mini bars, airplane drinks carts and the great outdoors. Road Soda is the ultimate guide for on-the-go cocktail making, with tips and recipes from cocktail expert Kara Newman. Readers will learn how to become mini-bar mixologists; how to build portable cocktails in flasks, beverage cans and liquor bottles; how to make drinks for camping and tailgating, and more. Throughout the book, notable bartenders and drinks experts will offer tips for finding (and creating) the best drinking experiences no matter where readers’ travels take them.

Fever Tree: The Art of Mixing: Recipes from the world’s leading bars by Fever Tree (Mitchell Beazley) The first cocktail title to put the mixers center-stage. Rather than starting with the spirits, this book focuses on key mixers – including tonic, lemonade, ginger ale, ginger beer and cola – and provide 100 classic and contemporary cocktail recipes that make the most of the botanical partnerships. The book also explores the origins of key ingredients, including quinine, lemons and elderflower, revealing the role quinine has played in geo-politics, for example, and the impact different herbs have on taste. In the way that we increasingly want to know the source and production methods of the food we eat, so this guide allows you to understand more fully what we drink – and use that knowledge to create the most delicious cocktails.

Around the World in 80 Cocktails by Chad Parkhill & Alice Oehr (Hardie Grant) Around the World in 80 Cocktails celebrates the globetrotting history of the cocktail through eighty different iconic drinks – each of which has its own story to tell. Bartender and writer Chad Parkhill takes you on a whirlwind tour of the places that have shaped the history of the cocktail from its birth to the present day, with recipes so you can follow along at home. You’ll learn about the surprising military history behind the bubbly, vivacious Venetian Spritz; how the G&T moved from India to England (and why the best in the world are now made in Spain); and how France’s Burgundy region turned tragedy into triumph with the Kir. Accompanied by gorgeous vintage-style illustrations that evoke antique travel posters, these stories and recipes are an ode to the joys of travel, history, and drinking.

Canadian Whisky, Second Edition: The New Portable Expert by Davin de Kergommeau (Appetite by Random House) This fully updated and revised edition of the award-winning Canadian Whisky invites you on a journey across Canada and back through time to discover the story of this unique spirit. Independent whisky expert Davin de Kergommeaux weaves a compelling narrative, beginning with the substance of Canadian whisky—grains, water, and wood—and details the process of how it’s made and how to taste it. He traces the fascinating history of the country’s major distilleries and key visionaries, and introduces the present-day players—big and small—who are shaping the industry through both tradition and innovation. Newly designed, and now including a map of Canada’s whisky distilleries, over 100 up-to-date tasting notes, and a handy tasting checklist, Canadian Whisky reflects the latest research on flavour development and the science of taste. At once authoritative and captivating, this is a must-have resource for beginners, enthusiasts, and aficionados alike.

Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Book of Bitters: The bitter and twisted history of one of the cocktail world’s most fascinating ingredients by Adam Elmegirab (Dog n Bone) Bitters, those little bottles you will find in any bar worth its salt, are the unsung heroes of the cocktail world. Where would the Manhattan be without orange bitters? Cocktail historian and founder of his eponymous bitters company, Dr Adam Elmegirab presents the results of almost a decade of research into bitters, guiding you from the early days of snake-oil salesmen through to the birth of the cocktail, Prohibition, and the renaissance of bitters as an essential part of the contemporary bar scene. Adam outlines each of the key botanicals that go into different bitters and explains the science of flavor, describing how each characteristic can be deployed for maximum impact, and summarizes the key techniques for making great cocktails. Most importantly, Adam provides 50 cocktail recipes created by him and some of the world’s leading bartenders. These exceptional drinks showcase the different characteristic of bitters and how they can refine a cocktail in unique ways.

Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan (Ten Speed Press) Meehan’s Bartender Manual is acclaimed mixologist Jim Meehan’s magnum opus—and the first book to explain the ins and outs of the modern bar industry. This groundbreaking work chronicles Meehan’s storied career in the bar business through practical, enlightening chapters that mix history with professional insight. Meehan’s deep dive covers the essential topics, including the history of cocktails and bartending, service, hospitality, menu development, bar design, spirits production, drink mixing technique, and the tools you’ll need to create a well-stocked bar—all brought to life in over 150 black- and-white illustrations by artist Gianmarco Magnani. The book also includes recipes for 100 cocktail classics–including Meehan originals–plus insights as to why he makes them the way he does, offering unprecedented access to a top bartender’s creative process. Organized by spirit base, the recipes contain detailed annotations and are accompanied by fine art photographer Doron Gild’s breathtaking, full-color photos. Thoughtful contributions from more than 50 colleagues around the world who’ve greatly contributed to global cocktail culture further contextualize Meehan’s philosophy. Timeless black-and-white portraits of these industry experts round out this comprehensive tome. This densely informative, yet approachable manual is presented in an iconic package–featuring a textured cover with debossed type, rounded corners, and nearly 500 pages–making it an instant classic to be enjoyed now, and for years to come. Whether you’re a professional looking to take your career to the next level or an enthusiastic amateur interested in better understanding concepts like mise en place and the mechanics of drink making, Meehan’s Bartender Manual is the definitive modern guide.

Spirits and Cocktails of Upstate New York: A History by Donald Cazentre (The History Press) From the Hudson Valley to the Niagara River, Upstate New York has a long and grand history of spirits and cocktails. Early colonists distilled rum, and pioneering settlers made whiskey. In the 1800s, a fanciful story of a tavern keeper and a “cock’s tail” took root along the Niagara River, and the earliest definition of the “cocktail” appeared in a Hudson Valley paper. The area is home to its share of spirited times and liquid legends, and the recent surge in modern distilleries and cocktail bars only bolsters that tradition. Author Don Cazentre serves up these tales of Upstate New York along with more than fifty historic and modern cocktail recipes.

Straight Up: Where to drink & what to drink on every continent by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley (Mitchell Beazley) How great would it be to have access to the world’s experts to help you choose the coolest and most interesting bars, wherever you find yourself in the world? Well, now you do. Straight Up is a carefully curated collection of insider tips that will allow you to discover the best drinking spots around the globe. From a 10-seat basement bar in Tokyo, to a glitzy rooftop palace in Toronto and a converted Ottoman bathhouse in Budapest, this book contains everything you need to drink in style, brought to you by the locals in the know. Spirits experts Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have gathered a team of expert contributors among the world’s bartending community to nose out the most interesting and characterful experiences. Throughout the book you’ll also find features on signature cocktails, cocktail recipes, the low-down on star bartenders, and the inside track on what to drink where.

The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky by Dave Broom (Mitchell Beazley) Since 2002 (the year it appeared on export markets) Japanese whisky has been consistently winning major international spirits awards. As export production increases and export markets – the USA and France in particular – open up to embrace the quality of these fine malt whiskies, all eyes are on Japan. Award-winning author and internationally recognized whisky expert Dave Broom has visited Japan 25 times in the past 12 years, studying and learning about its whiskies. In this major new book he shares his personal journey around Japan’s whisky distilleries and the unique whisky culture of the country. Each chapter details the history of the distillery in question, its production and current whiskies (with tasting notes). Dave considers along the way why Japanese whisky is different, questions of tradition vs innovation, and how whisky links with many aspects of Japanese culture. Breathtaking photography from Kohei Take leads the reader deeper into the philosophy behind the drink, making this a must-have edition for any whisky lover, whisky drinker, whisky collector or Japanophile.

Project Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Extreme Brewing at Home by Sam Calagione, Todd Alstrom & Jason Alstrom (Quarry Books) Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and Jason and Todd Alström, of Beer Advocate, offer an authoritative primer on extreme brewing. Project Extreme Brewing is the new required reading for any serious home brewer. Inside you’ll find the recipes for the most exciting and exotic beers around today. Recipes from breweries around the country are at your fingertips. You’ll see how brewing operations like Allagash, Lost Abbey, Shmaltz, and Beau’s All Natural make their glittering beverages. Following along is easy, even if you’re new to the home brewing scene, because all recipes come with step-by-step instructions and insider tips. Expand the definition of what great beer is. Show off to your friends and family members that you are the best source of home-brew, by learning to brew at home with the experts!

The Mezcal Experience: A Field Guide to the World’s Best Mezcals and Agave Spirits by Tom Bullock (Jacqui Small) The definitive guide to Mexico’s best kept secret; Mezcal. Unlike its infamous offspring tequila, until recently you would have had to take a trip to Mexico to try this intriguing spirit. But with ‘Mezcalerias’ popping up everywhere from New York City to London, Tokyo and beyond, and mezcal increasingly seen on the menus of the most discerning and hippest bars, the agave plant-based alcohol is the cool new drink taking the world by storm. Embark on a regional tour of Mexico and discover local mezcal gems in this illustrated guide to the best ‘mezcalerias’ (mezcal bars) in the world, then work your way through more than 30 cocktail recipes from the world’s best mezcal bartenders. From backyard heroes to big names, this is a comprehensive guide with over 100 varieties of mezcal, complete with a tasting wheel to help explain the subtleties of this intriguing drink and make you a connoisseur in no time.

 

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51GdWwTFK+L._AA160_Here once again is a round-up of just a few of the books that have made their way across the GSN review desk this spring.

The Craft Cocktail Party by Julie Reiner (Grand Central Life & Style)  Julie Reiner is arguably the most successful female bartender in the industry, so it is only fitting that she finally has published her own book.  Starting as a student of Dale DeGroff who provides a lovely forward, Julie was instrumental in bringing cocktail culture back from the dead in NYC.  Opening bars such as the Flatiron Lounge, Pegu Club and Clover Club over the past dozen years, her insights and recipes are welcomed into our homes with her first book.  After a  brief chapter on bar tools, garnishes and syrups, Julie gets right to it with enough recipes to satisfy anyone.  Broken into seasonal libations, there are the classics (Martinez, Scofflaw, Hurricane) but more often there are her own luscious creations.  What sets this book apart is her down to earth writing style and easily obtainable ingredients.  Anyone can make these with a minimum of effort both in the liquor store and in the home.  GSN Rating: A-

61afxn+C62L._AA160_Imbibe! Updated & Revised Edition by David Wondrich (Perigee)  One of the most important mixology books published in the first decade of the 21st century, Dave Wondrich’s insightful volume into that most American of pursuits gets an upgrade.  Using the life of Professor Jerry Thomas, author of the first cocktail guide back in 1862 as a jumping off point, Wondrich focuses on the histories of early cocktails including the ubiquitous Mint Julep which surprisingly dates back to colonial times.  New information reflecting other prominent bartenders who preceded Thomas, the revival of long-lost spirits and liqueurs, and nearly two dozen excellent Golden Age cocktails that you have never enjoyed before.  This one book will give the reader more of an appreciation for the art of mixology than any other.  Like Jerry Thomas, David Wondrich is a showman and captures the reader with well mixed and tasty prose.  GSN Rating: A++

51zWyNW+oPL._AA160_Distilled by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley (Mitchell Beazley)  When faced with shelf after shelf of spirits at your local liquor store, how do you choose which ones to take home for an evening of getting to know one another?  This book by the authors of the popular website CaskStrength.net do your homework for you.  Focusing on the most interesting versions of everything from absinthe to whiskey (and then some), the reader gets some insights from craft distillers from around the world, 10 spirits in each category to try, and some cocktail recipes.  Loads of evocative full-color photographs make this more than just a treatise of alcohol though.  You will have fun trying to track down some of the spirits and perhaps even having a tasting party at home with friends.  GSN Rating: B+

51QyXIKEsyL._AA160_Bitters & Shrub Syrup Cocktails by Warren Bobrow (Fair Winds) “Bring me a shrubbery!” This classic line from Monty Python’s Holy Grail was not about fruit vinegars, although it could have been as they have been around for hundreds of years in the Arabic speaking world.  Mr. Bobrow’s latest book in his cocktail trilogy is all about the bitters and the shrubs.  Geared for the experienced home enthusiast, this 150+ page volume is full of recipes for making your own cocktail mixers and bitters.  Be prepared to invest in a lot of bottles and labels as well as setting aside plenty of room in your refridgerator to keep them all.  The drinks are creative, clever and a bit on the tart and aromatic side.  You may find each recipe needs a little tweaking to find the right balance for you.  Overall though, this is a fun book for those who don’t mind waiting a few days to a few weeks to have house-made ingredients on hand.  GSN Rating: B+

51OnBaUpZZL._AA160_Beer For All Seasons by Randy Mosher (Storey)  We here at Good Spirits News sometimes do take a break from hard liquor and cocktails to enjoy the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage, beer.  This book serves as an introduction to the hundreds of styles, flavors and brands available.  Plenty of background on the history of brewing, sprinkled with beautiful photographs of glasses and bottles of beer and people enjoying them makes up the first third of this quick read.  The middle section is devoted to seasonal beers (bocks, shandys, Märzens and stouts to name but a few), and the book is concluded with a list of the 100 top beer festivals around the world.  Any beer lover will appreciate this book, but for the most part this book is geared for the drinker just starting their journey.  GSN Rating B-

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Here are some GSN recommended books to be on the lookout for in the next few months.

indexWild Cocktails from the Midnight Apothecary: 100 Recipes Using Home-grown and Foraged Fruits, Herbs, and Edible Flowers by Lottie Muir  (April 5, 2015) Lottie Muir is the creator of the Midnight Apothecary pop-up cocktail bar, set in a roof garden in the heart of London, where she also grows many of the ingredients for her mixes. On Saturday nights she sheds her gardening gloves and dons her apron to become the Cocktail Gardener mixologist. Moving from flowerbed to bar, she rustles up seasonal plant-powered cocktails, made with the harvest from her garden and from foraging trips nearby. Starting with The Cocktail Cabinet, Lottie explains both gardening and cocktail-making basics. She tells you what botanicals you will need year-round, including edible flowers, and gives tips on getting the best from your growing space, as well as advice on foraging if you want to venture further than your back garden.
indexTea Cocktails: A Mixologist’s Guide to Legendary Tea-Infused Cocktails by Abigail R. Gehring (April 7, 2015) In classy bars and cocktail lounges across America, tea is making a big splash. Absolut has launched a line of tea-infused vodka, companies such as Owl’s Brew are springing up with teas crafted specifically as cocktail mixers, and foodie magazines such as Saveur and Food & Wine are featuring hot chai toddies and gin-spiked iced teas. Here organic tea company Teatulia partners with Gehring to provide a stunning collection of hot and cold tea cocktail recipes sure to impress any mixologist or tea lover. Learn how to balance the unique flavors of herbal and black teas with just the right spirits to create drinks.
indexDistilled: From absinthe & brandy to vodka & whisky, the world’s finest artisan spirits unearthed, explained & enjoyed by Neil Ridley & Joel Harrison (April 7, 2015) Harrison & Ridley are at the forefront of providing expertise and innovation in the spirits world. From whisky to gin, cognac to exotic drinks, the duo has a wealth of knowledge to share with audiences across the globe. They write about whisky on their award-winning website Caskstrength.net and regularly pen articles and whisky features for a number of different publications such as Whisky Magazine, Imbibe and the Evening Standard, as well as becoming judges for the World Whisky Awards and the prestigious I.W.S.C. awards. Joel and Neil approach the drinks world with an irreverent, independently-minded spirit and, in the last two years, the duo have hosted over 250 whisky and other spirits tastings around the world from Japan to Lithuania.
indexImbibe! Updated and Revised Edition: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar by David Wondrich (April 7, 2015) The first edition, published in 2007, won a James Beard Award. Now updated with newly discovered recipes and historical information, this new edition includes the origins of the first American drink, the Mint Julep (which Wondrich places before the American Revolution), and those of the Cocktail itself. It also provides more detail about 19th century spirits, many new and colorful anecdotes and details about Thomas’s life, and a number of particularly notable, delicious, and influential cocktails not covered in the original edition, rounding out the picture of pre-Prohibition tippling.
indexClassic Cocktails (revised) by Salvatore Calabrese (April 21, 2015) Salvatore “The Maestro” Calabrese is one of the world’s foremost cocktail experts—and drinks lovers will salut this expanded version of his classic guide. The New York Times called the original edition “a must-have,” and now it contains even more: new chapters and loads of new images; up-to-the-minute information on the most exciting cocktail trends, tastes, and techniques; and newly uncovered historical tidbits (like the true origin of the Bloody Mary). Fifty new recipes include long-buried favorites like the turn-of-the-century New Orleans classic Absinthe Suissesse, a barrel-aged Blood and Sand, and the Prohibition-era The Angel’s Tit. This elegant volume also includes DIYs for essential cocktail ingredients like Velvet Falernum, recipes for flavored syrups and homemade shrubs, and advice on throwing the very best at-home cocktail parties ever.
indexThe Tippling Bros. A Lime and a Shaker: Discovering Mexican-Inspired Cocktails by Tad Carducci & Paul Tanguay (April 21, 2015) In The Tippling Bros. A Lime and a Shaker, Tad Carducci and Paul Tanguay, who collectively have 55 years of professional experience in the beverage industry, step in to provide their expertise on Mexican cocktails. Their 72 exciting recipes go past the classic margarita and include traditional, craft, and spicy drinks such as the Blood-Orange-Cinnamon Margarita, San Fresa Frizz, and Smokey Pablo. The authors also cover the history of tequila, explain the difference between different tequilas, and offer bonus recipes for aguas frescas, syrups, salts, and some of their favorite Mexican dishes. With vibrant photographs throughout, this is the must-have book on the subject, perfect for home cooks, bartenders, and those who just want to know more about tequila and mezcal.
indexBitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails: Restorative Vintage Cocktails, Mocktails, and Elixirs by Warren Bobrow & Philip M. Dobard (May 1, 2015) The Cocktail Whisperer, Warren Bobrow, has been using bitters and shrubs in his quest for added zest in many of his craft cocktails, adding depth and mystery to a generic mixed drink. Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails will send your taste buds back in time with 75 traditional and newly-created recipes for medicinally-themed drinks. Learn the fascinating history of apothecary bitters, healing herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and vinegars that are making a comeback in cocktail and non-alcoholic recipes. If you love vintage cocktails, you’ll surely enjoy this guide to mixing delicious elixirs.
indexThe Negroni: Drinking to La Dolce Vita, with Recipes & Lore by Gary Regan (May 5, 2015) The Negroni is one of the simplest and most elegant drink formulas around: combine one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari, then stir and serve over ice. This bitter, sweet, and smooth drink has inspired countless variations as well as legions of diehard aficionados. In The Negroni, Gary Regan–barman extraordinaire and author of the iconic book The Joy of Mixology–delves into the drink’s fun, fascinating history (its origin story is still debated, with battling Italian noblemen laying claim) and provides techniques for modern updates (barrel aging and carbonation among them). Sixty delightfully varied and uniformly tasty recipes round out this spirited collection, which is a must-have for any true cocktail enthusiast.
indexThe Craft Cocktail Party: Delicious Drinks for Every Occasion by Julie Reiner & Kaitlyn Goalen (May 5, 2015) Julie Reiner, the co-owner of The Clover Club in Brooklyn and The Flatiron Lounge in Manhattan, has written a book that provides inspiration for the rest of us, not only the cocktail geeks. She wants to balance the needs of the everyday drinker with those of the passionate mixologist. Recipes are organized around seasonality and occasion, with different events and themes appropriate to the specific time of the year. Each section will include a mixture of holiday-inspired drinks, classic cocktails, and innovative new drinks, all along with fun cocktail lore. Tricks, tips, and techniques–such as batching and infusions, tools of the trade, notes on spirit types, and easy substitutions to utilize what you already have on hand–will round out the amazing amount of information in Reiner’s book.
indexCocktails & Dreams: The Ultimate Indian Cocktail Book by Yangdup Lama & Gitanjali Chaturvedi (May 15, 2015) Cocktails and Dreams is put together by people who represent the modern, young India a bartender and a well-travelled development professional in some senses an unlikely cocktail. It comes at a time when India now exposed to the outside world does not consider drinking as a social taboo but enjoys a fine cocktail or two. With a significant change in urban lifestyles, the fifty original recipes help people to look beyond the traditional whisky on the rocks and rum and Coke.
indexVermouth: The Revival of the Spirit that Created America’s Cocktail Culture by Adam Ford (June 1, 2015) Previously fallen from grace, vermouth is once again the next big thing in spirits. Over the years, vermouth has fallen from grace, but the truth is, without vermouth, your martini is merely an iced vodka or gin. Now, once again, vermouth is being touted as the hottest trend in spirits. It is showing up in copious amounts on the best cocktail menus in the best cocktail lounges around the country. Vermouth has a rich history, deeply intertwined with that of America, and this book offers the first-ever detailed look into the background of this aromatized, fortified wine, as well as vermouth’s rise, fall, and comeback in America.
indexThe Cocktail Chronicles: Navigating the Cocktail Renaissance with Jigger, Shaker & Glass by Paul Clarke (June 15, 2015) From Paul Clarke, the 2014 Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer and founder of the groundbreaking spirits blog, The Cocktail Chronicles, comes an approachable guide to the cocktail renaissance thus far and—as the name implies—a chronicle of the cocktails that have come along the way. The Cocktail Chronicles is not a lab manual for taking the cocktail experience to a molecular level; nor is it an historical monograph tracing the details of our forebears as they developed and mixed the drinks we enjoy today. Instead, The Cocktail Chronicles is a collection of approachable, and easily replicable drinks that all share the same thing: a common deliciousness and a role — both big and small — in the ongoing and thriving cocktail renaissance. This collection of expertly curated recipes represent a photo album of sorts—snapshots of people encountered over the years, with some close friends and family members depicted alongside a few dimly remembered strangers.

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