GSN Alert: Cocktail & Spirits Book Preview – Winter 2020 (January-March)

The days are getting longer, but winter is far from over. So, here are a handful of new books to be on the lookout for this season.

Measurements: A Proportional Cocktail Guide by Nick Barclay (NHP Publishing) January 14, 2020 Whatever the season, it is always a good idea to sit back and relax with a cocktail. Graphic designer Nick Barclay has created a stunning anthology of cocktails. This book combines classic recipes with new drink ideas into clear and defined sections. After working on a bar industry magazine and being introduced to the world of cocktails, Nick realized that people love drinking cocktails but not many people know what goes into making them. The design for each cocktail breaks down the ingredients and measures and proportions these out. In this book we see a Nick’s signature style – clean, bold, yet minimal graphical design to showcase the drinks in an alternative and quirky way. The aesthetic for this book is well-designed and the book is the perfect accompaniment for any recipe book collection, art book collection or to have fun with your friends in making some new cocktails.

Mixing Cosmopolitans: The Pouring Tales by Daniel Staub (Alambic Books) January 27, 2020 Daniel Staub, the creative mind behind several bars and speakeasies in Zurich and author of the bartending blog ‘The Pouring Tales’ is on a mission to find and portray the most innovative and passionate bartenders from all across the globe – the true artists of modern mixology. Over the past few years, he has visited countless bars all around the world and formed friendships with many of the talented individuals who work there. Resulting from his extensive travels and research into the global nightlife scene, Mixing Cosmopolitans is a travel diary, a bar guide, and a recipe book all in one. Yet in the spotlight, first and foremost, are the people who breathe new, often unconventional, life into the art of hospitality and who in this book share their own personal path to finding their passion in bartending. Presenting twenty-one personal, beautifully illustrated portraits of bartenders and their bars along with the recipes for their signature cocktails, Mixing Cosmopolitans offers a compelling look into a constantly evolving scene and art form.

How to Drink Like a Writer: Recipes for the Cocktails and Libations that Inspired 100 Literary Greats by Apollo Publishers (Apollo Publishers) February 4, 2020 Do you long to trade notes on postmodernism over whiskey and jazz with Haruki Murakami? Have you dreamed of sharing gin martinis with Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton after poetry class? Maybe a mojito—a real one, like they serve at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana—is all you need to summon the mesmerizing power of Hemingway’s prose. Writer’s block? Summon the brilliant musings of Truman Capote with a screwdriver—or, “my orange drink,” as he called it—or a magical world like J.K. Rowling’s with a perfect gin and tonic. With 100 spirited drink recipes and special sections dedicated to writerly haunts like the Algonquin of the New Yorker set and Kerouac’s Vesuvio Cafe, pointers for hosting your own literary salon, and author-approved hangover cures, all accompanied by original illustrations of ingredients, finished cocktails, classic drinks, and favorite food pairings, How to Drink Like a Writer is sure to inspire, invoke, and inebriate—whether you are courting the muse, or nursing a hangover. Sure, becoming a famous author takes dedication, innate talent, and sometimes nepotism. But it also takes vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey.

Camp Cocktails: Easy, Fun, and Delicious Drinks for the Great Outdoors by Emily Vikre (Harvard Common Press) February 25, 2020 Cabin trips, hikes, patio parties, camping adventures—however you enjoy the great outdoors, it should be fun and easy. And so should the drinks! Simplicity, though, doesn’t mean you’re limited to a bottle and a mixer. With Camp Cocktails, you’ll have a variety of options for simple and tasty drinks that are ready to go wherever you go. Cool off after a hot day spent hiking through the woods with a Flask Boulevardier or the Northwoods Sidecar. Break in the campsite with a Grilled Orange Cobbler or the ultimate beer-based cocktail. Bundling up around the fire? Warm up with the Salted Nutella Hot Chocolate, the Penicillin Toddy, or a spiked hot apple cider. If you’re ready to go a step further, there’s even a chapter for using foraged ingredients. Every recipe comes with easy-to-follow instructions, and many feature expert bartender tips and hacks. A variety of occasions are all here, from stargazing to boating. And to round it all out, there’s a whole chapter dedicated to foraging/found ingredients, and integrating nature into your favorite cocktails.

Hollywood Cocktails: Over 95 Recipes Celebrating Films from Paramount Pictures by Cider Mill Press (Cider Mill Press) February 25, 2020 Paramount Pictures, the oldest Hollywood studio in operation, has released countless award-winning and box office-busting movies that have spanned the age of cinema, from the medium’s silent advent to talkies, color, and CGI blockbusters. Hollywood Cocktails features more than 100 cocktails inspired by over 100 iconic films, all released by Paramount Pictures. This gorgeously illustrated collection of star power is filled with film facts and detailed recipes that guarantee you’ll never again be wondering what to drink or watch.

Drinking French: The Iconic Cocktails, Apéritifs, and Café Traditions of France, with 160 Recipes by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press) March 3, 2020 Bestselling cookbook author, memoirist, and popular blogger David Lebovitz delves into the drinking culture of France in Drinking French. This beautifully photographed collection features 160 recipes for everything from coffee, hot chocolate, and tea to Kir and regional apéritifs, classic and modern cocktails from the hottest Paris bars, and creative infusions using fresh fruit and French liqueurs. And because the French can’t imagine drinking without having something to eat alongside, David includes crispy, salty snacks to serve with your concoctions. Each recipe is accompanied by David’s witty and informative stories about the ins and outs of life in France, as well as photographs taken on location in Paris and beyond. Whether you have a trip to France booked and want to know what and where to drink, or just want to infuse your next get-together with a little French flair, this rich and revealing guide will make you the toast of the town.

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: Prohibition Centennial Edition: From the 1920 Pick-Me-Up to the Zombie and Beyond – 150+ Rediscovered Recipes … With a New Introduction and 66 New Recipes by Ted Haigh (Quarry Books) March 3, 2020 In this new, expanded edition of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails—issued for the 100th Anniversary of National Prohibition—historian, expert, and drink aficionado Dr. Cocktail vastly widens his examination of 1920–1933, the thirteen-year period when women got the Vote, child labor was abolished and, ironically, saw the cocktail elevated, prolonged, and expanded, spreading this signature American drink form in tasty ripples around the world. All this, plus more drink recipes! Nothing is so desired as the thing denied. Prohibition made people want cocktails very, very badly. Because “synthetic” liquor was the easiest to make, it was also the easiest to get. Problematically, it tasted awful and wasn’t exactly good for you either. Cocktails with their mélange of flavors were a made-to-order method for disguising the bad hooch. Along with 100+ rare and delicious authentic recipes gathered from old cocktail manuals and scraps of paper never published, this illustrated trip down mixology lane tells the fascinating origins of the cocktail and how it evolved over time, including its rising popularity during Prohibition. Vintage illustrations and advertisements, photos of old bottles and cocktail artifacts, and fascinating Prohibition-era photographs bring the tippling past back to vivid life.

Drinking with Chickens: Free-Range Cocktails for the Happiest Hour by Kate E. Richards (Running Press Adult) March 24, 2020 It’s drinks, it’s chickens: It’s the cocktail book you didn’t know you needed! To add some spice to your happy hour, shake a tail feather and drink with chickens, or just wish you could! Author Kate Richards serves up cocktails made for Instagram with the spoils of her Southern California garden, chicken friends by her side. Cocktails are arranged seasonally, and are 100% accessible for those of us without perpetually sunny backyard gardens at our disposal. Drinking with Chickens will quickly become a boozy favorite, perfect for gifting or for hoarding all for yourself. You don’t need chickens to enjoy these drinks or the colorful photos, but be careful, because you may even find yourself aspiring to be, as Kate is, a home chixologist overrun by gorgeous, loud, early-rising egg-laying ladies, and in need of a very strong drink.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Blinker Cocktail

IMG_4023-800The original Blinker appeared in 1934 in The Official Mixer’s Manual written by Patrick Gavin Duffy That version called for grenadine instead of raspberry syrup.  To whom do we owe a debt of gratitude for making this killer change?  None other than Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh.  I first encountered his version several years ago and have seen it slowly creep onto cocktail menus ever since.

The overall effect is similar to a Tiki style drink.  A load of fruit flavor backed by the spicy sweetness of the rye.  Once you try one, you’ll add this to your short list of cocktails, guaranteed.

Ted has this to say about it: “I now call it Dr. Cocktail’s Blinker. The original had grenadine; I put a really good raspberry syrup in it instead, messed around with the proportions, and it’s juuuust such a good drink!”

2oz straight rye whisky
1.5oz grapefruit juice
1 tsp raspberry syrup
Garnish: Grapefruit twist or skewered raspberry.

Shake and strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with grapefruit twist or raspberry.

Imbibing Mr. Boston: Aviation Cocktail

IMG_0894-800It’s hard to believe that the Aviation has been served for over 100 years, since for most of that time, it was virtually unknown.  Now, you can find it on many cocktail menus, and certainly ask for it by name at most upscale cocktail lounges.  I was introduced to the Aviation by Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh in his 2004 book, Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails : From the Alamagoozlum Cocktail to the Zombie.  At the time, it took a lot of rigmarole tracking down both the Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, and the Crème de violette.  However, from the first taste, I was hooked.

The key to me, is the violet liqueur.  Without it, it is an average drink that feels unbalanced and slightly tart.  The Crème de violette (do not use Crème Yvette, as the vanilla flavor really interferes with the overall flavor) adds just the right amount of florality and sweetness to keep the woodiness of the maraschino in check and open up the lemon juice to be more than just a souring agent.

The drink was first published in 1916, in Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Times Square’s Hotel Wallick’s head bartender, Hugo Ensslin.  German born Hugo was highly influential on the skills of latter-day mixologists like Harry Craddock and Patrick Gavin Duffy.  In fact, Hugo’s book was the last cocktail book published in New York before Prohibition took hold.  One wonders what Hugo did for a living afterwards.

2oz gin
0.5oz maraschino liqueur
0.25oz lemon juice
0.25oz creme de violette
garnish: maraschino cherry

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with cherry.

GSN Review: Winter 2009 Cocktail Guides

Lots of great cocktail, spirits & mixology books came out this last year.  Here are my top recommendations.
The Art of Distilling Whiskey and Other Spirits: An Enthusiasts Guide to the Artisan Distilling of Potent Potables by Bill Owens & Alan Dikty
Not only a beautiful book, but an extremely informative one for anyone interested in the history and current methods of distillation.  (And who among us, isn’t?)
the bartender’s GIN compendium by Gaz Regan
Think you know everything there is to know about this sublime spirit?  Think again.  Gary Regan has filled this tome with virtually every minutiae about gin and then some.  Plus, a handy guide on difficult to find gins.
Diffordsguide Cocktails 8 (Diffords Guide) by Simon Difford
You may love or hate Simon Difford, but you have to agree that if nothing else, he is thorough in his cocktail recipe collections.  It’s no wonder he’s on volume 8.  Each year he adds several hundred new recipes from around the globe.
The Essential Bartender’s Guide by Robert Hess
This is really quite essential.  Written for a beginner, but full of recipes for the advanced mixologist as well.  A handy reference guide that I pull out ALL OF THE TIME.  Nice one, Robert!
The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks by Dale Degroff
So, what’s the difference between this book and the previous volume?  This is the Cadillac of cocktail books.  Not only is it full of beautiful photographs, but the writing is engaging.  Dale manages to make you feel like you’re sharing a drink with him.  Simply an amazing achievement.
Food & Wine 2009 Cocktail Guide by Food & Wine Magazine
You might think this slim volume is lacking depth, but you’d be wrong.  The guide holds more information than you think about glassware, the latest cocktail trends, and the up and coming bars around the US.  Well worth the few bucks it costs.
The Mixellany Guide to Gin by Geraldine Coates
What?!?  Another guide to gin?  Isn’t one enough?  Unfortunately for your wallet, the answer is no.  Geraldine’s book makes a perfect match to Gaz Regan’s prosaic levity by remaining fairly serious, but not in an academic way.
Mixologist: The Journal of the European Cocktail, Volume 3 by Jared Brown & Anastasia Miller
I continue to be amazed at the prolific output by Jared & Anastasia.  Their research continually enlightens and delights.  This volume studies the history of cocktails and mixology in Europe.  Great stuff!
Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-be by Natalie Bovis-Nelsen
This book is worth it’s weight in gold for anyone who has tended bar at a party where some guests don’t want alcohol, but also don’t want a soda.  Natalie has compiled a fantastic selection of easy to make non-alcoholic cocktails that taste amazing.  Not only for expectant mothers.Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink by Jared Brown & Anastasia Miller
If there was a worthy successor to David Wondrich’s “Imbibe!”, this would be it.  The entire history of fermented beverages around the world.  I think this would make a great BBC series, guys!

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie
100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them
by Ted Haigh
Technically, this book was published five years ago and isn’t a new title.  However, the upgrade really makes it invaluable.  More cocktails, more photos of rare spirits and ephemera, more history and more resources in the back.  The only disappointment, if it could be called one, is that you will catch Ted’s bug to track down the unusual ingredients most of these drinks call for.

Also, you can’t go wrong with any of the reprints of rare cocktail books published by Mud Puddle Books or the guides put out by Mixellany Ltd. Both of these publishers are doing a huge service to the cocktail community by reprinting long out of print (and out of price range) copies of seminal cocktail guides.  If you want to understand the history of what you do behind the stick, grab these books and prepare to be enlightened.

GSN Interview – Ted Haigh: The Doctor is In

Good Spirits News is proud to announce the debut of a new monthly
column featuring interviews with top cocktail experts and mixologists.
To get things started, we talked with Ted Haigh, aka Dr. Cocktail about
his new book, rare spirits, cocktails in film, and how technology has
helped bring about the cocktail renaissance.Click here: Behind the Stick with Ted Haigh