GSN presents our annual roundup of new books coming onto the market this spring. Everything from spirits, aperitifs, cocktails both classic and new, tiki drinks and even marijuana tinctures! It’s all here folks.
Craft Spirits by Eric Grossman (DK) – The first book to combine reference and practical how-to information from the most pioneering distillers around the world, and the first global catalog with photographs of every important craft spirit. Small-batch artisan spirits have arrived in a big way, with micro-distillery start-ups hitting record levels around the world and hand-crafted spirits crowding the top shelf. From vodka to rum to moonshine and more, Craft Spirits is your guide to which spirits to try and which pioneering distillers to watch. Craft Spirits will bring out your inner mixologist with cocktail recipes for each spirit it features, and will inspire you to shake or stir your own unique signature cocktail. Tasting notes, step-by-step advice, and profiles of the key micro-distilleries in every category make this book a must-have for enthusiasts. Highlighting more than 250 of the most important craft spirits, Craft Spirits is the first book of its kind, and author Eric Grossman, a key influencer within the industry, brings his knowledge of craft spirits and international cocktail trends to its pages.
Southern Spirits: Four Hundred Years of Drinking in the American South, with Recipes by Robert F. Moss (Ten Speed Press) – Ask almost anyone to name a uniquely Southern drink, and bourbon and mint juleps–perhaps moonshine–are about the only beverages that come up. But what about rye whiskey, Madeira wine, and fine imported Cognac? Or peach brandy, applejack, and lager beer? At various times in the past, these drinks were as likely to be found at the Southern bar as barrel-aged bourbon and raw corn likker. The image of genteel planters in white suits sipping mint juleps on the veranda is a myth that never was–the true picture is far more complex and fascinating. Southern Spirits is the first book to tell the full story of liquor, beer, and wine in the American South. This story is deeply intertwined with the region, from the period when British colonists found themselves stranded in a new world without their native beer, to the 21st century, when classic spirits and cocktails of the pre-Prohibition South have come back into vogue. Along the way, the book challenges the stereotypes of Southern drinking culture, including the ubiquity of bourbon and the geographic definition of the South itself, and reveals how that culture has shaped the South and America as a whole.
Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy by Marisa Huff (Rizolli) – Kick off the evening as the Italians do, with these recipes for drinks and small dishes from the best bars and restaurants of Venice, Milan, Turin, and beyond. Aperitivo takes the reader on a spirited ride through this cocktail culture, covering variations on all the classics including the Negroni, the Bellini, and the spritz and stopping at the chicest bars that have elevated this ritual to an art form. Many of the drinks are structured around vermouths and other botanical-infused liqueurs, which offer a new world of complex flavors. They yield enticingly simple cocktails that refresh—without stunning the palate (thanks to a lighter alcohol content). But Aperitivo is just as much about the food because in Italy, drinking and eating go hand in hand. Recipes feature fried sage leaves, oven-roasted eggplant, and carbonara tramezzini, as well as many delicious riffs on crostini, frittata, and focaccia. Whether planning a party or just having a friend over for a quick drink, Aperitivo brings a whole new spirit of conviviality and true Italian style to the occasion.
The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail with Recipes by Philip Greene (Sterling Epicure) – When the Manhattan came along, it changed everything. As Gotham’s finest watering holes embraced the new concoction, the original cocktail soon became old hat and known as the Old-Fashioned. Cocktail historian Philip Greene expertly traces the evolution of this new drink from its competing origin stories through its continuing influence and extensive progeny, including the almighty Martini itself. Richly illustrated with vintage ads and artwork and luxe photographs, this definitive, illustrated story of the Manhattan also offers 65 easy-to-follow recipes. Classic variations and contemporary updates range from the Brooklyn and the Vesper to the Little Italy and Red Hook. If you’re thirsty for a good story, you’ve come to the right place.
The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace by Tristan Stephenson (Ryland Peters & Small) – An innovative, captivating tour of the finest gins and distilleries the world has to offer, brought to you by bestselling author and gin connoisseur Tristan Stephenson. The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace is the follow-up to master mixologist Tristan Stephenson’s hugely successful books, ‘The Curious Bartender’ and ‘The Curious Bartender: An Odyssey of Malt, Bourbon & Rye Whiskies’. Discover the extraordinary journey that gin has taken, from its origins in the Middle Ages as the herbal medicine ‘genever’ to gin’s commercialization and the dark days of the Gin Craze in mid 18th Century London, through to its partnership with tonic water–creating the most palatable and enjoyable anti malarial medication – to the golden age that it is now experiencing. In the last few years, hundreds of distilleries and micro-distilleries are cropping up all over the world, producing superb craft products infused with remarkable new blends of botanicals. In this book, you’ll be at the cutting-edge of the most exciting developments, uncovering the alchemy of the gin production process and the science of flavor before taking a tour through the most exciting distilleries and gins the world has to offer. Finally, put Tristan’s mixology skills into practice with a dozen spectacular cocktails including a Purl, a Rickey, and a Fruit Cup.
Whiskey: A Spirited Story with 75 Classic and Original Cocktails by Michael Dietsch (Countryman Press) – After decades of being seen as an old man’s drink, whiskey is booming in popularity. Craft distilleries are popping up all over the United States, making whiskeys not just from corn, rye, and malted barley, but also from grains such as quinoa, blue corn, and triticale. Cocktail lovers, moving away from sweet and fruity flavor profiles, have embraced the earthy, bitter, savory notes that come from the “brown” spirits. In this collection, Shrubs author Michael Dietsch reaches out to those cocktail drinkers with recipes both classic and original, in historical order. He begins with colonial-era drinks such as Cherry Bounce and the Stone Fence, moving to early whiskey drinks like the Toddy and Julep, and then into the cocktail explosion of the Jerry Thomas era circa 1880s. This leads to the drinks of pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, and post-Repeal, and then to a section on the cocktail renaissance of the last 15 years. Author Michael Dietsch writes, “Whiskey is a spirit with a story,” and he includes an overview and some history without losing sight of the pleasures in drinking the stuff. His cocktail recipes are also infused with stories, making this book a joy to both read and use.
Brooklyn Bartender: A Modern Guide to Cocktails and Spirits by Carey Jones (Black Dog & Leventhal) – A first-of-its-kind collection, The Brooklyn Bartender gathers 300 of the most innovative, exciting, and authentic cocktail recipes from this booming, destination borough at the height of its international popularity. Brooklyn is one of the top trendsetting places today anywhere. Its neighborhoods, artists, writers, restaurants, and, yes, drinking establishments set the pace for the rest of the nation. Brooklyn Bartender takes us behind the bar to experience 300 of the best and most inventive drinks being served today, plus tips for at-home mixologists. Organized by spirit, the recipes allow readers to replicate bartenders’ signature drinks, including everything from the ornate juleps and cobblers of Maison Premiere to the party-friendly “Frozemonade” at Extra Fancy to the namesake gin cocktail of Clover Club. Additional features include “5 Takes on the Martini” and variations on other classic drinks, as well as bartenders’ recommendation for events, infused spirits, and more.
Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations by Warren Bobrow (Fair Winds Press) – Combining cannabis and cocktails is a hot new trend, and Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonicsshows you how. Featuring a collection of 75 recipes of cannabis influenced cocktails and drinks; The Cocktail Whisperer Warren Bobrow will show you the essential instructions for de-carbing cannabis to release its full psychoactive effect. Learn the history of cannabis as a social drug and its growing acceptance to becoming a medicinal. Look beyond cocktails and create successful tonics, syrups, shrubs, bitters, compound butter and exotic infused oil to use in any drink. Start your day with coffee, tea, and milk-based cannabis beverages for healing and relaxation. Get your afternoon pick-me-up with gut healing shrubs and mood enhancing syrups. Make cooling lemonades and sparking herbal infusions to soothe the fevered brow. Then, have an after dinner herbal-based cannabis drink for relaxation at the end of a good meal. The options are endless with Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics!
Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki by Martin and Rebecca Cate (Ten Speed Press) – Cast aside your cares and worries. Make yourself a Mai Tai, put your favorite exotica record on the hi-fi, and prepare to lose yourself in the fantastical world of tiki, one of the most alluring—and often misunderstood—movements in American cultural history. Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders and owners of Smuggler’s Cove (the most acclaimed tiki bar of the modern era) take you on a colorful journey into the lore and legend of tiki: its birth as an escapist fantasy for Depression-era Americans; how exotic cocktails were invented, stolen, and re-invented; Hollywood starlets and scandals; and tiki’s modern-day revival. Featuring more than 100 delicious recipes (original and historic), plus a groundbreaking new approach to understanding rum, Smuggler’s Cove is the magnum opus of the contemporary tiki renaissance. Whether you’re looking for a new favorite cocktail, tips on how to trick out your home tiki grotto, help stocking your bar with great rums, or inspiration for your next tiki party, Smuggler’s Cove has everything you need to transform your world into a Polynesian Pop fantasia.
Drink Like a Man: The Only Cocktail Guide Anyone Really Needs by Editors of Esquire (Chronicle Books) – Drink Like a Man distills 83 years of drinking wisdom into this indispensable manual. With more than 125 cocktail recipes and 100 photos, including 13 drinks every man should know how to make, variations on classic cocktails, and drinks batched large enough to satisfy a crowd, it’s an essential guide to cocktail making, but also a manual for how to drink. As a host, at a bar, with a friend, on your own—whatever the situation may be—Esquire offers wisdom, encouragement, and instructions. And also a damn good drink.