On The Shelf: New Cocktail Books

Of All the Gin Joints
By Mark Bailey
Algonquin Books, September 2014
$19.95

Did you know that silent film actress Mary Pickford—known as America’s sweetheart—used to stash liquor in hydrogen peroxide bottles during Prohibition? That’s just one of the stories unveiled in author and screenwriter Mark Bailey’s Of All the Gin Joints, a look at America’s iconic silver-screen legends and the decadent, alcohol-soaked world of Hollywood fame and fortune. Illustrated by Edward Hemingway, the book details outrageous stories about film sets drenched in booze, with mini-biographies, ribald anecdotes, memorable quotes and favorite cocktail recipes. Of All the Gin Joints invites readers in to the glamorous party scene of Tinseltown’s history and the drinking that made it shine.

The 12 Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles. Hundreds of Cocktails. A New Way to Drink.
By David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
Workman Publishing, August 2014
$14.95

Caught up in the craft cocktail craze but tired of the hole in the wallet left by nights out in Los Angeles, the husband-and-wife writing team of David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson set out to bring the vast drink selection offered at their favorite bars into a more affordable setting: their living room. Five years later, The 12 Bottle Bar is the result of their labors–a breakdown of 12 home-bar essentials and the 200-plus cocktails they create. The straightforward guide to maximizing the liquor cabinet hits on all the classics, along with modern twists such as seasonal cocktails and beer and wine concoctions.

The Spirit of Gin: A Stunning Miscellany of the New Gin Revival
By Matt Teacher
Cider Mill Press, November 2014
$24.95

Piggybacking on gin’s recent uptick in popularity, The Spirit of Gin takes readers on a tour of today’s gin culture. From distilleries large and small to the bars and clubs where the botanical spirit is revered, Teacher alternates between personal essays, travelogues, recipes, photographs and vintage advertisements to chronicle his journey of discovery with the oft-misunderstood but currently in-vogue spirit. Gin obsessives will marvel at the comprehensive catalogue of 160 active distilleries around the world. Readers will also enjoy the 40-plus drink recipes sprinkled throughout the pages.

Tasting Whiskey: An Insider’s Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World’s Finest Spirits
By Lew Bryson
Storey Publishing, October 2014
$18.95

For the uninitiated, whiskey can be an overwhelming spirit to embrace, and for the connoisseurs, there is always more to learn. Tasting Whiskey satisfies both audiences by demystifying the complex spirit and delving deep into its intricacies. The book details traditions from the world’s major whiskey producing regions and explains the particulars of storing, serving and savoring the spirit. Penned by Whiskey Advocate managing editor Lew Bryson, the book synthesizes nearly two decades worth of his personal experience and research into a book that can be enjoyed by novices and aficionados alike.

Skinnygirl Cocktails: 100 Fun & Flirty Guilt-Free Recipes By Bethenny Frankel
Touchstone Paperback, October 2014
$15

Skinnygirl brand creator Bethenny Frankel has amassed a collection of delicious low calorie cocktails and recipes. Frankel, a best-selling author who rose to fame on Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York series, launched Skinnygirl spirits in 2009 and sold it to Beam in 2011; the liquor brand now includes more than 20 different varieties. The recipes in the book focus on simple, fresh ingredients that rely on taste rather than sugary mixes. Many of the 100 low-cal recipes are inspired from New York’s hottest bars, including artisanal drinks, spicy and savory cocktails, and infusions as well as “up-fashioned” classics like Mudslides and Pina Coladas.

Brooklyn Spirits
By Peter Thomas Fornatale and Chris Wertz
PowerHouse Books, October 2014
$35

After craft distilling was made legal in New York State in 2002 for the first time since Prohibition, several Brooklyn-based producers have led the charge of this new approach to artisanal distilling and distribution. Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Cocktails and Stories from the World’s Hippest Borough delves into the stories of the New York borough’s distilleries and the spirits they create and market. The book also includes highlights on the bars and restaurants serving the Brooklyn-produced spirits; specialties of the borough’s renowned mixologists; and subsections on the history of distilling in Brooklyn. It also provides more than 95 cocktail recipes, and over 30 recipes and instructions for syrups, bitters, and garnishes.

Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails
By David Kaplan, Alex Day and Nick Fauchald
Ten Speed Press, October 2014
$40

The official Death & Co book comes from the team behind one of the world’s most influential and lauded bars. Authors David Kaplan, Alex Day and Nick Fauchald share hundreds of recipes for signature creations from their New York hot spot. In addition to classic cocktails, the book includes chapters on the theory and philosophy of drink making, a complete guide to the spirits, tools and other ingredients needed to make a great bar, and recipes for nearly 500 iconic cocktails. Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails also boasts illustrative charts and infographics, as well as colorful essays about the characters from inside the bar each night.

SHRUBS: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times
By Michael Dietsch
Countryman Press, October 2014
$24.95

The history of shrubs is as fascinating as the drinks are refreshing. Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times, by Brooklyn-based writer editor, and accidental bartender Michael Dietsch, explores these sharp and tangy vintage drink mixers. The book includes more than 75 recipes for sweet and savory cocktails and sophisticated sodas. Just a few of the innovative yet simple recipes shared in the book include the Cantaloupe-Mint Shrub, Blueberry-Lavender Shrub, Benjamin Franklin’s Shrub, Red Beet and Peppercorn Shrub, Velvet Tango Room’s Fig Shrub Cocktail, Summer Tomato and Celery Shrub, Shrubby Mary, and Apple-Cardamom Shrub.

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