If you can’t enjoy a beer or cocktail while lounging on the beach this summer, then check out the next best thing. These books about booze should make for some good beach reading.
The Art of American Whiskey
By Noah Rothbaum
Ten Speed Press, April 2015
Told through 100 modern and vintage whiskey labels and photos, The Art of American Whiskey takes readers on a visual journey through the spirit’s history. From its earliest days in the Colonial Era, through the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression and up to the current craft-distilling boom, whiskey has remained an integral part of American culture. Author Noah Rothbaum—former editor-in-chief of Liquor.com—traces the arc of whiskey through stories, fun facts, two-dozen era-appropriate cocktail recipes and more. Captions, sidebars, profiles and short histories tell the stories of the pioneers and places behind the labels. Illustrated with labels from some of the most iconic bottles ever made, this work is a collectible for whiskey enthusiasts and design lovers.
By Stephanie Banyas
Clarkson Potter, March 2015
Cater to the calorie-conscious crowd with the recipes and tips in this book. 150-Calorie Cocktails offers 100 drink recipes—each with 150 calories or fewer—made with all-natural spirits, juices, sweeteners, herbs, fruits and vegetables. It also provides 12 snack recipes of similarly low caloric intake that pair well with these drinks. The book includes 30 color photographs and tips on substituting ingredients to create your own lower-calorie mixed drinks. Highlight recipes include classics like the Gin Gimlet, Dark and Stormy and Old Fashioned; female-focused favorites such as Sparkling Cherry Lemonade, the Watermelon Martini and Chocolate Martini; and summery sips like the Blueberry-Ginger Fizzy, Mango-Rum Iced Tea and Bay Breeze Brunch.
By Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley
Hachette Book Group, April 2015
Fueled by the increase in craft distillers and pioneers of new distillates, authors Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley—creators of Caskstrength.net—explain what readers need to know to appreciate some of the most interesting spirits on the planet. This includes a liquor’s ingredients, classic forms and the choices made by its distillers. The authors of Distilled also offer their picks on what to “Drink Before You Expire” as well as their selections for the world’s best spirit examples of their types, from gin to rum to shochu to tequila. There are plenty of suggestions on how to drink, too, with modern and classic cocktails and insider tips on getting the most out of your spirits.
By John Wright
Ten Speed Press, April 2015
Author John Wright seeks to make brewing simple and fun, arming home cooks with the knowledge they need to create beer, wine, cider, herbal spirits and fruit liqueurs in their own kitchens. Wright pulls together research and experimentation—as well as years of drinking experience—in this culmination of recipes and helpful tips. Part of a book series from the River Cottage Cookery and Chefs’ School and TV show in the U.K., each section starts with an intro to essential techniques and methods, before sharing more than 75 recipes for beverages such as sparkling elderflower wine, mead, lager, blackberry whiskey and mulled cider. The River Cottage Booze Handbook includes an introduction by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and full-color photographs throughout.