It seems late September is the time of year to launch drink books. Here are a few hitting the shelves on the history of the cocktail renaissance and one on colonial American drinking, a new edition of Shrubs, an herbalist's guide to bitters, a beginner's guide to drinking, some drinking science, and some bourbon recipes.
The descriptions below all come from the publishers and are not reviews.
Drinks: A User's Guide by Adam McDowell
What wine to order? What beer to serve? What's a martini and how do you make one? As daunting as these questions can be, the answers aren't so complicated. Leave behind any anxiety about what to drink and when: This engaging and enlightening book tells you how to prepare, serve and order wine, beer and cocktails so you can drink like a boss every time.
How to equip and stock a home bar
How to make a flawless martini
How to order wine at a restaurant without dying a little inside
Which delicious sparkling wine to choose instead of springing for Champagne
Scotch to buy for the boss, and for yourself
Learn the ancient and useful art of choosing the right drink to elevate any occasion — from the business lunch to the ballgame to the bathtub.
Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times (Second Edition) by Michael Dietsch
"A shrub is exactly what the people who invented the phrase 'slake your thirst' had in mind. A shrub is full of character and variety. The ingredients―fruit, sugar, and vinegar―are as simple as can be. But the variations are seemingly unlimited. It has another superpower: A strong shrub game can help you make the most of bruised or aging summer fruit."
–The New York Times, in an article featuring Shrubs
Michael Dietsch took the mixology community by storm when he brought back a popular drink from colonial times, the shrub. Not the green, leafy kind that grow in the ground, but a vintage drink mixer that can be spiked with alcohol or prepared as a soda. Drinkers, bartenders, and the media embraced the book. This new edition features a foreword by Paul Clarke, the Executive Editor of Imbibe magazine and author of The Cocktail Chronicles. Here is the definitive guide to making and using shrubs.
A Proper Drink: The Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World by Robert Simonson
A narrative history of the craft cocktail renaissance, written by a New York Times cocktail writer and one of the foremost experts on the subject.
A Proper Drink is the first-ever book to tell the full, unflinching story of the contemporary craft cocktail revival. Award-winning writer Robert Simonson interviewed more than 200 key players from around the world, and the result is a rollicking (if slightly tipsy) story of the characters--bars, bartenders, patrons, and visionaries--who in the last 25 years have changed the course of modern drink-making. The book also features a curated list of about 40 cocktails--25 modern classics, plus an additional 15 to 20 rediscovered classics and classic contenders--to emerge from the movement.
Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History by Steven Grasse
In Colonial Spirits, Steven Grasse presents a historical manifesto on drinking, including 50 colonial era– inspired cocktail recipes. The book features a rousing timeline of colonial imbibing and a cultural overview of a dizzying number of drinks: beer, rum and punch; temperance drinks; liqueurs and cordials; medicinal beverages; cider; wine, whiskey, and bourbon—all peppered with liquored-up adages from our founding fathers.
There is also expert guidance on DIY methods for home brewing. Imbibe your way through each chapter, with recipes like the Philadelphia Fish House Punch (a crowd pleaser!) and Snakebites (drink alone!). Hot beer cocktails and rattle skulls have never been so completely irresistible.
DIY Bitters: Reviving the Forgotten Flavor - A Guide to Making Your Own Bitters for Bartenders, Cocktail Enthusiasts, Herbalists, and More by Jovial King and Guido Mase
Used since the Middle Ages, bitters are made by combining various plant botanicals and/or spices with 100-proof alcohol and letting them sit until the bitter and medicinal qualities have been extracted. Just a small amount of the resulting liquid can then be used to stimulate the digestive system and promote healthy digestion. This is why "apertifs" and "digestifs" are so popular--both then and now!
DIY Bitters is a how-to guide that explores the history and health benefits of bitters, and shows you how to make your own bitters at home, to be used alone or in cocktails, tonics, and even main meals.
Herbalists Jovial King and Guido Mase, owners of the bitters company Urban Moonshine, teach you how to make recipes for classic bitters like orange and angostura, or explore more innovative bitters like elderflower-echinacea-honey and chocolate love tonic. You can even find a guide for creating your own unique flavors from the plants and ingredients you have on hand.
Whether enjoyed as an apertif, digestif, or as a remedy to settle an upset stomach, bitters are back!
Distilled Knowledge: The Science Behind Drinking’s Greatest Myths, Legends, and Unanswered Questions by Brian D Hoefling
Everyone has questions about drinking, but it can seem like every bartender (and bargoer) has different answers. Between the old wives' tales, half-truths, and whiskey-soaked conjectures, it's hard to know what to believe—until now.
Armed with cutting-edge research and a barfly’s thirst for the truth, cocktail instructor Brian D. Hoefling tackles the most burning questions and longest-held myths surrounding that most ancient of human pastimes—with the science to either back them up or knock them down. From the ins and outs of aging to the chemistry of a beer head and the science behind your hangover, Distilled Knowledge provides a complete and comical education that will put an end to any barroom dispute, once and for all.
More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails by Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler
Ninety-five percent of the world's bourbon whiskey is produced in Kentucky, and the drink is as distinctive to the state as Thoroughbred horses and Bluegrass music. As America's native spirit enjoys booming popularity worldwide, award-winning bartender Joy Perrine and celebrated restaurant critic and drinks writer Susan Reigler return to offer new recipes that will delight both the cocktail novice and the seasoned connoisseur.
Following up on their best-selling The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, the duo returns with more reasons to appreciate bourbon whiskey. This mouthwatering volume features more than fifty delicious new concoctions―including variations on classics such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan―and even adds a splash of Kentucky flavor to mojitos, sangria, lemonade, and coffee. It also serves up recipes from leading bartenders, prizewinning drinks from cocktail competitions, and a bourbon-inspired buffet featuring edibles that will be a feast for aficionados. The useful bourbon glossary and bibliography will appeal to professional or at-home bartenders eager to experiment, invent, and savor their own recipes.