Below is information on five new drink books out this month on a variety of topics. This has been such a great year for books on cocktails and spirits.
The descriptions come from the publishers and are not reviews by me.
Whisky Japan: The Essential Guide to the World's Most Exotic Whisky by Dominic Roskrow
Japanese whisky is finally getting the international recognition it deserves. Originally created to emulate the malts of Scotland, Japanese whiskies now hold a distinct and unique place among other world-class spirits. Yet, despite having a history going back nearly a century, and winning many prestigious awards in recent years (including Whisky Magazine's World Whiskies Awards in 2016, 2013, 2011, and 2010, and The Whisky Bible's World Whisky of the Year in 2013), Japanese whiskies have remained enigmatic and exotic.
Until now. In WHISKY JAPAN, the most comprehensive book on Japanese whisky ever available in English, renowned expert Dominic Roskrow reveals what makes Japanese whisky so special and sought-after by whisky connoisseurs everywhere. He introduces the companies that make Japanese whisky, and offers detailed portraits of these distilleries, explaining their complex production processes, traditions, and the new innovations that have allowed them to take on and surpass the competition. The reader is carried along on a journey to the very heart of Japanese whisky making, with extensive tasting notes for all the leading expressions, a special selection of rare Japanese treasures, profile interviews with key personalities, and over 500 beautiful photographs and illustrations. Here are the whisky makers, blenders, independent bottlers, retailers, collectors, bloggers, and bartenders. There is a lively guide to the best bars around the world in which to taste Japanese whisky, a section on whisky cocktails and food pairings, and useful travel tips on how to get to the distilleries, where to stay, what to eat, and what else there is to do in the area.
Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons
The European tradition of making bittersweet liqueurs--called amari in Italian--has been around for centuries. But it is only recently that these herbaceous digestifs have moved from the dusty back bar to center stage in the United States, and become a key ingredient on cocktail lists in the country’s best bars and restaurants. Lucky for us, today there is a dizzying range of amaro available—from familiar favorites like Averna and Fernet-Branca, to the growing category of regional, American-made amaro.
Amaro is the first book to demystify this ever-expanding, bittersweet world, and a must-have for any home cocktail enthusiast or industry professional. Starting with a rip-roaring tour of bars, cafés, and distilleries in Italy, amaro’s spiritual home, Brad Thomas Parsons—author of the James Beard and IACP Award–winner Bitters—will open your eyes to the rich history and vibrant culture of amaro today. With more than 100 recipes for amaro-centric cocktails, DIY amaro, and even amaro-spiked desserts, you’ll be living (and drinking) la dolce vita.
The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes by Lou Bustamante and the United States Bartenders' Guild
Learn everything you need to know to craft the perfect cocktail—or two, or three…but who’s counting? Spirits writer and expert Lou Bustamante, in partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild, collects the best cocktail recipes, techniques, and histories in this must-have volume that has a place in every home bar.
From worldwide classics to creative new combinations and packed with expert tips from bartenders across the globe, The Complete Cocktail Manual will help you stock your bar, impress your friends, and throw one hell of a party.
Everything you need is in here:
Setup: Get the expert-tested and bartender-approved list of what you need to set up a pro bar at home, from basic supplies and glassware to fancy gear and the ultimate shopping list. Learn all about your favorite liquors—and some you haven’t even heard of—and educate yourself on every mixer, ice cube, and tool you might need.
Recipes: From apertivos to citrus, spirit-forward to spicy, get the best recipes for every type of drink, from the classics to the most-Googled, in all their many forms. Learn what makes the difference between an antique old-fashioned and a modern one, get the twist right for your muddling, and know which tools to use for which cocktails.
Hospitality: Whether you’re planning the menu a week in advance or hosting on the fly, get the scoop on entertaining with ease—from food pairings to setup, party punches to supply quantities. Learn how to hack your garnish and set a drink aflame—the right way—and get some tips for dealing with intoxicated guests and next-day hangovers. This book has everything you need to know to throw the ultimate cocktail bash.
This is a must-read volume for any spirits fan, casual mixologist, or craft cocktail enthusiast.
The Big Man of Jim Beam: Booker Noe And the Number-One Bourbon In the World by Jim Kokoris
The Big Man of Jim Beam delves into the life and times of legendary distiller F. Booker Noe III, grandson of Jim Beam and father of the bourbon boom. A true American original who left his mark on everything he did and everyone he met, this charismatic, opinionated man turned the Jim Beam company into the world's largest bourbon distillery and secured his product's place in the cultural psyche. This book tells his story, from growing up in the "First Family of Bourbon" to becoming master distiller, offering insights and guidance for creating brands and products that stand the test of time. His commitment to innovation and quality earned him legendary status and tremendous business growth; the discussion keys in on some of his most prized creations, including one of the first super-premium bourbons on the market, and the small batch collection that laid the groundwork for bourbon's modern resurgence.
Jim Beam is a distinctly American brand that has tapped into the collective consciousness and leveraged vision into growth. This book tells the story of the man behind the brand, and his approach to his work, his product, his company, and his people.
The Big Man of Jim Beam tells the story, and digs out the wisdom and insight from this legendary leader.
Shake. Stir. Sip.: More than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts by Kara Newman
Some of the best cocktails are the easiest to make, and author Kara Newman figured out the secret—using equal parts of the main ingredients and adding a dash of bitters or a splash of seltzer to gild the lily. Take the Cucumber Gimlet: Combine one part each vodka, lime juice, and lemonade; 2 cucumber slices; then garnish with a basil leaf! And beverages like this are a breeze to size up for parties—just double, triple, or quadruple the proportions. This book contains 40 simple recipes, from two-ingredient sips like the Bamboo Cocktail to timeless classics like the ever-popular Negroni, proving that great, artisanal cocktails don't have to come from a bar.