It's another fantastic month for drink books, with tomes on bourbon history, whiskey science, cocktails from Seattle and New York and Iceland, plus an industry book and an illustrated one as well.
Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey by Fred Minnick
Bourbon is not just alcohol -- this amber-colored drink is deeply ingrained in American culture and tangled in American history. From the early days of raw corn liquor to the myriad distilleries that have proliferated around the country today, bourbon has come to symbolize America.
In Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, award-winning whiskey author Fred Minnick traces bourbon's entire history, from the 1700s with Irish, Scottish, and French settlers setting up stills and making distilled spirits in the New World through today's booming resurgence. He also lays out in expert detail the critical role this spirit has played throughout the cultural and even political history of the nation -- from Congress passing whiskey-protection laws to consumers standing in long lines just for a glimpse of a rare bottle of Pappy Van Winkle -- complemented by more than 100 illustrations and photos.
And most importantly, Minnick explores the mystery of who most likely created the sweet corn liquor we now know as bourbon. He studies the men who've been championed as its inventors over time -- from Daniel Boone's cousin to Baptist minister Elijah Craig -- and, based on new research and never-before-seen documentation, answers the question of who deserves the credit.
Made of Iceland: A Drink & Draw Book by Reyka Vodka, Snorri Sturluson
Iceland is a land full of volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, and the Northern Lights, and home to a culture of inventive spirits, steeped in art, ingenuity, creativity, and a long history of storytelling. Of course, stories aren’t limited to being told with words alone. Just as often stories are told with pictures. In Iceland, there is a tradition called “Drink & Draw,” where bar patrons enjoy a cocktail and draw a sketch based on a particular theme. The sketches are then collected and published in small booklets. Reyka Vodka has produced this book to showcase its homeland through a collection of drawings doodled while enjoying a cocktail, and then photographed by Icelandic photographer Snorri Sturluson. Icelandic culture is celebrated through the drawings and through a look at different elements that are uniquely Icelandic—from the music and art, to the food, folklore, and natural beauty that make Iceland, well, Iceland.
Reyka Vodka comes from Iceland’s first distillery, located in Borganes, Iceland. Located 74 km outside of Reykjavik, this coastal village is removed from industrial life and surrounded by wonderful natural resources. With bountiful, crisp arctic waters and abundant lava rocks that we use to filter our small batch vodka, we can’t help but want to give the world a little taste of what we experience every day. Reyka isn’t just made in Iceland. It’s made of Iceland, with the things that make this island unlike any other place in the world.
Snorri Sturluson is an Icelandic director and photographer. Snorri began his career documenting the music scene in Iceland in the 80s, and became a producer for several Icelandic music labels. Snorri has lived in New York since 2001 and has helmed numerous high profile advertising campaigns for TV, print, and internet for many of the world’s best known brands as well as directed music videos and other content. Snorri is the author of previous powerHouse book Laundromat (2013).
Cocktails for Ding Dongs by Dustin Drankiewicz (Author), Alexandra Ensign (Illustrator)
With humor and playfulness, this collection of cocktail recipes and comics offers updated twists on classic cocktails. With appearances from pop culture characters, inebriated unicorns, and more, this cocktail guide aims to bring the sophistication of the craft cocktail to the average swiller. The original recipes were created by the bartender of the Michelin-starred group 16" on Center (Longman & Eagle, Dusek's, Moneygun).
Dustin Drankiewicz served stints bartending in Milwaukee and Las Vegas before becoming beverage director for Chicago's restaurant/hospitality group 16" On Center.
Alexandra Ensign is a University of Chicago graduate and bartender who spends her free time creating zines, comics, and illustrations to sell at local comic conventions and fests.
Inside The Bottle: People, Brands, and Stories by Arthur Shapiro
Inside the Bottle: People, Brands, and Stories is an intimate and informative behind-the-scenes window to the global liquor and wine business by one of the industry’s leading marketing gurus. As an industry insider and publisher of the popular blog, Booze Business, Arthur Shapiro provides a unique view that appeals to a diverse audience. Marketing, alcohol, and short story enthusiasts alike can learn from and laugh along with Shapiro’s experiences. Inside the Bottle gives a sometimes shocking look at the U.S. alcohol industry in a conversational and entertaining style. It focuses on the key players, their relationships, and stories. It’s about marketing and sales, brand building, image and product excellence, and what it takes for a brand to win. It’s about how a successful industry has evolved and been fashioned.
Arthur Shapiro is a part time marketing and strategy consultant with a full time passion for telling stories through his blog, stage plays, and screens of all sizes. After a decade as EVP of Marketing for the America’s for Seagram’s Spirits & Wine, Shapiro has continued to lend his expertise to both the most influential brands in the industry and to a host of start-up ventures. Since 2010 he’s channeled his wisdom and wit into his popular blog, Booze Business. Inside The Bottle: People, Brands, and Stories is his first book.
The Canon Cocktail Book: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar by Jamie Boudreau and James O. Fraioli
Home to the Western Hemisphere's largest spirit collection, Seattle bar Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium has achieved unprecedented, worldwide acclaim. Named Best Bar in America by Esquire, Canon received Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards for World's Best Drinks Selection (2013) and World's Best Spirits Selection (2015), and Drinks International included it on their prestigious World's 50 Best Bars list.
In his debut, legendary bartender and Canon founder Jamie Boudreau offers 100 cocktail recipes ranging from riffs on the classics, like the Cobbler’s Dream and Corpse Reviver, to their lineup of original house drinks, such as the Truffled Old Fashioned and the Banksy Sour. In addition to tips, recipes, and formulas for top-notch cocktails, syrups, and infusions, Boudreau breaks down the fundamentals and challenges of opening and running a bar—from business plans to menu creation. The Canon Cocktail Book is poised to be an essential drinks manual for both the at-home cocktail enthusiast and bar industry professional.
Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske and Georgette Moger-Petraske
Here are 85 cocktail recipes from his repertoire—the beloved classics and modern variations—with stories from the bartenders he personally trained. Ingredients, measurements, and preparations are beautifully illustrated so that readers can make professional cocktails at home. Sasha's advice for keeping the home bar, as well as his musings, are collected here to inspire a new generation of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts.
Forewords by Dale DeGroff and Robert Simonson.
Shots of Knowledge: The Science of Whiskey by Rob Arnold and Eric Simanek
Shots of Knowledge is a guidebook for whiskey lovers. Organized into approximately sixty illustrated essays, the book samples selected topics in whiskey production through the lenses of science and engineering.
While the essays are subdivided into three sections—From Sunshine to Sugar, From Wee Beasties to White Dogs, and From Barrel to Brain—the reader is free to sip them in any order. The story commences with water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight; travels through the manufacturing process; and ends with the molecules that entertain the palate.
Whether the topic is photosynthesis, bubble caps, oak speciation, or a mechanistic enzymology, the essays seek to reveal the simple beauty too often hidden in science and engineering. At approximately one page in length, each essay and accompanying artwork can be digested slowly at the rate estimated at three essays per bourbon or Scotch.
Each essay is summarized in one or two sentences in a single “Shot of Knowledge.” Iconography anchors each essay in the production process. Inspiration for the book derived from a productive collision between individuals from TCU and the Firestone & Robertson Distilling Company.