One of my favorite bartender-visionaries Thad Vogler released a book about learning/purchasing spirits by going to where they're made. While Vogler owns Bar Agricole, Canada's Jen Agg owns Agrikol in Montreal, and also has a book out from a very different owner's perspective, called I Hear She's a Real Bitch. Like Vogler, Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown travelled to Cuba to write their latest book (I think it's their third on Cuba cocktails and bartenders), while Brad Thomas Parsons wrote no doubt his most fun book to date, starring cats that live at distilleries. New Orleans rum legend Brian Rhea finally wrote a book that should be full of tales from his many years in bars, while for newbie drinkers we have Drink Like a Bartender and for sci-fi fans there is a whole book of out-of-this-world cocktails awaiting. Beyond that there's an American history and booze book, a book that tells bartenders how to win international cocktail competitions, a book on cider (and shrubs and vinegars), one on bar cart styling, and finally a brand book from Fever Tree Tonic Water.
Keeping track of new cocktail mixers and tools hitting the market.
Testing the fino sherry-soda cocktail The Rebujito with 11 different lemon-lime sodas.
The convention is a meeting of the second tier of the three tier system: the distributors who buy from the producers and sell to either bars or liquor stores as required by US law.
A round-up of new bar tools and a few mixers hitting the market.
My annual list of most all of the cocktails and spirits books that have been released. This year we see tons of whiskey books again, and a whole segment of bar-specific cocktail books and a new category of narrative cocktail history.
Blended Canadian, scotch, and American whiskies, pisco, cool-sounding syrups, vodka designed for mixing with soda water, and other new products launching now.
New mixers hit the market: A bitters gift set, seasonal shrubs, and color-changing tinctures.