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Twelve New Drink Books for August/September 2017: Rum, Cider, Cats, Bar Ownership, Cocktail Comps

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.  Read more →

Seven New Drink Books On Cognac, Sake, Cocktails, and More

These are seven newish drink books that have arrived at Alcademics HQ for your consideration. Most of the below descriptions come from the book blurbs and are not reviews, as I'm about 30 books behind on my reading list. Nicholas Faith's Guide to Cognac by Nicholas Faith (Not sure why this book is so expensive on Amazon; it's only 132 pages. The Kindle version appears to be free.) Nicholas Faith’s Guide to Cognac is a directory supplement to Nicholas’s best-selling book Cognac: The story of the world’s greatest brandy. Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes... Read more →

The Difference Between a Shrub and a Switchel

I received the new cocktail menu from Brandon Wise of Imperial in Portland, Oregon and noticed that it has the following drink on it: Slings and Arrows: Dewars blended scotch, Lemonhart Demerara rum, Lemon, Mulled pinot noir syrup, Tony's homemade switchel. The last ingredient was described as, "House-made switchel, also known as swizzle or haymaker’s punch. A long forgotten ingredient, Wise’s nostalgic resurrection of this carbonated cross between sweet tea and apple cider is an appreciated addition to Imperial’s ingredient list." So, a switchel sounds a lot like a shrub, a (usually) fruit-and-vinegar syrup. I followed up with Wise to... Read more →

A Drink-Through of Gitane's New Cocktail Menu by Carlos Yturria

Today's post is written by Lou Bustamante. Lou is a contributor to publications including the SF Chronicle, SF Weekly and Wine & Spirits. A Look at Gitane in San Francisco The bar at Gitane has always been one of the most dramatic in San Francisco, feeling a bit like a bar tucked away inside a nomadic caravan. You half expect a magic cabaret or Iberian characters on a quest to a windmill to waltz through at any moment. The magic at the bar has traditionally come in a glass. With a rich heritage of bar folks that includes Alex Smith,... Read more →