Wow there are a ton of new drink books out in August in September, with a huge variety of themes. 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.
Phew! That's a lot of books.
By the Smoke and the Smell: My Search for the Rare and Sublime on the Spirits Trail by Thad Vogler
Thad Vogler, owner of San Francisco’s acclaimed Bar Agricole and Trou Normand, is one of the most important people in the beverage industry today. He’s a man on a mission to bring “grower spirits”—spirits with provenance, made in the traditional way by individuals rather than by mass conglomerates—to the public eye, before they disappear completely.
We care so much about the food we eat: how it is made, by whom, and where. Yet we are far less careful about the spirits we drink, often allowing the biggest brands with the most marketing dollars to control the narrative. In By the Smoke and the Smell, Vogler is here to set the record straight. This remarkable memoir is the first book to ask the tough questions about the booze industry: where our spirits come from, who makes them, and at what cost.
By the Smoke and the Smell is also a celebration of the people and places behind the most singular, life-changing spirits on earth. Vogler takes us to Normandy, where we drink calvados with lovable Vikings; to Cuba, a country where Vogler lived for a time, and that has so much more to offer than cigars, classic cars, and mojitos; to the jagged cliffs and crystal-clear lochs of Scotland; to Northern Ireland, Oaxaca, Armagnac, Cognac, Kentucky, and California. Alternately hilarious and heartfelt, Vogler’s memoir will open your eyes to the rich world of traditional, small-scale distilling—and in the process, it will completely change the way you think about and buy spirits.
Distillery Cats: Profiles in Courage of the World's Most Spirited Mousers by Brad Thomas Parsons
Distillery Cats cheekily tells the tale of the historical role of these spirited cats and their evolution from organic pest control to current brand ambassadors. James Beard Award-winning author (and noted cat enthusiast) Brad Thomas Parsons profiles 30 of the world's most adorable and lovable distillery cats, featuring "interviews," a hand-drawn portrait of each cat, plus trading card-style stat sheets with figures like "super-power" and "mice killed." Featuring 15 cocktail recipes to enjoy while you page through, Distillery Cats is a quirky but essential addition to any cat or spirits lover's bookshelf.
B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S.: Bars And Saloons, Taverns And Random Drink Stories (Volume 1) by Brian F. Rea
A 222 page, 150+ images, entertaining, funny, irreverent memoir from the loungasaurus of the bar/drink trade. Stories of strange bartenders (Draino, Suck 'em up Sam, Drink Magician Jason, etc.), weird cocktails, latrine bars, authors DUI on a bicycle, bar staff complaints about customers, bar and church similarities. Plus the Testicle Festival, some classic cocktails and variations, hangover helpers (good and God awful), and Forbidden Fruit/Chambord and chastity belts.
The dark ages of bartending, Stink to Drink (author's entry to the bar trade), brief drink book reviews, Shampain, etc., as well bar/drink cartoons, images and stories. Together with interesting historical aspects, tales and observations of drink and drinking establishments.
The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy: A Universe of Unique Cocktails from the Celebrated Doctor Who Bar by Andy Heidel
For the first time ever comes a book that unites two of the best things in the world: nerd culture, and booze. Because if anything is true, it’s that nerds are awesome, and many of us like to throw back an adult beverage or two while re-watching Firefly for the seventeenth time.
The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy has something for all fans, from Agents of Shield to X-Men. With over a hundred delicious and easy-to-make recipes, this is going to be THE go-to book for anyone who loves nerdy pop culture (and drinking). All of the cocktails are created and field tested by the owner of The Way Station, everyone’s favorite Doctor Who themed bar, so you can be assured that these drinks will quench whatever thirst you’ve got.
Cocktails include: the George R. R. Martini; the Mai Tai Fighter; Blade Rummer; the Felicia Laundry Day; the Flux Incapacitator; Close Encounters of the Third Lime; Cognac the Barbarian; the Sonic Screwdriver; Beer is the Mind Killer; the Shirley Temple of Doom; the Well Wheaton; Klingon Bloodwine; and The Vermouth is Out There.
Muskets and Applejack: Spirits, Soldiers, and the Civil War by Mark Will-Weber
"I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals."
- President Abraham Lincoln, when confronted about General Ulysses Grant's excessive drinking.
Blood, gunfire, and whiskey: they are the three things that defined Civil War battlefields. In this fascinating, booze-drenched history of the war that almost tore America apart, historian Mark Will-Weber (author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt) weaves together lighthearted stories of drunken generals and out-of-control soldiers with the gritty reality of battlefields where whiskey was the only medicine-and sometimes the only food.
Muskets and Applejack paints a full, complex picture of the surprisingly large role alcohol played in the Civil War: how it helped heal physical and emotional wounds, form friendships, and cause strife. Interspersed between stories from the battlefield are authentic recipes of soldiers' favorite drinks-from both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.
I Hear She's a Real Bitch by Jen Agg
“A terrific, beautifully written, frank, and funny memoir, and a compelling argument for pulling down the long outdated system of ‘bro’ culture that has dominated the industry since what feels like the beginning of time.” —Anthony Bourdain
From the moment she opened her first bar, Jen Agg knew she could only be her own boss from then on. I Hear She’s a Real Bitch tells the story of how she fought her way through the patriarchal service industry and made it happen, from getting her first job pouring drinks all the way to starting Toronto’s culinary revival and running some of Canada’s most famous restaurants. And she shares what she learned through years of hard work and learning from her mistakes: how to run a great restaurant that’s also a great business.
Readers who loved Gabrielle Hamilton’s bestselling Blood, Bones, and Butter will devour this raw, uninhibited debut. Studded with Agg’s frank and often hilarious observations on an industry in which sexism has been normalized, I Hear She’s a Real Bitch is more than just a story about starting a restaurant: it is a rallying cry for a feminist revolution in the culinary world.
The Art of the Bar Cart: Styling & Recipes by Vanessa Dina, Ashley Rose Conway
From high-end magazines and design-inspiration websites to stores big and small, bar carts are a must-have piece of furniture. This book provides all the answers to the question—how can I get that look at home? The Art of the Bar Cart features 20 different styled bar setups—from tricked-out vintage carts to a collection of bottles tucked into a cabinet—themed around favorite libations, personal style, or upcoming occasions.
Readers can choose from the warm and inviting Whiskey Cart, the fun and fresh Punch Cart, or mix and match to suit any style. With easy tips to re-create each look as well as recipes for the perfect drinks to pair with each cart, this beautifully photographed guide is an inspiration to anyone looking to create a unique décor statement, and a drink to serve alongside.
Drink Like a Bartender by Thea Engst and Lauren Vigdor
Discover insider secrets and insight from bartenders all over the country on how to properly order, serve, and drink alcohol without looking like a novice. Each year we spend over $200 billion on alcoholic beverages. From egg white–infused cocktails and Italian liqueurs to barrel-aged beer and fortified wine, it can be difficult to keep track of all the latest trends.
Bartenders know all the inside info, and they are ready to share their knowledge. Drink Like a Bartender is a modern and fresh guide to everything bar and booze related. Novice and experienced drink lovers will learn the secrets of the industry, such as:
-Which drinks make a bartender judge you (two words: fireball whiskey)
-When to order top shelf (if you are ordering a Long Island Iced Tea, then no…)
-Whether you need to use specific glasses or not (the answer is yes)
-What kind of liquors to always have in your house for guests (vodka)
-When to shake and when to stir (James Bond was totally wrong with his martini)
-How to order your drink at the bar (liquor first…always)
With tips and secrets from mixologists all over the country, new takes on classic cocktail recipes, a glossary of bar terms and lingo only the pros use, and fascinating alcohol-related trivia, you will be thinking, talking, and drinking like a bartender in no time.
The Cocktail Competition Handbook by Andy Ives
So you want to win a global cocktail championship or for that matter even a local one. Whether you‘re a first-timer or a grizzled veteran of the cocktail competition circuit, it never hurts to hone your skills to a sharp edge thanks to the tips and tricks in The Cocktail Competition Handbook by Andy Ives. Editor of the BarLifeUK website and an active competition judge, Ives offers up sound advice selecting the right competition to enter, creating a drink, devising a presentation, and then delivering it to a judging panel.
He also discusses how to promote you and your drink entry through social media promotion, marketing, and through understanding the needs of competition sponsors. He also discusses perceived competition politics.
For competition organisers and brand personnel, The Cocktail Competition Handbook is an easy reference on the ins and outs of putting together a successful competition with more entries than you can possibly imagine. For judges, it is a reminder as to what competitors experience before they hit the stage and a reminder of what a good competition judge is intended to achieve.
Set within the inspirational, instructive, and even at times irreverent content of Ives’ writing, The Cocktail Competition Handbook is a ready reference that should be in the competition war chest for every aspiring cocktail champion.
Fever Tree: The Art of Mixing: Recipes from the world's leading bars by Fever Tree
The first cocktail title to put the mixers center-stage. Rather than starting with the spirits, this book focuses on key mixers - including tonic, lemonade, ginger ale, ginger beer and cola - and provide 100 classic and contemporary cocktail recipes that make the most of the botanical partnerships.
The book also explores the origins of key ingredients, including quinine, lemons and elderflower, revealing the role quinine has played in geo-politics, for example, and the impact different herbs have on taste. In the way that we increasingly want to know the source and production methods of the food we eat, so this guide allows you to understand more fully what we drink - and use that knowledge to create the most delicious cocktails.
Modern Cider: Simple Recipes to Make Your Own Ciders, Perries, Cysers, Shrubs, Fruit Wines, Vinegars, and More by Emma Christensen
Homebrew guru Emma Christensen presents accessible hard cider recipes with modern flavor profiles that make for perfect refreshments across the seasons. This lushly photographed cookbook features recipes for basic ciders, traditional ciders from around the world, cider cousins like perry, and innovative ideas that take ciders to the next level with beer-brewing techniques and alternative fruits. With Christensen's simple, friendly tone and 1-gallon and 5-gallon options, this book's fresh and fizzy recipes prove that cider-brewing is truly the easiest homebrewing project--much easier than brewing beer--with delicious, fruit-forward results! So whether you're a home cook trying your hand at a batch of simple Supermarket Cider or homemade Apple Cider Vinegar, a city dweller fresh from a day of apple picking in the countryside, or a homebrewer ready to move on to the next brewing frontier with Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cider and Spiced Apple Shrub, Modern Cider is your guide.
Spirit of the Cane by Jared McDaniel Brown and Anistatia Renard Miller
Nine years after they first published their first history of Cuban rum, authors Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown have finished scouring libraries, archives, and databases gleaning as much of the truth about the origins of Cuban rum. Their findings include some rather eye-opening discoveries about the contributions made by Spanish, French, British, and Dutch sources that positioned this seductive spirit ahead of other Caribbean spirits by seeking and adapting new technologies and techniques to its production which is appreciated around the globe.
Miller and Brown have also unearthed new evidence as to the origins of classic Cuban mixed drinks including the Mojito, Daiquirí, El Presidente, Cuba Libre, and Piña Colada. This revised and expanded discussion offers a fresh approach to the study of both Cuban rum's remarkable history and the people who created a genre of mixed drinks that have achieved universal appeal.
As the category continues to grow and mature, the authors present compelling reasons why Cuban rum does not live only on its past merits but shines with a brilliant future in the hands of a new generation of international bartenders.