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New Books for November: Aquavit, Bourbon, Prosecco Cocktails, Global Bars and the World of Booze

Ah, the stack of new cocktail and drink books grows ever higher, threatening to topple down on me in my office at any time. 

Here are the new books that have arrived in my mailbox or that I've heard about, released in the past month or so. I included some beer and wine books that have showed up, and one book of interest to me about color (including the color from cochineal often used in spirits). 

They cover bourbon, aquavit, global booze and global bars, plus recipes for prosecco and Instagrammable cocktails. 

The descriptions below come from the publishers, and the links are to Amazon.com. 



The Bourbon Bartender: 50 Cocktails to Celebrate the American Spirit by Jane Danger and Alla Lapushchik

the bourbon bartender bookRaise your glass to the bourbon renaissance with this must-have cocktail collection.
Made in America and aged in charred new American oak barrels, bourbon is the quintessential US spirit--but the best part is mixing it up into tasty drinks. Here are the best of the best. Whiskey experts Jane Danger and Alla Lapushchik offer timeless classics and forgotten gems, such as the Old Fashioned and the Boulevardier, as well as cutting-edge craft concoctions, including the Shark Eye and Green Monster. They also serve up a short history of bourbon, tips for making delicious infusions and syrups, sidebars chronicling bourbon's influence on American culture, short profiles of the country's best bourbon-focused bars, and a calendar of bourbon festivals and events--everything a bourbon lover could want.




Straight Up: Where to drink & what to drink on every continent  by Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley

Straight Up bookHow great would it be to have access to the world's experts to help you choose the coolest and most interesting bars, wherever you find yourself in the world? Well, now you do. Straight Up is a carefully curated collection of insider tips that will allow you to discover the best drinking spots around the globe.

From a 10-seat basement bar in Tokyo, to a glitzy rooftop palace in Toronto and a converted Ottoman bathhouse in Budapest, this book contains everything you need to drink in style, brought to you by the locals in the know.

Spirits experts Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have gathered a team of expert contributors among the world's bartending community to nose out the most interesting and characterful experiences. Throughout the book you'll also find features on signature cocktails, cocktail recipes, the low-down on star bartenders, and the inside track on what to drink where.



Cocktail Chameleon by Mark Addison 

cocktail chameleon book
From the classic Margarita to the Love Byte, “Cocktail Chameleon” is award-winning designer and producer Mark Addison’s invitation to join him as he dresses up twelve cocktails in twelve unique variations for 144 signature takes on the classics. Mr. Addison tantalizes with molecular mixology to create the Anti-Gravity, instructs on how to reinvent the beloved Bloody Mary with sake, and invokes the famed royal rose garden with the Versailles. Inspiring the creative mixologist in everyone, Cocktail Chameleon will become an instant ally for hosts looking to elevate an occasion, or a much-needed friend to help unwind and end the day on a high note!





AKVAVIT - Rediscovering a Nordic Spirit  by Sune Risum-Urth and Rasmus Poulsgaard 

aquavit book

 Akvavit is the native spirit of the Scandinavian countries, but for most Scandinavians it is synonymous with holiday family gatherings or company Christmas lunches, affairs and general unwise decision making. It is something we chuck down until we throw up from intoxication and go to work the next day with a strained smile on our faces trying to avoid eye contact with Martin from accounting.

But since the cocktail culture swept over the barren plains of Scandinavia we have begun using akvavit in an entirely new way. Once again, we are free to fall in love with our native spirit bymoving it into a modern context inspired by the new Nordic cuisine and our cultural heritage.

This book is an attempt at this - an inspirational tool for bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts, to aid in the creation of a new Nordic liquid culture. We hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we
enjoyed writing it.




The Drinkable Globe: The Indispensable Guide to the Wide World of Booze by Jeff Cioletti

the drinkable globeOne of the best ways to experience the world is through a glass. The essential guide for that journey is the new book, “The Drinkable Globe” from the author of “The Year of Drinking Adventurously” and Turner Publishing.

Join international beverage journalist and expert Jeff Cioletti as he explores the tradition, consumption, and production of alcohol on every continent. “The Drinkable Globe” circumnavigates the planet and uncovers the boozy cultures and concoctions that make the world go ’round. And you’ll get to drink along with more than 100 recipes from exotic brands and renowned international cocktail personalities.







Prosecco Cocktails: 40 tantalizing recipes for everyone's favourite sparkler by Laura Gladwin

prosecco cocktailsAh, Prosecco, how we love it! With its crisp, zesty bubbles and light, fruity flavor, Champagne’s perkier younger cousin is our favorite sparkling wine, hands-down. But what many of us don’t realize is that those easy-drinking qualities we love so much are exactly what makes it a fantastic base for cocktails, too. Prosecco’s sprightly bubbles combine brilliantly with all kinds of liqueurs and spirits, so it’s time to open the drinks cabinet and start experimenting—and Prosecco Cocktails is the perfect companion to get you started. There are Prosecco-led twists on the classics, like the Kir Royale or Prosecco Mojito; sophisticated apéritifs like the classic Spritz or the strawberry-infused Rossini; absolute party barnstormers like the Sangria Blanca, infused with white peach and basil; and intriguing sweet treats like the Wild Berry Cheesecake or Sparkling Parma Violet.

Everyone enjoys the magical sound of well-chilled fizz cascading into a sparkling clean glass, adding its special cheer to any occasion. Now let’s take it to a whole new level! Whether you’re hosting an action-packed bachelorette party or a dainty baby shower, a sunny beachside cook-out or a festive holiday drinks gathering, an intimate meal à deux or a gossip-fuelled get-together, a fun family celebration or a soignée dinner party, the true joy of Prosecco is that it’s ideal for any occasion. Add the inventiveness of cocktails and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a fabulous time. And, well, why on earth not?


Brewdog: Craft Beer for the People  by Richard Taylor with James Watt and Martin Dickie


brewdog bookBrewDog is one of the world's fastest-growing food and drink brands. Well known for their crowd-funded, rapid expansion and iconoclastic approach, the company now has a wide range of award-winning craft beers (67 to date) that are stocked by every major retailer, 55 BrewDog-branded bars around the world and has just opened a major brewery in Ohio. Their first beer book focuses on explaining craft beer to the widest possible audience.

It includes:
a survey of what makes craft beer great
how to understand different beer styles
how to cook with beer and match beers with food
and even how to brew your own.

Designed in the highly individual style of the brand, the book includes quirky features such as spaces to place a drop of beer once you've ticked a particular beer off your 'to-drink' list and a DIY beer mat.


The New Wine Rules: A Genuinely Helpful Guide to Everything You Need to Know by Jon Bonne

the new wine rules jon bonne bookThere are few greater pleasures in life than enjoying a wonderful glass of wine. So why does finding and choosing one you like seem so stressful?

Now, becoming a happier, more confident wine drinker is easy. The first step is to forget all the useless, needlessly complicated stuff the “experts” have been telling you. In The New Wine Rules, acclaimed wine writer Jon Bonné explains everything you need to know in simple, beautifully illustrated, easy-to-digest tidbits. And the news is good! For example: A wine’s price rarely reflects its quality. You can drink rosé any time of year. Don’t save a great bottle for anything more than a rainy day.







Larousse Wine

larousse wineLarousse Wine's comprehensive coverage of the wine-producing regions of the world is invaluable. Each section begins with it a beautiful color illustration of the area, with the major districts, rivers, and cities highlighted. A short history and analysis of each region follows, with a discussion of the types of wines produced in each district, the specific oenological properties that make the region unique, and the appellations of the area. Boxes and features throughout also cover a vast range of subjects such as how to read a wine label, whether to decant wine, and even the great wine waiters of the world. Whether you are new to the subject or a seasoned wine enthusiast, there is something new for everyone in Larousse Wine.





The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair 

the secret lives of colorThe unforgettable, unknown history of colors and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-colored volume.

The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso's blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.

In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or punk's fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture.



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When you first enter the world of cocktails, it can be so daunting, with all the resources already out there, plus these to add to the list! But its such a rich, fascinating and fulfilling endeavor. Spirits and alcohol in general have such a close tie with our history, its eyeopening to see how its evolved over the years. Thanks for sharing these new books!

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