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.
In the new issue of Imbibe (US), M Carrie Allan has a story about dangerous cocktail ingredients in which I'm quoted. She covers things like tobacco, homemade tonic water, and marijuana; and has a sidebar of other potentially-dangerous ingredients worth knowing about.
This year's batch of cocktail and spirits books - all put together in one big list to make your gift list (or your own wish list) easy to see.
We go through a lot of bottles in the beverage industry, and most of them go into the recycling bin or worse, the trash. However a few companies have designed bottles specifically to keep some of the glass out of the trash can for at least one more use.
If you're making or drinking a lot of homemade tonic water, beware of cinchonism, a condition caused by a buildup of quinine.