November 22, 2010
If you're looking for a coffee table book featuring some kick-ass cocktails, you could do a lot worse than picking up Tony Abou-Ganim's Modern Mixologist. It's big, it's beautiful, it's badass - and if you don't care about the "coffee table" aspect, you can get it quite a bit cheaper for Kindle.
...in The Modern Mixologist, Abou-Ganim has established the new standard in cocktail books -- a must-have guide to home mixology in a beautiful, coffee-table-suitable format. Featuring gorgeous full-color photography throughout by the award-winning Tim Turner, this book instantly becomes the most beautiful guide to creating cocktails available anywhere. If you carry one high-end cocktail book, this is it -- sure to be a terrific gift item all year round.
At The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails
November 18, 2010
We've always been suckers for a book with a good subtitle, and this one may take the cake - Living Loaded: Tales of Sex, Salvation, and the Pursuit of the Never-Ending Happy Hour. Written by Playboy's Dan Dunn, these are the stories of a man who is paid to drink for a living, and seems to enjoy what he does.
We haven't read the book yet (it's not out until February 2011) but the celebrity quotes make us want to, badly. After all, who else but Dan Dunn could get endorsements from everyone from John Oates (of Hall & Oates) to adult film star Savannah Samson? A snippet from the description and you'll want to read it too:
I hereby invite you to join me, as I conduct "revealing" hotel room interviews with porn stars in LA; go Zip Cat racing in Scotland with Stifler from American Pie; enjoy whiskey-fueled romantic encounters in alleyways behind East Village watering holes; get dumped by my stripper/med student girlfriend (mid-lap dance, no less) simply for not being "husband material;" wake up naked on a big-shot Hollywood producer's living room floor; and learn, the hard way, why NEVER to order an Irish car bomb in a Dublin pub.
Living Loaded: Tales of Sex, Salvation, and the Pursuit of the Never-Ending Happy Hour
November 16, 2010
When our fearless Editor in Chief was out in Las Vegas last month, he happened to go to a bar called Frankie's Tiki Room. Since then, he has done nothing but talk about how great the drinks were, how much fun the kitschy atmosphere was, blah blah blah. Since we're not scheduled for our Liquor Snob Intern Vegas Getaway and Fun Run* for a while, we figured we'd try to find a good resource for tiki drink recipes.
Of course, there's always Tiki Bar TV (not that they seem to update anymore), but sometimes you want to hold the drink recipe in your hands - or give it as a gift. That's where Trader Vic's, a name indelibly associated with tropical cocktails, comes in:
Every major tropical beverage (alcoholic and non-) is here--daiquiris, mai tais, punches, etc.--and Siegelman gives a snappy introduction to each, interspersing the cocktail recipes with quotes from Vic himself (on the mai tai: "Anybody who says I didn't create this drink is a dirty rotten stinker"). Ninety-five drinks later, a chapter on food appears, with suggestions for 35 pupu platter dishes, finger foods, salads, buffet-style entrees and desserts (some of which call for Trader Vic's bottled sauces). While there are certainly more high-end books on entertaining Polynesian-style available, none beats this one's authentic kitsch.
All we can say is sign us up.
At Trader Vic's Tiki Party!: Cocktails and Food to Share with Friends
* This doesn't actually exist, but wouldn't it be incredible if it did?
November 8, 2010
If you're looking for a gift for the adventurous cocktailian in your life, it might be time to look backward, into the past of mixology. That's where "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie: 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them" comes in. We've never had an Alamagoozlum, but Zombies are damned delicious. Here's the rundown on the book:
In this expanded and updated edition of Forgotten Cocktails and Vintage Spirits, historian, expert, and drink aficionado Dr. Cocktail adds another 20 fine recipes to his hand-picked collection of 80 rare-and-worth-rediscovered drink recipes, shares revelations about the latest cocktail trends, provides new resources for uncommon ingredients, and profiles of many of the cocktail world's movers and shakers. Historic facts, expanded anecdotes, and full-color vintage images from extremely uncommon sources round out this must-have volume. For anyone who enjoys an icy drink and an unforgettable tale.
Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them
October 26, 2010
What happens if you toss a travelogue, a bar book, and a cocktail recipe book into a blender, add a jigger of humor, and flip the on switch? From what we hear, you get Jason Wilson's Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits. The book has been out for over a month, and we're not quite sure how we missed it, because we've been fans of Wilson's writing for a few years now. The book's getting great reviews, and we know we're in for something interesting when Wilson's at the keyboard (or at the bar).
Despite its flippant title, Wilson's book has a serious purpose. Its author wants to raise the level of Americans' appreciation for liquor, that oft-maligned beverage whose connoisseurs find alive with subtle and complex flavors and worthy of imbibing for delights far surpassing mere intoxication. Wilson's quest for the finest liquors has taken him all over the world. He has sampled the delights of Peruvian pisco, Mexican tequila, and French cognac under some remarkable circumstances. He favors robust distillates such as cognac and whiskeys over the bland neutrality of vodka.
So if your taste runs to the adventurous side and you're looking for some insightful on-the-road booze insight, without relying on Zane and Pleepleus, this is probably the book for you.
Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits
October 15, 2010
We love Fridays anyway, but today is even better because of an embarrassment of riches for whisky (and whiskey) afficionados. First it was 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die, and now we've been alerted that Kevin Kosar over at Alcohol Reviews has written a book entitled Whiskey: A Global History.
Mr. Kosar knows a thing or two about spirits, having run the above-mentioned site since 1998 - that's something we can vouch for since we've been reading his spirit reviews on and off for the last five years. We haven't read the book ourselves (yet), but Jason Wilson at the Washington Post gave it a very positive review.
Although he covers the entire bar at AlcoholReviews, when it comes to spirits, whiskey is where Kosar's heart is. "Whiskey is so interesting because there is so much diversity," he says. "There's no way a vodka can be as interesting as whiskey. It offers such a great experience. It's the spirit that's most similar to wine. You could never hope to taste all the whiskeys out there."
Ah yes, yet another book for us to add to our Christmas wish list, then get too impatient and buy it ourselves.
Whiskey: A Global History
Last month, we reported on a super-interesting book called "101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die" and at the time, it was slated for release in early December. It looks like Christmas has come early, because faithful reader Chuck ordered his and got a notification that it's already shipped out.
We've confirmed on Amazon that it's in stock and ready to ship - it's even Prime eligible if you're one of those folks who likes free shipping. We're getting out the old credit card right now and we'll give the book a read and give you our thoughts once we do.
101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die
October 11, 2010
We figured since we're out in Vegas for Harlem's shot drink showcase we should commemorate the day by finding a nice book of shot recipes for our readers to try at home. The Big Bad-Ass Book of Shots contains over 1,400 shot recipes (though probably a lot of them are variations), and seems like just what the doctor ordered if you're looking to slam a few.
Though we have to say - they list the body shot as one of their recipes, and if you need a book to tell you how to do that you probably don't have anyone to do them off. Sorry.
Big Bad-Ass Book of Shots
October 7, 2010
We've said it before, and we'll say it again - old people may smell like mothballs and regret, but they know how to drink right. Want to know why? Because you'd never catch your grandfather - and most likely grandmother, for that matter - drinking a Flirtini (or any -tini other than a martini). Our older generation knows the value of a drink that makes you grimace juuust a little bit - and chasing that drink down with a pickled egg.
That's why we're excited about Old Man Drinks: Recipes, Advice, and Barstool Wisdom. It's chock full of quotes and wisdom from semi-ancient barflies, and includes a multitude of cocktail recipes that need to start rubbing elbows with Cosmopolitans on drink lists.
Here you'll find histories and recipes for Old-Fashioneds, Sidecars, Clover Clubs, Rusty Nails, Hot Toddys, Monte Carlos, and more than 60 other vintage cocktails. Accompanying the text are evocative black-and-white photographs of real old men enjoying their beverages of choice and dispensing such timeless words of wisdom as "I'm gonna die some day, so I may as well drink" and "I've taken an involuntary vow of celibacy."
Available at Amazon
[via The Awesomer
September 15, 2010
We're pretty sure the title says it all here. If you like to drink whisky, this should be your bucket list, and not in a pretentious way. Check this out:
Avoiding the deliberately obscure, the ridiculously limited, and the absurdly expensive, whiskey expert Ian Buxton has scoured the shelves of the world's whiskey warehouses to recommend an eclectic selection of old favorites, stellar newcomers, and mystifyingly unknown drams that simply have to be drunk.
This witty, focused, and practical guide is not an awards list or a list of the 101 "Best" whiskies in the world in the opinion of some self-appointed whiskey guru. It's simply a guide to 101 whiskies that enthusiasts really must seek out and try--love them or hate them--to complete their whiskey education.
How can you go wrong? In other news, this little baddie comes out just before Christmas (hint hint).
101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die at Amazon