December 9, 2010

Booze and the Private Eye: Alcohol in the Hard-Boiled Novel

booze_and_private_eye.jpgIf there are two things we're obsessed with around here, they're booze and hard-boiled fiction. That's why we spend most of our days pretending to work, feet up on our desks, smoking cigarettes and making "private eye coffee," which as you know is 3 parts rye whiskey, 2 parts milk and sugar, and 1 part coffee. We haven't read this book, but we plan to.

The hard-bitten PI with a bottle of bourbon in his desk drawer--it's an image as old as the genre of hard-boiled detective fiction itself. Alcohol has long been an important element of detective fiction, but it is no mere prop. Rather, the treatment of alcohol within the works informs and illustrates the detective's moral code, and casts light upon the society's attitudes towards drink.

At Booze and the Private Eye: Alcohol in the Hard-Boiled Novel

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November 24, 2010

The Gourmet's Guide to Cooking with Liquors and Spirits

cooking_liquors_spirits.jpgOne of our favorite things about the holidays is it's an opportunity to not just drink more booze, but a nice way to figure out other ways to consume it too. We usually put it in our desserts, but you can find creative ways to get liquors into just about anything. That's why we're bummed we just discovered The Gourmet's Guide to Cooking with Liquors and Spirits. It just came out in September, and it's chock full of all kinds of boozy treats for every course:

Try one of these recipes tonight!
Mojito Vinaigrette
Lump Crab Cakes with Basil and Kaffir Lime Vodka Aioli
White Chicken Chile with Cilantro and Whiskey
Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Blackberry Brandy Sauce
Grilled Vegetables with Anisette and Balsamic Vinegar
Curaçao Rum Cake
Irish Crème Pudding with Candied Cashews

At The Gourmet's Guide to Cooking with Liquors and Spirits: Extraordinary Recipes Made with Vodka, Rum, Whiskey, and More! (Also available in a Kindle version)

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November 22, 2010

Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails (Book)

modern-mixologist-book.jpgIf 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

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November 18, 2010

Living Loaded Book

living_loaded_cover.jpgWe'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

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November 16, 2010

Trader Vic's Tiki Party! Cocktail Recipe Book

trader_vics_tiki_cocktail_book.jpgWhen 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?

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November 8, 2010

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails Book

vintage-spirits-cocktails.jpgIf 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

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October 26, 2010

Boozehound Book by Jason Wilson

boozehound_book_cover.jpgWhat 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

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October 15, 2010

Whiskey: A Global History (Book)

Whiskey-A-Global-History.jpgWe 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

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101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die Released Early

101_whiskies.jpgLast 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

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October 11, 2010

Big Bad-Ass Book of Shots

bad_ass_shot_book.jpgWe 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

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

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