Top 10 new spirits books for Autumn 2015By Kristiane Sherry
From the most rebellious of spirits and Mr Lyan’s cocktail recipes, to satricial, spirited Shakespeare and haute jelly shot recipes, these are the top spirits books of Autumn 2015.
As the clocks change and the Autumn evenings draw it, what could be better than curling up with a good book?
Bookworms with a penchant for spirits have long been able to combine their two favourite pastimes, but this season they are in for a treat, with everything from elegant coffee table tomes to entertaining cartoon compendiums successfully crossing book editors’ desks.
Click through to discover our round-up of the top new spirits books to hit the shelves this season.
What’s your favourite? Have you read a new book that deserves a spot in our line-up? Let us know in the comments section below.
Cocktails for Dingdongs by Dustin Drankiewicz and Alexandra Ensign
Dustin Drankiewicz, bar director of Chicago’s 16” On Center, and Alexandra Ensign, comic book artist and bartender at The Promontory, are the brains behind satricial cocktail reference manual, Cocktails for Dingdongs. The name was said to be inspired by Drankiewicz’s “favourite term of endearment”, with the book supported by a number of alochol brands including Brugal Rum, Cutty Sark, Suerte Tequila and Control Pisco.
An initial 550 copies of the 24-page hardback book are available now at all 16” On Center venues at an RRP of US$15.
Gin: The Art and Craft of the Artican Revival by Aaron Knoll
New York-based gin specialist Aaron Knoll takes fans of the spirit on a global journey through the “artisan gin revolution” in this beautiful hardback publication. Said to be the first book to take a global overview of new gin categories and place them in the context of the spirit’s history, Knoll’s book covers the past, present, and appreciaion of gin, including its making and tasting.
Gin: The Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival is published by Jacqui Small and available now in hardback and e-book formats for £25.
Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends, by Ryan Chetiyawardana
The man behind award winning London bars Dandelyan and White Lyan, Ryan Chetiyawardana opens up at-home cocktail creation to the masses with his beautiful new book. Taking the fuss out of crafting impressive serves, Chetiyawardana demonstrates that cocktails are the next stage in the “foodie revolution” and are not just for “fancy nights out and snobby mixologists” – all in the style of that Mr Lyan magic. The book also reveals that the super talented Chetiyawardana has another, lesser known, weapon in his creative arsenal: he drew all the doodles himself.
Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends is published by Frances Lincoln and is available now in hardback priced at £20.
Jelly Shots: A Rainbow of 75 Boozy Recipes, by Michelle Cordero
A colourful compendium of recipes set to turn the humble jelly shot into a stunning party treat, Michelle Cordero’s book is packed with ideas and inspiration for boozy dessets for any occasion. Packed with 75 easy-to-follow recipes from chocolate covered jelly shots to glitter Champagne shots, Nutella creations and even strawberry marghertia serves, get set to add a new dinner party signature to your repertoire.
Jelly Shots: A Rainbow of 75 Boozy Recipes is published by Race Point Publishing and available now in paperback for £11.99.
The Periodic Table of Cocktails, by Emma Stokes
Inspired by the Periodic Table of Elements, The Periodic Table of Cocktails is part of a new series by Ebury Press which spans cocktails, wines, heavy rock and hip hop. Each book contains a specially created table which offers an “elemental explaination of its subject” alongside “bluffer’s text” showing similarities, links and differences. Cocktails are organised by style, spirit and mixers, and instead of elements you’ll find everything from manhattans to egg nog. Each book comes complete with a beautiful periodic table pull-out poster – the perfect gift for cocktail geeks.
The Periodic Table of Cocktails is published by Ebury Press and is available now in hardback at £9.99.
Rebellious Spirits: The Illicit History of Booze in Britain, by Ruth Ball
Chemist, founder of Alchemist Dreams, and Global Spirits Master judge, Ruth Ball takes the reader on a historic journey through the underbelly of spirits production in the UK. From the sale of gin through pipes in London back alleys, picking up smuggled booze on Cornish beaches or whisky running during the Blitz, this book is packed with the untold stories of the rebellious folk who made the UK drinks industry what it is today through their under-the-radar, illicit activities. Accompanied by historic recipes and their modern interpretations by leading bartenders, Rebellious Spirits is a fascinating insight into the heritage of British booze production.
Rebellious Spirits: The Illicit History of Booze in Britain is published by Elliott & Thompson and available now at £14.99.
Shakespeare, not Stirred: Cocktails for your Everyday Dramas, by Caroline Bicks & Michelle Ephraim
Razor sharp and witty, Shakespeare, not Stirred is a perfect mix of “literary nerdery and cheeky wordplay” for those who enjoy both booze and the Bard. Bicks and Ephraim are eminent English professors, punsters and clearly drinks enthusiasts, and their merry distillation of Shakespeare scenes, combined with life events and cocktails with such eyebrow-raising names as “Lady Macbeth’s G-Spot”, is certain to stir up a following in academic and drinks circles alike.
Shakespeare, not Stirred: Cocktails for your Everyday Dramas is published by Scribe Publications and is available in hardback now for £9.99.
Spirit of Place: Whisky Distilleries of Scotland, by Charles Maclean
A visual delight of a book by noted whisky writer Charles Maclean, Spirit of Place is a “wide ranging and evocative portrait” of Scotland’s distilleries. Exploring the “cultural terror” of 50 sites, the coffee table publication explores the whisky-making ingredients, practices and traditions across the country’s eight producing regions. The stunning photography comes courtesy of Lara Platman and Allan MacDonald, who perfectly capture the character of the people, buildings and landscapes behind the drams. A “perfect companion” for relaxing at home with a dram.
Spirit of Place: Whisky Distilleries of Scotland is published by Frances Lincoln and is available now at £25.00.
The Knowledge: Whisky by Dave Waddell
Billed as an “approachable” guide to whisky, Dave Waddell’s new book encourages readers to enjoy a dram “how you like” and is aimed at “both the newcomer and the dedicated enthusiast”. Split into 13 chapters, the publication covers whisky production, the role of distillers and master blenders, and provides a whistle-stop guide to the world’s whisk(e)y producing countries. A great, easily-to-digest guide to the category.
The Knowledge: Whisky is published by Quadrille as is available now at £10.00.
Classic Cocktails by Salvatore Calabrese
An updated and expanded version of the original Classic Cocktails publication, the man known as “The Maestro”, Salvatore Calbrese, has packed this book with cocktail trends insight, tastes and techniques. Fifty new recipes include the turn-of-the-century New Orleans classic Absinthe Suissesse, a barrel-aged Blood and Sand, and Prohibition-era The Angel’s Tit. The book also includes ideas and recipes for DIY cocktail ingredients, inlcuding flavoured syrups. Essential reading for cocktail geeks.
Classic Cocktails is published by Sterling and available soon at £14.99.