Top new spirits books for autumn 2017
An exploration of all things Bourbon, a toast to history’s greatest women, and a guide to medicinal cocktails – these are our top spirits books for autumn 2017.
With the nights closing in and the temperatures dropping, what could be better than treating yourself to a hot toddy, throwing on your favourite jumper and curling up on the sofa with a book?
Ensuring that book is about spirits, of course.
This season there are new books exploring the distilleries and blends of the Scottish Highlands and islands, guides to perfecting cocktails with Bourbon and rum, and a nerd-friendly cocktail book that’s out of this world.
Click through the following pages to discover our selection of the top new spirits books to hit the shelves this season.
Have you read a new book that deserves a spot in our line-up? Let us know in the comments section below.
Looking for more? Here’s our summer 2017 new book selection for other recent spirits publications.
The Great Drams of Scotland by Greg Dillon
Award-winning writer and blogger Greg Dillon invites readers to join him on a journey through Scotland, taking in 28 distilleries and 23 brands to reveal the legends, secrets and fictions behind the country’s best whiskies. Whether you’re a whisky aficionado or new to the spirit, there is something to appeal to you here. Dillon’s personal account is interspersed with insider secrets, interviews with industry figures, and tasting notes.
The book aims to decode labels and demystify some of the jargon, chronicling the brands that have contributed to the overall global success of Scotch. Each chapter also comes with a whisky pairing so you can drink as you read.
The Great Drams of Scotland will be published on 12 October.
Doctor’s Orders by Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza
Despite them now perhaps more often being the cause of a sore head, cocktails were originally invented as medicinal tonics, intended to perk you up. Whisky and vodka, in particular, weren’t drunk for pleasure for longer than is conceivable now. Taking this original concept, Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza, owners of the Salts of the Earth drinks consultancy, have come up with a range of cocktails to restore whatever ails you, from a broken heart to another tough Monday.
Chapters include Remedies, Fixer Uppers and Comforters. Featured cocktails include Tiger’s Milk – a twist on a Bloody Mary that will cure any hangover – and the restorative, invigorating Apple a Day.
There are also recipes inside to create your own syrups and infused spirits, as well as tips to help provide perfect presentation.
Doctor’s Orders: Over 50 Inventive Cocktails to Cure, Revive and Enliven is released on 2 November.
The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky by Dave Broom
Since Japanese whisky appeared on export markets in 2002, it has consistently won awards and proven itself capable of holding its own with the more traditional whisky homelands, including Scotland and Ireland. Dave Broom is an award-winning author and Japanese whisky expert who now brings his knowledge and experiences in Japan together in this book that will explore the history and output of each Japanese distillery.
Broom also discusses aspects of Japanese life and culture that are necessary for a wider understanding, and its as much his personal account of travelling Japan as it is a guide to the whiskies produced there.
The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky is available now.
Rum: Shake, Muddle, Stir by Dan Jones
With some people predicting that rum is soon to make steps to topple gin from its perch of drink a la mode, now feels like a good time to bone up on rum cocktails so you aren’t left behind.
Taking the reader far beyond the classic Cuba Libre, Dan Jones provides instructions for making over 40 rum-based cocktails, as well as recipes for infusions, syrups and sours. While staples like the Negroni and Mai Tai can be found within its pages, Jones ensures that readers will be turning their hands to a Yuzu Ginger Daiquiri or a stormy-flavoured Dirty Little Ruby in no time.
Rum: Shake, Muddle, Stir: Over 40 of the Best Cocktails for Serious Rum Lovers is available now.
The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy by Andy Heidel
Nerd culture and fine cocktails come together for the first time in this unusual recipe book from Andy Heidel. Over 100 cocktails are presented here, each of which has been created, tried and tested at The Way Station, a Doctor Who-themed bar in Brooklyn, New York.
Every major facet of science fiction and fantasy is represented here, from Game of Thrones to X-Men. Cocktails include: Blade Rummer; the Sonic Screwdriver; the George R. R. Martini; the Well Wheaton; Cognac the Barbarian; and The Vermouth Is Out There.
The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy is available now.
Whiskies Galore: A Tour of Scotland’s Island Distilleries by Ian Buxton
While the Scottish mainland has given the world many notable whiskies, there is much to be said about those that come from the islands. Their remoteness, coupled with a unique heritage and mystique, allow for an interesting story to be told, and Ian Buxton does so here.
Buxton combines spirits writing with travel writing and the reader follows his personal journey across the islands. On his travels he encounters a basking shark, learns to fish with high explosives and even has time to teach us a thing or two about the distinctive whiskies of the Scottish islands.
Whiskies Galore: A Tour of Scotland’s Island Distilleries is available now.
Straight Up by Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley
When you’re travelling the world and in need of something to drink, it would be really useful to have the world’s experts on hand to tell you what drinks to avoid and which bars to run into. Straight Up will do the job.
Spirits experts Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley travelled the world and spoke to experts to combine this tome of the planet’s best bars and beverages, from tiny 10-seater basements in Tokyo, to sumptuous rooftop bars in Milan.
The book includes interviews with notable bartenders, features on signature cocktails, and drinking itineraries for many major cities to help you make the most of your visit.
Straight Up: Where to Drink and What to Drink on Every Continent is available now.
The Bourbon Bartender by Jane Danger and Alla Lapushchik
The rules around Bourbon are simple: it must be made in America and aged at least two years in barrels of charred new American oak. Once that’s done, the sky is the limit with what you can do with the resulting spirit, and whiskey experts Jane Danger and Alla Lapushchik have penned this book to help you made the most of your Bourbon.
Among such classics as the Manhattan, Old Fashioned and Whiskey Daisy, there are also cutting-edge cocktails such as the Paper Plane, Ex-Pat and Battleship Julep.
The book is also packed with information about the history of Bourbon, its influence on American culture, and some of the best Bourbon bars in the States.
The Bourbon Bartender: 50 Cocktails to Celebrate the American Spirit is available now.
1001 Whiskies You Must Try Before You Die by Dominic Roskrow
Following on from books regarding the 1001 best beers and wines in the world, the series now brings back a fully revised edition of 1001 Whiskies, with an exploration of the world’s best whiskies.
It’s a comprehensive global tour taking in old favourites like Ireland, Scotland and the US, as well as delving into newer markets like Japan and India.
The guide has been researched thoroughly and gives an introduction to the vast variety of whiskies available the world over, from household names to rare and unique brands and blends. It is completely up to date and an essential tome for any true whisky fan.
1001 Whiskies You Must Try Before You Die is available now.
Women’s Libation! by Merrily Grashin
In honour of the many great women who have made the mark on history, Merrily Grashin has compiled 75 recipes to celebrate their lives. Grashin, an illustrator and bartender from Brooklyn, raises a toast to the feminist heroines and social movements that have changed the world. Each cocktail is dedicated to a particular lady, and the recipe is served with a side order of history.
Cocktails include Rose the Riveter, Joan of Arc & Stormy and Margaret Sanger-ia. Easy to make at home and the perfect accompaniment to a girls night in.
Women’s Libation!: Cocktails to Celebrate a Woman’s Right to Booze will be available from 7 November.
Good Together by
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Each meal is paired with a complementary cocktail, and the extensive menu includes contributions from such chefs as Nuno Mendes (Chiltern Firehouse), Robin Gill (The Dairy) and Tien Ho (Whole Foods).
Good Together: Drink & Feast with Mr Lyan and Friends is available now.