It seems like just about everyone has a cookbook, cocktail manual or spirits’ history guide out on the market. A lot of superb ones cross our path with regularity—from new to old—but some really set themselves apart. Most recently we’ve been digging through four new offerings and each is very different from the next. Whether you’re looking for a quick drink or a culinary cocktail, there are two books here that can steer the course. If studying up on a classic or getting in-depth (with multiple senses) on a spirit strikes your fancy, those are here as well.
Cocktails for Drinkers
Directly upon its cover, “Cocktails for Drinkers” makes its value clear; announcing that it contains “Not Even Remotely Artisanal, Three Ingredient or Less Cocktails That Get to the Point.” There are 100 recipes inside that most frequently employ mixers you already have stocked in your kitchen. It’s highly usable and lots of fun (not to mention, the book is cheaper than an artisanal cocktail itself). This isn’t just for college kids who don’t want another whiskey soda, it’s just as applicable to anyone with a home bar who wants to whip something up quickly.
It’s safe to say that the Aperol Spritz is one of the most iconic Italian aperitivos—and we are a decade (or so) into another spritz boom. With Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau’s “Spritz,” the uncommon and unexpected history of the cocktail is explored—from its ancient Roman roots up to the current craze. The authors further explore Italy’s overall aperitivo culture, placing the drink into context. Further, the books offers of 50 recipes for cocktails and pairing food plates.
The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-it-All
While it came out at the end of 2015, we keep returning to “The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-it-All.” Remarkably, the scent profiles have held up since we first received the book—and they continue to inform and delight. This is, of course, a book for adults but it’s found a clever yet simple way of conveying information about whiskey (and whisky) to readers. From distillation to the differences between bourbon and rye, it’s all here in a multi-sensory fashion.
Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails
Matthew Biancaniello has long-been known as a cocktail artist. Biancaniello spent years masterminding drinks at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s famous Library Bar. Now, some of his heartier, more magnificent creations have hit the press in “Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails.” This is not a beginner’s book; rather, one will find an array of rare ingredients and complex means of combining them all. All of the cocktails were invented by Biancaniello, and his care and concern when it comes to putting a drink together will make readers want to take their time and savor every little bit.
Eat Your Drink book cover by Mia Wasilevich, lead and all other images by Cool Hunting