In Boozehound, Mr. Wilson traces his humble drinking origins back to his parent’s liquor cabinet where he was quite fond of the bottle of Sambuca, an anise flavored liqueur, that remained relatively untouched in high school. He charts his path onto college, an enlightening experience with a mentor who ordered him his first Stinger and a college trip through Europe. Not stopping, Mr. Wilson then regales us of tales from his time as a spirits writer traipsing through distilleries, going to booze festivals and stops along the way in many drinking establishments, famous and otherwise.
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The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks is a modern classic. First published in 1948, it is probably more popular today that it was when the book was initially released.
The House of Mondavi chronicles the rise and fall of the famed Mondavi family of Napa. It’s the real life version of Falcon Crest, the 1980’s prime-time soap opera set in wine country and allegedly based on the Mondavi family. Boy, is it a juicy and fascinating read. The book details the Mondavi family’s involvement in the wine industry and it’s intertwinement of the Mondavis and the rebuilding of Napa Valley and it’s eventual explosive growth. And, no-one was more synonymous with Napa Valley than it’s biggest promoter, Robert Mondavi. Pretty heady stuff for an oenophile. I
This week’s top book pick is from the modern master of the cocktail himself, Dale DeGroff, and his The Essential Cocktail. Dale was and continues to be one of the leaders in bringing back the cocktail and elevating bartenders back to their rightful status as professionals and masters of their craft that was destroyed with the start of Prohibition.
We spend a lot of time thinking about drinks but I was still taken aback by the impact that six beverages had on world civilization. In his book, History of the World in Six Glasses, Tom Standage explores the effect that beer, wine, distilled spirits, tea, coffee and Coca Cola had on civilization and world history. It’s nothing short of remarkable.
If you love booze and you love to to make your own ice cream, sorbets and granitas, then this book is the one for you. Ice Cream Happy Hour is an innovative book that brings you “50 boozy treats you spike, freeze and serve”. The authors of Ice Cream Happy Hour have covered a number of old and new classics in their book and most of them seem down right yummy.
The Bi-Rite Market is a luscious cookbook – it looks so good and is so informative that it could be a coffee table book. In addition to providing recipes, the book discusses the history of the Bi-Rite Market, the renaissance in the neighborhood, the shop’s purveyors and explanation of meats, cheeses and produce. I particularly enjoyed the spotlight on the shop’s purveyors, which discussed the products made and the passion the purveyor’s exhibited for their product.
I must also extol the virtues of the recipes. They are simple to make – keeping the number of ingredients and cooking techniques to a minimum – while preserving the essence of the dish.