The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook did not disappoint. It was the perfect blend of Mad Men recaps paired with the booze and food consumed on the show with a shot of historical context on the side. It was like the Boilermaker of books. Kudos to the authors who must of watched hundreds of hours of Mad Men to nail down such details and researching the recipes. Also, since Mad Men has been off the air for so long, it also helped me remember the details of the past seasons.
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Cooking My Way Back Home has an amazing array of recipes, all of which would make great accompaniments to booze, whether that be cocktails, wine or beer. It’s the perfect food to serve at a boozy dinner party. Personally, those are my favorite kind. There is nothing better than spending an evening with friends around the table with platters of delicious food being passed and free flowing wine and cocktails. I can guarantee that the recipes in this book will not disappoint!
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.
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
Whether you have mastered the DIY cocktail and are looking for your next challenge or you are looking for that unique homemade gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on your holiday list, this book will keep you busy and entertained for months!
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.
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.