© 2011 F. Paul Pacult
Kindred Spirits 2:
A Double Scotch: How Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet
Became Global Icons
AMERICAN STILL LIFE: The Jim Beam Story and the Making of the World's #1 Bourbon
by F. Paul Pacult
(Click on the book cover to go to a site providing more information about the book or click on the Amazon logo to buy a copy.)
More than just a book about liquor, American Still Life tells the story of America's dynastic First Family of bourbon whiskey; a family business that has evolved and grown over time and examines issues of marketing and branding, innovation, global business and competition, and government regulation. One part family chronicle, one part cultural history, and one part business success story, F. Paul Pacult, the most accomplished and respected authority on beverage alcohol today, narrates the Beam saga with a passion for his subject.
The PDT Cocktail Book:
The Complete Bartender’s Guide From the Celebrated Speakeasy
by Jim Meehan with Illustrations by Chris Gall
(Sterling Epicure, 2011, $24.95)
As the guiding light of New York’s legendary speakeasy PDT (2007), Jim Meehan has vaulted to the top of the bartending world by sheer hard work, creativity and a warm personality. Excellent sections on glassware and tools, 300 recipes, and a spirits primer.
The Punch Bowl:
75 Recipes Spanning Four Centuries of Wanton Revelry
by Dan Searing
(Sterling Epicure, 2011, $14.95)
A good and useful read after you read David Wondrich’s seminal book PUNCH. Many of these recipes are perfect for the winter holidays. Nicely assembled.
The American Cocktail:
50 Recipes that Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks from Coast to Coast by the Editors of Imbibe Magazine/Photographs by Sheri Giblin (Chronicle Books, 2011, $19.95)
A cocktail book with a definite twist, TAC offers 50 recipes from across the United States, taken region by region. Not only are the recipes terrific, but the sections at the back of TAC are really useful.
Micro-Distilleries in the U.S. and Canada, 2011 Edition
By David J. Reimer, Sr.
(Sunbury Press, 2011, $24.95)
A terrifically handy and timely summary of all the craft distillers in North America. While the book might appear a little cheesy, it makes up for looks and graphics with tons of information.
From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar by David Wondrich
(Perigee Hardcover, New York, NY; 2007; $23.95 hardback)
IMBIBE! is way more than just author/cocktail historian David Wondrich's fond ode to 19th century American mixologist, Jerry Thomas, a.k.a. the Professor. It is an entertaining and myth-busting visit to the era when combining more than one ingredient in drinks became a favored pastime in the bars, lounges and hotels of large cities. Right out of the gate, Wondrich shoots down the misconception that Thomas was this nation's first celebrity bartender. That distinction, Wondrich immediately clarifies, goes to an 1830s-1840s mixologist simply named Williard. But, as Wondrich constructs, it would be Jerry Thomas in the 1860s who through his book, How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon Vivant's Companion, would catapult cocktails ahead more than anyone who preceded him. It is likewise how well Wondrich relates the evolution of cocktails from Williard and Jerry Thomas forward through the rest of the 19th century and up to 1920 (the start of Prohibition) that makes this book so valuable. Chapters 2 through 9 depict the histories of scores of classic cocktails and why they remain vital today. In my view, IMBIBE! is the finest and most important historical account of cocktail fact and fiction in America since William Grimes' Shaken and Stirred. Indeed, it may just be the best cocktail history ever written.
How's Your Drink?
Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well by Eric Felten
(Surrey Books, Chicago, IL; 2007; $20 hardback)
As the award-winning (James Beard Awards) cocktail columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Eric Felten has made his mark in the New Golden Age of Cocktails by handily and wittily debunking lots of wasteful mixed drink myths and getting right to the heart of the matter: making delicious cocktails the way they should be made. Felten's writing is crisp and economic. His best essays in this tidy tome include Slam, Bang, Tang; the wonderful Libation Tribulations; and, my favorite, Cocktails and Combat a beautifully written piece about war and drinking.
Secrets Revealed of America's Greatest Cocktails:
The Hottest Spirits, Coolest Drinks and Freshest Places by Robert Plotkin (BarMedia, Tucson, AZ; 2007; $24.95 hardcover)
Robert Plotkin's impossible-to-put-down new book is a delight to read. His on-the-money views on individual cocktails and spirits and where to enjoy them are informative, entertaining, and immensely useful to consumers. Organized by major cocktail category, America's Greatest Cocktails is a superb source of data that is as cool and current as a Mojito.