Good news: Spring is less than a month away, and summer is just around the corner! But before you dig out your shorts and flip-flops, there are still many long, cold evenings to weather. We suggest you use the time wisely and read these new spirited books. They’re, of course, best enjoyed with a glass of your favorite elixir.
Vodka Distilled ($23), by Tony Abou-Ganim with Mary Elizabeth Faulkner:
The latest volume from all-star bartender Tony Abou-Ganim is devoted to the country’s top-selling spirit, vodka. There is a wealth of knowledge on the alcohol, plus dozens of Abou-Ganim’s cocktail recipes. Liquor.com advisory board member Dale DeGroff’s introduction is an added bonus.
If you want to go even deeper into vodka’s past, pick up Edwin Trommelen’s tome, which was recently translated. It’s a study on the role that the liquor has played in Russia for the last 600 years and is packed with quotes from a range of famous writers and poets.
The New York Times columnist Rosie Schaap’s memoir explores her own imbibing history and complicated relationship with a number of watering holes and their patrons. It’s a personal bar crawl that’s hard to put down.
All drinkers should have The New York Times bestselling author Amy Stewart’s The Drunken Botanist in their library. It will be released in March and provides a horticultural profile of an array of common distilling ingredients from barley and rice to juniper and angostura bark. Its fascinating tidbits make perfect happy-hour conversation fodder.
Beam, Straight Up ($23), by Fred Noe with Jim Kokoris:
Who better to tell the tale of Jim Beam Bourbon than Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s great-grandson and the brand’s seventh-generation master distiller? The book is rich with family stories and memories, which any whiskey fan will like. It’s the ideal accompaniment to a dram.