This weekend is the official start of vacation season. Whether you’re heading to the beach, taking a road trip or seeing the sights this summer, you’ll need to pack a good book. Here are some great reads that will keep you and your travel companions in good spirits.
Moonshine has a special place in American culture and dates back to before the founding of this country. Max Watman traces the history of this high-proof spirit from its illicit origins to the recent popularity of legal micro-distilleries. Watman also includes his own entertaining experiments in home distillation.
The Hour ($17) by Bernard DeVoto:
Read the new edition of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and literary critic Bernard DeVoto’s long out of print “cocktail manifesto.” From the history of drinking in America to the proper way to mix a Martini, all subjects are fair game for DeVoto. The witty and occasionally comical book also makes a great weekend host gift.
Smirnoff Vodka can be found in just about every liquor store in America and is the top selling premium spirit in the world. Linda Himelstein recounts the fascinating tale of how Pyotr Smirnov rose out of serfdom to build this incredibly popular brand.
Last Call ($30) by Daniel Okrent:
Prohibition may have ended almost 80 years ago, but Daniel Okrent’s thorough and well-researched account of this infamous dry period is required reading for any modern drinker. His engaging writing style draws you in, and the book is full of interesting stories that add color to the history of the era.