How to Booze by Jordan Kaye and Marshall Altier

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Why should I take money out of my precious alcohol budget to buy a book about what to drink?” Fair question. The truth is, if you’re only interested in a compendium of popular cocktails, you need the 67th edition of Mr. Boston: Official Bartender’s Guide (Wiley, 2008). The 1,500 or so recipes jammed between those famous red covers ought to hold you for at least a few months.

On the other hand, if you’re a budding bartender or amateur mixologist trying to match “the right cocktail with the right moment,” How to Booze (Harper, $14.99) might be a better choice. Although the book contains just more than 100 recipes, the authors have decades of drinking experience: Kaye is a former bartender and sommelier (and current lawyer). His writing partner, Altier, is a professional bartender with numerous accolades under his belt. Happily, their book provides something Mr. Boston can’t: opinions, wisdom and sound judgment.

How to Booze quickly covers glassware and basic skills, and immediately addresses the right drink for a first date: the Dark ’n’ Stormy, with “two ingredients, no pretense, and the adventuresome warm spice of ginger to keep things interesting.” Elsewhere, the authors provide suggestions on what to drink with your ex (an Old Cuban), what goes best with a random sexual encounter (a Sidecar), and what liquid might lubricate a threesome (a Negroni). And that’s just the first chapter. All along the way, the authors provide thoughtful reasoning with their recipes.

This book will guide you through weddings and funerals, toasts and eulogies, meeting in-laws, and making New Year’s resolutions. And should you find yourself feeling hungover the next morning, the authors have a full-proof (though not necessarily 40-proof) remedy.

How To Booze isn’t as much fun as drinking, but it’s pretty darn close. Cheers to the authors, and na zdrovia to the readers!

Because reading is more fun while sprawled out by the pool, Bookini is the name of our summer reading series.