It’s time to take that Amazon Prime membership out for a little spin …
Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker, by Fred Minnick.
Author, photographer and “bourbon authority” Fred Minnick returns with a most appealing tome that tackles the politics of distilling, controversies and lawsuits, and the miseducation of consumers. Chapters 5-8 break down bourbons not by their ages, popularity or other variable, but by their dominant flavor characteristics: grain, nutmeg, caramel or cinnamon. Chapter 9 delves into select limited editions and special releases—yes, even your beloved Pappy Van Winkle. Zenith Press, $23.
Cocktails on Tap: The Art of Mixing Spirits and Beer, by Jacob Grier.
At first glance, this might appear to be a manual for putting cocktails on tap, but this is actually a beertail book with more than 50 recipes. While the notion of a beer cocktail still seems fresh in memory, Grier reminds us from whence we came with recipes for classic ale punch, ale sangaree, shandygaff, flip and posset. A chapter on purely modern recipes contributed by bartending luminaries gives just a taste of where this trend is going. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $25.
Imbibe! Updated and Revised Edition, by David Wondrich.
If you loved the first edition, you’ll greedily pore over the second to see what’s been added by everyone’s favorite liquor historian, including more delightfully obscure recipes and how to use today’s revivalist products to re-create them. Perigee, $26.50.
The Umami Factor: Full-Spectrum Fermentation for the 21st Century, by Robert Rivelle George.
Got a tinkerer on your hands? Turn them loose with this zero-to-hero manual for brewing not only beer, but also scratch root beer and other sodas, mead, cider, kombucha and bouza, the beer of the Pharaohs. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., $40.
Vermouth: The Revival of the Spirit That Created America’s Cocktail Culture, by Adam Ford.
Pour something strong and enjoy the romantic tale of the aromatized wine that changed the way we drink, and also changed the author’s entire life. Ford is the creator of Atsby Vermouth, and by the end of this book, you might toy with the notion of concocting your own! The Countryman Press, $25.