Whether for beachside perusal or backyard entertaining, here are 10 new and upcoming booze-related books you need to read this summer.
The Art of American Whiskey (Noah Rothbaum; Ten Speed Press, $20)
Informative and easy on the eyes, this book tells the story of American whiskey through the labels that have appeared on more than 100 iconic bottles. Thirsty? Try one of the (mostly) classic whiskey cocktail recipes.
Classic Cocktails (Salvatore Calabrese; Sterling Epicure, $20)
An updated version of the 1997 guide, this solid collection of cocktail recipes focuses mainly on classic drinks, but it also has a smaller section of "signature" drinks from the London bartender.
The Cocktail Chronicles: Navigating the Cocktail Renaissance with Jigger, Shaker & Glass (Paul Clarke; Spring House Press, $25)
The editor of Imbibe Magazine sets a genial, accessible tone with easy-to-make cocktail recipes interwoven with cocktail lore.
The Field Guide to Drinking in America: A Traveler's Handbook to State Liquor Laws (Niki Ganong; Overcup Press, $20)
A breezy compilation of odd little details, organized by state, this is a fun read for booze trivia/history buffs who enjoy learning about, say, the Zion Curtain law in Utah that prohibits patrons from watching a bartender make a drink.
How the Gringos Stole Tequila: The Modern Age of Mexico's Most Traditional Spirit (Chantal Martineau; Chicago Review Press, $27)
This book takes a deep-dive look at the people and processes behind tequila, and traces the agave spirit's arc from body-shot staple to luxury good. A section in the back on "Another Round, or 99 Tequilas and Mezcales to Try Before You Die" could have been a book of its own.
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Imbibe! Updated and Revised Edition (David Wondrich; Perigee Books, $27)
A good 25 percent thicker than the groundbreaking first edition, this cocktail history book adds on more stories, details and drink recipes sourced from the golden age of mixology, interspersed with plenty of dry wit and good advice.
The Negroni: Drinking to La Dolce Vita, with Recipes & Lore (Gary Regan; Ten Speed Press, $19)
An entire book dedicated a single cocktail? Oh, yes. Veteran barman Regan has collected the best riffs on the classic Italian cocktail, and perhaps the best part is his chummy vibe with the other bartenders who contributed to the book.
The River Cottage Booze Handbook (John Wright; Ten Speed Press, $22)
The ultimate DIY manual for anyone who's dreamed of brewing beer, wine or cider, or infusing herbal spirits or fruit liqueur at home. (Note: There's no actual distillation in the book.) Much consideration is given to which plants/fruits are in season, so you know the best time to infuse sloe gin (fall) vs. raspberry vodka (summer).
Vermouth: The Revival of the Spirit That Created America's Cocktail Culture (Adam Ford; Countryman Press, $25)
Yes, Ford is the founder of Atsby Vermouth, which may raise some red flags about his objectivity on the subject. (And yes, Atsby is name-checked plenty throughout the recipe section, although competitor brands are called out, too, to a lesser degree.) That said, Ford proves a knowledgeable guide about the history and production of vermouth.
You Suck at Drinking (Matthew Latkiewicz; Running Press, $15)
Both fun and funny, this small book is an ideal gift for when you're crashing at your college bud's summer share. Expect lots of tongue-in-cheek advice about how much to drink on a date, when to buy the next round and a step-by-step pictorial on throwing a drink in someone's face.