Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Tag Archives: Cocktail books

More than a shot of Irish

Admit it. You might just do a shot of Irish whiskey tomorrow. I don’t blame you. Those Jameson specials are hard to resist. Just remember that there’s more to Irish whiskey than St. Patrick’s Day.

All the makings of a Dubliner.

Irish whiskey is a fascinating spirit. Much of it is light and gentle, but there are plenty of heavyweights to give Scotch and bourbon a run for their money. The proof’s in the numbers—Irish whiskey is now one of the fastest growing spirits categories, and in 2011 it outpaced single malt Scotch whiskey sales, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Continue Reading

Leaping with The Joy of Mixology

Okay, here’s a confession. I always ask bartenders which cocktail books are essential. They always recommend The Joy of Mixology. I always nod knowingly, pretending I’ve read it. But I hadn’t. Until now. I finally ordered a copy from Rainy Day Books and have spent the last few nights combing its pages, dog-earing and underlining… Continue Reading

Flipping for Grünauer

Grünauer’s Amontillado Flip got a lot of photo play in my winter cocktail piece in the Kansas City Star (Spirits of the Season) this week, but I realized only later that I’d given it short shrift in the article itself. That’s a shame, because it’s incredibly good. Scott Beskow created the drink, which is at… Continue Reading

Read, Shake, Sip Redux

For those of you who missed yesterday’s Kansas City Star, here’s a list of some worthy cocktails and spirits reads. For those of you who did see it, read on—there are a few extra bits that didn’t make it into the printed version. The King of Vodka—Linda Himelstein recounts Pyotr Smirnov’s rise from serfdom to… Continue Reading

Read, Shake, Sip…

Cocktail book reviews are usually pretty simple. Look over the list of 15 or 20 titles published in the past year, request review copies of maybe a dozen, then quickly trim the reviewable list to half a dozen. Not this go-round. There are a lot of good writers doing good work out there, and today’s… Continue Reading

Maybee not in Manhattan after all

MAY 19 UPDATE: When I spoke with Maybee last week, the trip was on. But he canceled it after Howard Hanna, Maybee’s partner in The Rieger/Manifesto, lost a family member. Our condolences to Hanna and his family, and apologies to readers for an off post. Still, pretty cool that Maybee’s in Gaz’s book. A deserved… Continue Reading

Meeting Mezcal

Mezcal. I’d read about it, but never given it much thought. Even after Doug Frost opined about its smokey richness back in, oh, 2007 or so. Even after Saveur published a killer article about it in 2009. Even after Ryan Maybee stocked Manifesto’s bar with it, and Beau Williams earned second place with his mezcal-based… Continue Reading

From Smirnov to Smirnoff

Naming a vodka is a tricky thing. Most brands strive to evoke heritage and history through slick packaging and glossy ads. Smirnoff needs no such marketing ploys. Its name is steeped in enough intrigue, blood and revolution to fill an entire book. The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of… Continue Reading

Getting the Last Word

Rejuvenating forgotten classics is a favorite bartender past-time. They comb old tomes in search of deserving recipes, then return their discoveries to modern glory. The Last Word is one such worthy cocktail. As the story goes, Murray Stenson of the Zig Zag Café in Seattle was searching for ways to use unusual ingredients when he… Continue Reading

Quote: a rich and magical plenitude

“True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine with a rich and magical plenitude of overtones and rhymes and resolved dissonances and a contrapuntal succession of fleeting aftertastes.” So writes Bernard DeVoto in The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto (Tin House Books, 2010). The original came out in 1948, about the same time… Continue Reading