Drinks by the Book: 2013

Good news: Spring is less than a month away, and summer is just around the corner! But before you dig out your shorts and flip-flops, there are still many long, cold evenings to weather. We suggest you use the time wisely and read these new spirited books. They’re, of course, best enjoyed with a glass of your favorite elixir.

Vodka Distilled ($23), by Tony Abou-Ganim with Mary Elizabeth Faulkner:

The latest volume from all-star bartender Tony Abou-Ganim is devoted to the country’s top-selling spirit, vodka. There is a wealth of knowledge on the alcohol, plus dozens of Abou-Ganim’s cocktail recipes. Liquor.com advisory board member Dale DeGroff’s introduction is an added bonus.

Davai! The Russians and their Vodka ($25), by Edwin Trommelen:

If you want to go even deeper into vodka’s past, pick up Edwin Trommelen’s tome, which was recently translated. It’s a study on the role that the liquor has played in Russia for the last 600 years and is packed with quotes from a range of famous writers and poets.

Drinking with Men ($27), by Rosie Schaap:

The New York Times columnist Rosie Schaap’s memoir explores her own imbibing history and complicated relationship with a number of watering holes and their patrons. It’s a personal bar crawl that’s hard to put down.

The Drunken Botanist ($20), by Amy Stewart:

All drinkers should have The New York Times bestselling author Amy Stewart’s The Drunken Botanist in their library. It will be released in March and provides a horticultural profile of an array of common distilling ingredients from barley and rice to juniper and angostura bark. Its fascinating tidbits make perfect happy-hour conversation fodder.

Beam, Straight Up ($23), by Fred Noe with Jim Kokoris:

Who better to tell the tale of Jim Beam Bourbon than Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s great-grandson and the brand’s seventh-generation master distiller? The book is rich with family stories and memories, which any whiskey fan will like. It’s the ideal accompaniment to a dram.

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