No other drink can claim to have influenced the course of human affairs more than vodka. "The green serpent" transformed the Russian state into a great power but it helped to destroy both tsarism and communism -- as well as the lives of millions of Russian peasants. From Boris Yeltsin being dropped in a font and Shostakovich being cured of writer's block to "the great vodka debauch" of the Russo-Japanese War and the Churchill-Stalin drinking duel at Yalta, the spirit determined the lives of individual Russians and the fate of a nation. Both sophisticated and brutal, vodka is the best-selling spirit in the world. Distilled from rye or the humble potato, it has been known since the fourteenth century, when it was first used as a medicine, but it took James Bond and the Cold War to make it glamorous in the West, particularly with younger drinkers. 'The first mention of vodka in English was made by a Scotsman, Captain Cochrane, who drank the liquid serpent while in Russia in 1820. He called it 'vodka(whisky)', a sketchy comparison, at best. Any respectable Caledonian will insist whisky-drinking is far too important an activity to involve the complementary consumption of food. Vodka-drinking, on the other hand, is too important to be undertaken without food. English drinkers have never got the hang of this crucial detail. The new Dedalus Book of Vodka by Geoffrey Elborn contains an extract from Angel Pavement(1930) by J.B.Priestley, ' the first appearance of vodka in English fiction', in which Mr Golspie, a shady businessman, induces miss Matfield, a proper typist, to down a glass or two. Miss Matfield thrills to the 'incendiary bomb' which 'had burst in her throat and sent white fire racing down every channel of her body'. It is delightful, but it lacks an essential ingredient: the pickle.' Absent Friend in The Times Literary Supplement 'Chekhov was more ambivalent. As Geoffrey Elborn shows in his new cultural history, The Dedalus Book of Vodka, he was torn between his knowledge as a doctor and his understanding of human nature. Two of his brothers were alcoholic, and he denounced vodka companies as "Satan's blood peddlers". But he sympathised with the Russian peasantry, for whom vodka was nectar. And in his stories and plays, those who drink excessively are portrayed with humour and compassion. Blake Morrison in The Guardian
Gin introduces the reader to the global artisan gin revolution, highlighting the spirit's history and the ways that today's craft drinks-makers have transformed the notion of what a gin can and should be. From the Renaissance apothecaries of Europe, to the streets of London, to the small local distilleries and cocktail bars of the United States, Canada, England, Spain, Australia and beyond, this book explores gin's illustrious history, taking a closer look at the emerging new categories of gin as well as the old guard. With profiles of key players in the distilling world and hundreds of ideas for how to drink gin, whether it is as a cocktail, in a classic gin & tonic or neat, or as an aperitif or liqueur, this book is a must-have addition to any gin-lover's shelf
Scotch whisky is the world's favorite spirit, with established European and North American sales being swelled by fast-growing markets in China, India, and Brazil. Once again new distilleries are being built in Scotland, and older ones that had been "mothballed" are being brought out of retirement.
The heritage, the craft-based production method, and the picturesque locations of many distilleries are a huge part of Scotch Whisky's appeal. Scotland today has more than 100 distilleries ranging from vast factories to artisanal workshops, and more than half of them welcome tourists.
Scotch outlines the history, heritage, and romance of the industry including the two-century conflict between illicit moonlighters and the Excisemen: the extraordinary boom in whisky production when phylloxera devastated the vineyards of France and created a shortage of Cognac; the challenges presented by two world wars, depression, and prohibition; and Scotch's resurgence after facing down world-wide competition from white spirits.
It explains the raw materials -malted barley and water transformed by the degree of peatiness both in the maltings and the water -and the distillation and maturing processes, going into the sometimes minute variations in ingredients and equipment that give each malt whisky its unique character.
It also explains the production of grain whisky and the blending processes that give us our best-known brands, instructs in how to get the best out of expensive single malts, and guides readers as to sourcing unusual malts and visiting distilleries.
The art of drinking--one sip at a time Mix up dozens of cocktails-to-go and drink recipes to bring along in your favorite flask with this fun new collectionFlasks are a centuries-old staple in the pockets of anyone who loves a good drink, and this book celebrates the history and many uses of this classic drinking vessel. Discover how famous figures have used and loved their own flasks--and use their ideas to fuel your own fixings With dozens of cocktail recipes for what to put in your flask, plus clever, portable chaser suggestions for nights when you don't have time to make a mix, this book gives you all the inspiration you need. The Art of the Flask even provides tips on how to clean and maintain your trusted flask. Best-selling cocktail guru Paul Knorr pulls out all the stops in this full-color, flask-sized gift book featuring: *Pewter, steel or plastic: Find the right one for you
*Care, keeping, and cleaning of your flask
*Creative cocktail recipes to fill your flask
*Flask etiquette and the do's and don't's of flask ownership
*Famous flasks and the people who wielded them. With striking, full-color photography throughout, and clever cocktail recipes that are sure to delight, The Art of the Flask features inspired drinks for this classic drinking vessel
Good food, good drink, good company - that's the recipe for a good time. This original book sees celebrated cocktail creator and man behind White Lyan and Dandelyan bars in London, Mr Lyan, call on his many friends from the world's best restaurants to share their favourite dishes.
From an enormous summer BBQ to an intimate romantic dinner, it covers an impressive range of occasions and holidays, showing how a great feast and delicious cocktails can easily be part of everyone's lives and social gatherings. A menu of world-class cocktails are crafted to suit recipes contributed by chefs including Nuno Mendes (Chiltern Firehouse), James Lowe (Lyle's), Nieves Barrag n Mohacho (Barrafina), Roca (El Celler de can Roca), Robin Gill (The Dairy), Isaac McHale (The Clove Club), Tien Ho (Whole Foods) and Richard Hart (Tartine) among many others, in this unique guide to the complete social gathering.
A masterclass in bringing together the very best food and drink to create a home gathering with impact, this book is the ultimate guide to entertaining guests with style.
Discover the secret world of moonshine cocktails.
Fire up the still or snag some hooch and get mixing. It's time to discover the world of moonshine cocktails.
Always infamous and often outlawed, moonshine is a high-proof distilled spirit, generally produced by home distillers, most often from corn mash. Corn whiskey is too intense for many and is extremely high in alcohol, making it a difficult drink to imbibe. Now more popular than ever due to its reputation, more and more people are turning to this inexpensive alcohol. Some folks are even making Tennessee white whiskey in their home distilleries.
But how do you drink it, other than doing straight shots? An army of mixologists and bartenders, as well as distillers, have started providing an avalanche of cocktails to try make things with this colorless, odorless, high-octane spirit. And we've got the best right here. From the big-bad cocktail expert himself, Paul Knorr, comes Moonshine Cocktails. Learn how to take good ole white lightening and turn it into delicious, tasty mixed drinks.
So you enjoy a dram or two, but do you know how whiskey is made? Do you understand how to nose and taste whiskey, and can you tell the difference between regional and national varieties? Pour yourself a measure, take a seat, and let Know It All Whiskey take you on a journey from the very first distillers to the latest brands around the world.
Know-It-All Whiskey demystifies the origins, history, production, and varieties of one of the world's favorite spirits. Compiled by whiskey experts, this beginner's guide serves up all you need to read the message in the bottle in 50 small nips--or rather, with 300 words and an image.
Entries explain everything from the history of whiskey production, including the ins and outs of the whiskey trade, to which foods to pair and which whiskey festivals to visit. Distilled with spirited graphics and supported by glossaries and biographies of key figures, here's how to enjoy whiskey--or whisky--from the single malts and blends of Scotland to their acclaimed Irish, North American, and Asian counterparts.
Rum is hot. Rum is cool. Rum can be sipped, savored, and cooked in ways limited only by your imagination. Rum has an island flavor on its own over ice with a wedge of lime, or it can be something more, as it is in these sophisticated recipes by W. Park Kerr, author of The El Paso Chile Company Margarita Cookbook.
Rumba over to the bar and break out your cocktail shaker and hula-girl glasses. Whether you are looking for a classic rum drink like a pina colada or a mai tai or a new concoction such as a Banana Monkey or a Blue Lagoon, The El Paso Chile Company Rum & Tiki Cookbook offers the ultimate rum recipes in these tropically colorful pages. Want to add some punch to the rest of your party? Recipes include Luau Baby Back Ribs, Grilled Coconut-Rum Shrimp with Curried Peanut Dipping Sauce, and other spiked suggestions for marinades, sauces, and main dishes. And be sure to save room for dessert. There's Island Spice Flan and a Pineapple and Bananas Foster. Not sure which type of rum--light, gold, dark, or beyond--to use? It's all explained in one user-friendly section.
So if you don't want your next party to end up ho-hum, try a little rum.
One hundred forty-four proof, notoriously addictive, and the drug of choice for nineteenth-century poets, absinthe is gaining bootleg popularity after almost a century of being banned. Due to popular demand, Absinthe: History in a Bottle is back in paperback with a handsome new cover. Like the author's bestselling The Martini and The Cigar, it is a potent brew of wild nights and social history, fact and trivia, gorgeous art and beautiful artifacts. As intoxicating as its subject, Absinthe makes a memorable gift for anyone who knows how to celebrate vice.