3 new books for drink obsessives
The cozy season is here. The bets are, your couch and comfy clothes invite you to curl up with a good book (and a drink) to get you through the winter.
Luckily, a brigade of excellent new alcohol books are here to help tie in with all of the above.
There’s a definitive (and beautifully illustrated) guide to natural wine, Brian Freedman’s dive into drinking and climate change, and a drinkstagrammer’s guide to visually inspired cocktails. Sit back, cancel your plans, grab a drink and read.
Crushed by Brian Freedman
I don’t mean to cast a shadow over your happy hour, but climate change is increasingly (and rapidly) impacting what’s in our drink. In his first book, travel and wine writer Brian Freedman travels the world, delving into how climate change is affecting production at every stage.
Stories travel the world, of how Château Lassègue resurrected its vines after violent hailstorms in Bordeaux (an attempt consultants thought foolish and impossible) to cloud England’s bright future with climate grapes. cold. Each story is informative and eye-opening, filled with an exciting cast of characters and how they are fighting climate change in their own unique ways. Although it’s not a particularly positive subject, it’s a turning point – as Freedman puts it, “it’s not a book of relentless struggle…over the years I’ve learned that people who choose to work in wine and spirits production are often among the smartest and most resourceful in the world.
The World of Natural Wine by Aaron Ayscough
Recently, the world of natural wine has been plagued by misconceptions. Some bottles dub into the category as simply barnyard juice, others label them a passing fad.
In his beautiful new book, Aaron Ayscough debunks all the misnomers about natural wine, while telling the stories of some of the world’s most thoughtful, obsessive and imaginative producers.
(Including a few personal favourites: Alexandre Bain from Loire, Tissot from Jura, Gang of Four from Beaujolais, Domaine Derain pre and post-Altaber, Vouette & Sorbee Champagne – the list goes on! So many producers you shouldn’t sleep. )
Outside of the makers, the book is part resource, part coffee table tome, filled with everything from in-depth looks at winemaking processes to full-page images of the faces that make natural wine and the land with which they work. He expertly catalogs the creation of natural wine in the lush, living state it finds itself in today. No matter what you think of natural wine, this is a must read.
Twist by Jordan Hughes of High Proof Preacher
Chances are you’ve browsed Jordan’s gorgeous cocktail pictures, followed his Instagram, @HighProofPreacher, or simply spotted his work alongside any of the brands he’s worked with – Gray Goose, Patron, Hendricks Gin and Jack Daniels among them. (Have you heard of it ?)
Her new book (her first!) starts out by laying out the basics – classic cocktail recipes and the anatomy of a well-stocked bar – then dives into recipes, both new and classic. Take a second to appreciate his self-portrait images, though his quirky cocktail recipes are just as creative: think warming up Scotch and wine toddies and coffee and pineapple rum drinks.
There’s something for everything within the pages, from easy three-ingredient drinks for beginners (or the lazy) to more complicated options for those who like a challenge. Disclaimer: Reading this book won’t give you Hughes’ photography skills, but it will definitely help you create photo-worthy cocktails.
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