Pour yourself a cocktail and curl up with one of these new releases.
If you’re looking for a guide to the province’s distilleries, the spirits they produce and the cocktails you can make with them, then Shawn Soole is the guy to take you there. The bar manager of Clive’s Classic Lounge in Victoria is an award-winning mixologist, hospitality entrepreneur, podcaster (Post Shift) and author of several books, including his latest, The BC Spirits Cocktail Book (FriesenPress). It’s got everything you need to know about 57 of B.C.’s artisanal distilleries, with creative cocktail recipes to enjoy along the journey.
Bourbon and more
There is no greater authority on spirits than the critic, journalist and educator F. Paul Pacult, and this year sees not one but two new books from this prolific writer. Just released is Buffalo, Barrels, & Bourbon: The Story of How Buffalo Trace Distillery Became the World’s Most Awarded Distillery (Wiley), which chronicles the compelling story of how the Kentucky distillery—and bourbon itself—survived the U.S. Civil War, two world wars, Prohibition and the Great Depression. Earlier this year, he released The New Kindred Spirits: More Than 2,000 All-New Whiskey, Brandy, Agave Spirits, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Amari, Bitters, and Liqueur Reviews from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal. An essential resource for anyone interested in spirits.
Low and no proof
“Mock”-tails are no longer the joke of the bar world, and to prove it are three tasteful books celebrating sober-curious drinking. Zero Proof: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking by Elva Ramirez (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); Mocktail Party: 75 Plant-Based, Non-Alcoholic Mocktail Recipes for Every Occasion by Diana Licalzi and Kerry Benson (Blue Star Press); and The Low-Proof Happy Hour: Real Cocktails Without the Hangover by Jules Aron (WW Norton).
Worth the hangover
If you ever wondered why humans wanted to get drunk in the first place, well, Edward Slingerland may have the answer. A professor of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia and co-director of the Centre for the Study of Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture, he explores what has driven us to drink throughout history in Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization (Little, Brown and Company).
Cocktail boot camp
Getting bored with your RTDs and basic Negronis? Alex Day, Nick Fauchald and David Kaplan want you to take things to the next level with their newest book, Death & Co Welcome Home [A Cocktail Recipe Book] (Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed). Not only does it feature hundreds of signature recipes, it also puts readers through the same steps as a new bartender at Death & Co, one of the world’s most influential bars.
No one approaches cocktails with single-minded finesse like Japanese bartenders do, and at the top of the elegant-shaker-wielding heap is Masahiro Urushido. He’s now released his first book, The Japanese Art of the Cocktail (with Michael Anstendig, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) that demystifies the techniques that have been handed down over generations.