As we begin to approach what’s predicted to be a particularly gruesome winter, we’ve already started to image what we can do to stay toasty inside. While number one in our hearts is most definitely a prescription for wine (shocker!), there is still room (in our hearts and our tummies) for other libations. So we’ve scanned the bookiverse to inspire our upcoming indoor drinking activities and found some wonderful books coming out over the next month. Maybe you’ll find a new way to stay toasty, or maybe you’ll curl up by the fireside with one of these lovelies and just hang with ole’ faithful (and delicious) wine, but regardless, we promise you’re in for a cozy winter ahead if these are in your library:
Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret, with Cocktails and Recipes by Talia Baiocchi
It’s no secret that we love ourselves a little sherry, so it was swoon central over here when we found out about Talia Baiocchi’s (editor and chief of the online magazine Punch) new book paying homage to “the wine world’s best-kept secret.” In addition to the book, we recommend you check out our recipes for 3 delicious sherry cocktails as well as our guide to aperitifs and digestifs.
Whiskey Cocktails: Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks Using the World’s Most Popular Spirit by Warren Bobrow
Warren Bobrow, the man known as “the cocktail whisperer,” has a great new book coming out featuring 75 recipes for whiskey cocktails (no, not whiskey coffee). This book is a must for some fireside winter sipping.
The Homebrewer’s Handbook: An Illustrated Beginner’s Guide by Matthew Schaefer
Is this the year that you finally try to homebrew some beer? If so, this is a great guide to get you started. As the president of Brewstoria, the only hombrewing club in Queens, New York, Matthew Schaefer has a lot he can teach you about making a delicious beer in the comfort of your own home. Wine lovers: not sure which kind of beer you might enjoy? Check out our handy guide that will show which beer is most similar to your favorite wine.
While I do take issue with the fact that the book is being billed “for men” (see the Amazon description), the book itself is quite beautiful. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time indoors this winter, it’s a perfect time to expand your cocktail making skills beyond the martini. Dan Jones will lead you through 150 cocktails that should keep you busy all winter long. If you’re particularly fond of wine cocktails, we also have a few ideas to keep you busy.
Life Is a Banquet: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Recipes, History, Tradition, and Feasts by Edward Blom
If you’re less interested in learning how to make your own drinks, why not spend some time with with a little foodie/drinking history? Follow along with Edward Blom as he explores “the Bavarian Oktoberfest , the oysters of Grand Central Station, the tables of the nineteenth century elite, [and] the precursor of the Smörgåsborg: the brännvinsbord.” This is exactly how we like our history: with a side of food and drink. Yes, please.
The Thinking Drinker’s Guide to Alcohol: A Cocktail of Amusing Anecdotes and Opinion on the Art of Imbibing by Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham
We’re still in the history zone here, folks! Two drink journalists from across the pond have written this humorous romp through drinking history, from Ancient Egypt onward, showing how alcohol inspired some of the great minds of the past (we’re not surprised there, science does says that wine inspires creativity!). The book is meant to be a celebration of “alcohol’s influence on life, love, literature, and learning.” We’ll drink to that!
The Wine Savant: A Guide to the New Wine Culture by Michael Steinberger
And now for a subject extra close to our hearts. If you want to take your wine education offline, this is a great new source for wine education from the former wine columnist for Slate, Michael Steinberger. Though you can also check out our Wine 101.
If the cover wasn’t enough to convince you, this book is a must-have for your library. Combining the worlds of science and wine, Dave Arnold offers not just recipes, but also explains everything from the shape of an ice cube to the bubbles in a bottle of Champagne. Whether you’re more into learning how to make a basic, perfect ice cube or you’re into nitro-muddling fresh basil, this book is jam-packed with ideas and beautiful photographs to boot.
The Spirit of Gin: A Stirring Miscellany of the New Gin Revival by Matt Teacher
This book takes readers through the history of gin, but also focuses on the gin revival in today’s drinking community. With nods to interesting infusions and cool craft distilleries, it’s probably best to have gin on-hand while you’re reading. This book will definitely make you thirsty.
Wood, Whiskey and Wine: A History of Barrels by Henry H. Work
As you probably already know from our discussion about oak over in Wine 101, oak is something winemakers think about a lot, debating how much, how little, what kind, what size, and so on, to use. And while oak barrels are incredibly important in the world of wine, they’re also a key player for many other beverages. Henry H. Work’s new book takes readers through two-thousand years of history, exploring technology and the evolving role the wooden barrel has had on consumers’ lives.