The best new spirits and cocktails of winter 2021 – The Spirits Business

From a guide to Bourbon country to a history of coffee and alcohol, this season’s book launches are here to help you brush up on your alcohol knowledge.

Cozy up with a good book in the New Year

If you’re looking to expand your expertise on spirits and cocktails, there are a variety of new books coming out this winter that have you covered.

Cocktail enthusiasts looking for a general introduction to essential recipes and techniques can learn the tricks of the trade in a new read from beverage expert Olly Smith.

For those hoping to dive into specific spirits, the founders of New York bar The Dead Rabbit share their knowledge of Irish whiskey, while a new guide to mezcal and tequila provides insight into all things Irish. agave.

Read on for our picks of the best spirits and cocktail books launching this season – and for more recent releases, check out our fall picks.


Release date: November 2021
Price: £20 ($27.46)

Drinks writer and presenter Olly Smith aims to demystify the art of cocktail making in his latest book. It describes all the essentials of a great mixed drink, from the best spirits to use, to mixers, syrups and equipment. The book contains nifty “flavor wheels” for each spirit, highlighting the ingredients and profiles that work best for specific types of alcohol, as well as a wide range of excellent cocktail recipes. The guide’s striking photography is the icing on the cake.


Release date: November 2021
Price:
39 ($44.65)

Who better to write the book on the intersection of coffee and alcohol than bartender Martin Hudak? As co-founder of Sydney’s beloved bars Maybe Sammy and Maybe Sammy Junior and brand ambassador for coffee liqueur Mr Black, Hudak is a master of caffeinated cocktails. His new book shows how coffee and alcohol are inextricably linked, delving into their shared history and offering a host of creative cocktail recipes that marry the two liquids.


Release date: December 2021
Price: $20

Travel brand Wildsam’s new guide to Bourbon country is a treat for whiskey lovers. It features stories and thoughts from the minds of top writers; interviews with notable figures in the region; and a detailed plan for the journey of a lifetime through 10 cities. You’ll also find a guide to the Bourbon Trail within its pages, as well as a variety of other must-see attractions and wonders of the state. This one is worth reading, whether you’re planning a whiskey-themed trip or just looking for a bit of escapism through the pages of a good book.


Release date: December 2021
Price: $19.95

If your New Year’s resolution is to brush up on your knowledge of agave spirits, Emanuele Mensah’s new book is here to help. The tome explores the intricacies of all things agave, guiding the reader through the history of these spirits, their cultural significance, production methods, and regulations. Then there are the recipes – with agave-based riffs on classics like Mezcal Negroni, plus a wide variety of tinctures and syrups created to bring out the complexities of tequila and mezcal.


Release date: February 2022
Price: $28

The team behind famed New York bar The Dead Rabbit – which recently revealed plans to open a third location – shares his secrets of Irish whiskey cocktails in a new book. Rice drinks begins with the fundamentals of Irish whiskey making, breaking down the spirit’s production method in an illustrated guide and providing an overview of the different styles and flavors of spirit. He then dives into some of the bar’s most beloved Irish whiskey cocktail recipes, so you can make the most of the spirit at home.


Release date: February 2022
Price: $22.95

Cheryl Charming has led bar crews and written 15 books on spirits and cocktails – and her latest guidebook is the culmination of her experiences. The Bartender’s Bible is designed for both cocktail newbies and seasoned experts alike, with everything from basic recipes to little-known cocktail trivia and history. It also features a foreword by a late bar expert Gary ‘Gaz’ Reganwho himself has written a number of influential cocktail books, including The pleasure of mixology. Charming’s new work is an ideal read for someone looking to immerse themselves in cocktail culture.


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