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Spirit & Distilling Books

These days, there are countless books about cocktails, bartending, spirits and distilling. From recipe compilations to whiskey tomes to bar tools & techniques, the print landscape pertaining to drinks can be quite overhelming.

At Bevvy, we have the pleasure of reading and owning quite a number of these, and have listed many of our favorites below. Have a particular favorite to recommend? Feel free to let us know!

  • Distilled Stories by Capra Press

    Distilled Stories: California Artisans Behind the Spirits

    Distilled Stories: California Artisans Behind The Spirits is a book about the spirit makers; distillers tell their personal stories about their journey to the still. Some came from generations of distilling families from the old country and others left high tech or corporate careers to pursue a new venture into the world of distilled spirits. Each backstory is different and engaging. Gritty, funny and informative. The one common denominator is the hard work, tenacity and sacrifice each distiller makes as he/she navigates their own path to the still. The style of each Distilled Story is also different, just like each hand-crafted distilled spirit is different. No two gins or whiskies are alike. There was no attempt to create a template for the distillers to follow to tell their backstories. They were given complete “literary freedom.” The result is their own words, unfiltered. This is a book about the distillers and distilleries that have in very recent years emerged on the California landscape. New post prohibition laws are finally acquiescing to the distillery and giving their blessings to tasting rooms and sales. Cocktails are becoming fashionable once again. As such, distilled spirits are all the rage and cocktail bars feature hand-crafted spirits for their specialty drinks.

  • Rum: The Manual by David Broom

    Rum: The Manual

    This is a book about how to drink rum of all kinds. It’s about classic rums and new-generation rums, about rhum agricole and about premium aged rums, about rums from all over the world. It’s about rum enjoyed with cola and ginger beer. About the best rum for a classic daiquiri. About rum cocktails that ooze style and personality. Above all, it’s about enjoying your rum in all kinds of ways.

    The mission of this book is to help drinkers appreciate this complex spirit, find the style they like and discover how this versatile spirit can best be enjoyed. More than 100 different rums are featured and analysed, from rich, sweet mellow Guyana rums to the vegetal peppery rums of Martinique or Guadeloupe and contemporary spiced rums. Dave Broom provides a description and graded tasting notes for each brand, allowing you to create the perfect mix every time. Finally, a selection of classic and contemporary cocktails shows just how wonderfully versatile this spirit is.

  • Rum Curious by Fred Minnick

    Rum Curious: The Indispensable Tasting Guide to the World's Spirit

    In Rum Curious, author Fred Minnick first takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the world of rum, describing its many styles; explaining the great variety of fermenting, distilling, and maturing processes; and highlighting distillers and distilleries.

    He then teaches the reader about tasting rum—revealing the experience offered by brands ranging from the familiar to the unusual and obscure. A final section provides recipes for classic and innovative rum cocktails from around the world. Rum Curious is the one book the reader will need to understand and appreciate rum in all its glorious variety.

  • Genever by Veronique Beittel

    Genever: 500 Years of History in a Bottle

    Distilled from grain nurtured in the soil of Belgium and the Netherlands, genever embodies the spirit, creativity, and resiliency of the culture that created it. Surviving five centuries of wars and prohibitions, genever was perfected and spread across the world. During its evolution, genever inspired the creation of gin and secured a place at America’s early cocktail bars. Whether you are a spirit and cocktail connoisseur or a burgeoning mixologist, Genever: 500 Years of History in a Bottle provides an enlightening review of genever’s colorful past and offers tempting options for making it part of your future.

  • Kindred Spirits 2 by F. Paul Pacult

    Kindred Spirits 2

    2400 Reviews of Whiskey, Brandy, Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Gin, and Liqueurs from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal. As the world’s most respected and trusted spirits authority, critic, journalist, consultant, and author, F. Paul Pacult, is without peer in his meticulous tasting format and fiercely unbiased opinions. The advertising-free nature of his newsletter, F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, now celebrating its eighteenth year of publication, allows Pacult the journalistic and critical freedom to speak his mind, review after review, product after product.

    Readers may not agree with him 100% of the time, but they always know clearly where he stands in terms of demanding quality. Pacult is just as inclined to chastise the distiller of a $1,000 bottle of brandy that falls miserably short of the mark as he is to heap praise upon a $12 bottle of rum that drinks like a $100 bottle of rum. Price, presentation, and/or producer or whether or not he personally knows the distiller never gets in the way of Pacult’s honest opinions and highly detailed reviews.

    What is solely paramount to Pacult and what sets him completely apart from all other spirits writers working today is whether or not what’s in the sampling glass looks, smells, tastes, and feels good enough to recommend to a friend. All other data is, to him, immaterial and extraneous.

  • The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining by Colin Spoelman and David Haskell

    The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: How to Make and Drink Whiskey

    A new generation of urban bootleggers is distilling whiskey at home, and cocktail enthusiasts have embraced the nuances of brown liquors. Written by the founders of Kings County Distillery, New York City’s first distillery since Prohibition, this spirited illustrated book explores America’s age-old love affair with whiskey. It begins with chapters on whiskey’s history and culture from 1640 to today, when the DIY trend and the classic cocktail craze have conspired to make it the next big thing. For those thirsty for practical information, the book next provides a detailed, easy-to-follow guide to safe home distilling, complete with a list of supplies, step-by-step instructions, and helpful pictures, anecdotes, and tips. The final section focuses on the contemporary whiskey scene, featuring a list of microdistillers, cocktail and food recipes from the country’s hottest mixologists and chefs, and an opinionated guide to building your own whiskey collection.

  • Bourbon, Straight by Charles K. Cowdery

    Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey

    Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey, follows the trail of America whiskey-making from its 17th century origins right up to the present day. In it, readers will discover the history of the American whiskey industry, how American whiskey is made and marketed, the differences among various types of American whiskey (bourbon, rye, Tennessee) and how they compare to other world whiskies.

  • Bourbon by Fred Minnick

    Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey

    In Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, award-winning whiskey author Fred Minnick traces bourbon’s entire history, from the 1700s with Irish, Scottish, and French settlers setting up stills and making distilled spirits in the New World through today’s booming resurgence. He also lays out in expert detail the critical role this spirit has played throughout the cultural and even political history of the nation. And most importantly, Minnick explores the mystery of who most likely created the sweet corn liquor we now know as bourbon. He studies the men who’ve been championed as its inventors over time and, based on new research and never-before-seen documentation, answers the question of who deserves the credit.

  • Bourbon Curious by Fred Minnick

    Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker

    In Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker, award-winning whiskey writer and Wall Street Journal-best-selling author Fred Minnick debunks bourbon myths, provides distillery production methods (such as recipes and barrel-entry proofs!) and creates an easy-to-read interactive tasting journey that helps you select bourbons based on flavor preferences and bourbon styles.

  • Barrel Strength Bourbon by Carla Harris Carlton

    Barrel Strength Bourbon: The Explosive Growth of America's Whiskey

    Barrel Strength Bourbon provides an in-depth examination of the bourbon industry in Kentucky, the creation of an American spirit, its resurrection following Prohibition, its astronomical growth in the past decade, and its potential for the future.

    Readers will learn how to nose, taste, and appreciate a spirit that, while created from time-tested recipes, is evolving so quickly that new varieties and brands appear weekly on liquor store shelves.

    The author, a leading bourbon journalist who routinely helps select barrels for special edition bottlings and tastes new products before most bartenders do, takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of distilleries and rickhouses, shares anecdotes from her chats with bourbon legends, and provides insight on what to expect next from one of the fastest growing spirits on Earth.

  • Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey by Michael R. Veach

    Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage

    Historian Michael R. Veach reveals the true story of bourbon in Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. Starting with the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790s, he traces the history of this unique beverage through the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the present. Veach explores aspects of bourbon that have been ignored by others, including the technology behind its production, the effects of the Pure Food and Drug Act, and how Prohibition contributed to the Great Depression. The myths surrounding bourbon are legion, but Veach separates fact from legend. While the true origin of the spirit may never be known for certain, he proposes a compelling new theory.

    With the explosion of super-premium bourbons and craft distilleries and the establishment of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, interest in bourbon has never been higher. Veach shines a light on its pivotal place in our national heritage, presenting the most complete and wide-ranging history of bourbon available.