Our Fall Reading List

Drinking and storytelling tend to go hand-in-hand, and the latest release of drink-related books offers everything from historical accounts to details of the modern cocktail movement to recipes ranging from the classic to the experimental.

Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History by Steven Grasse
Benjamin Franklin, always a fan of a good drink, penned a drinking dictionary with more than 200 synonyms for getting drunk. Thomas Jefferson amassed a collection of 20,000 bottles of wine during his presidency. Following a rough timeline of about 1600 to 1776, Steven Grasse (the spirits guru behind labels like Art in the Age, Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum) delves into the drinks of our forefathers in this well-lubricated history lesson. Published: Sept. 13

Complete IPA: The Guide to Your Favorite Craft Beer by Joshua M. Bernstein
Joshua Bernstein drinks a lot of beer in his roles as a freelance writer, book author and Imbibe contributing editor. When IPA became the darling of the craft beer movement, Bernstein made it his personal mission to create a navigable guide through the ever-expanding category. The result, Complete IPA, tackles every region of the country and styles ranging from historic to experimental. Published: Sept. 13

The Homebrewer’s Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to Making Your own Beer from Scratch by Marika Josephson, Aaron Kleidon and Ryan Tockstein
For anyone thirsting to capture a new level of terroir within their beer, the founders of Illinois’ Scratch Brewing Company offer this almanac for brewing from locally foraged ingredients. With recipes like Sumac Sour Ale and Chantrelle Saison, tips for foraging and musings on the benefits of local, seasonal ingredients, you might look at your beer—and backyard—in a new light. Published: Sept. 13

A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul and Business of a 21st-Century Winery by Kathryn Hall and Craig Hall
Purchasing their first vineyard in Napa Valley 20 years ago, vintners Kathryn and Craig Hall quickly established themselves in the California wine scene with their oft-acclaimed HALL and WALT wines, twice earning a 100-point “perfect score” from Wine Advocate. Regardless of your position on the politics of point-system ratings, the Hall’s personal story, from courtship to business building in the modern world of wine, proves fascinating. Published: Sept. 13

Shake. Stir. Sip.: More than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts by Kara Newman
Though the cocktail renaissance has spawned a myriad of delicious (but complicated) cocktails, some of the best are still some of easiest. In her new book, Kara Newman compiles recipes for a slew of classics that come together in a snap, proving that you don’t need a chemistry degree to mix a good drink. Published: Sept. 20

A Proper Drink: The Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World by Robert Simonson
Longtime drinks authority (and Imbibe contributing editor) Robert Simonson sets out to provide an account of the contemporary cocktail movement through interviews with more than 200 bartenders, drinkers and visionaries. With insight and often unflinching candor, Simonson weaves a boozy tale of the revived cultural phenomenon. And should you find yourself thirsty along the way, a few dozen recipes are included for good measure. Published: Sept. 20

I Taste Red: The Science of Tasting Wine by Jamie Goode
For those who have ever sipped a glass of wine and been amazed by aromas and flavors like wet wool or roasted coffee (or if you’re simply baffled by such descriptions altogether), wine writer Jamie Goode’s new book is a must-read on the topic. Using case studies, Goode explores the science of wine tasting through psychological and philosophical factors, examining how language and the sensory system ultimately interpret our perception of flavor. Published: Sept. 27

Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs by Brad Thomas Parsons
Bitter is the new sweet, as the drinks world has fallen back in love with amari. Bar shelves are once again being stacked with classic European favorites like Fernet Branca as well as new American versions. Spirits writer Brad Thomas Parsons aims to demystify the drink and offers recipes sourced from bartenders across the globe, from classics like the Boulevardier to edible creations like these Bitter Amaro Balls. Publishes: Oct. 11

But First, Champagne: A Modern Guide to the World’s Favorite Wine by David White
No longer relegated to celebrations, Champagne’s renaissance has seen increased interest in grower Champagnes and expanding imports continuing to grow the market. David White, the founder and editor of wine blog Terroirist, explores the history of the style, its long-held connotation with luxury, and the future of the storied region. Publishes: Oct. 18

Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske with Georgette Moger-Petraske
Before his passing last year, Sasha Petraske’s contribution to cocktail culture could hardly be overstated, beginning with the opening of New York’s Milk & Honey in 1999 (followed by other influential establishments like Little Branch and The Varnish). This book presents 85 of Petraske’s recipes, accompanied by his own essays and anecdotes from bartenders he personally trained, proving a legacy that will continue to influence how we enjoy cocktails. Publishes: Oct. 31

The Canon Cocktail Book by Jamie Boudreau and James O. Fraioli
Seattle’s Canon is a 32-seat bar with a 157-page spirits list (the Western Hemisphere’s largest selection). The brains behind this ambitious undertaking is bartender Jamie Boudreau. The Canon Cocktail Book is his story (and advice), along with 100 recipes from the award-winning bar, from classics to riffs to elaborate originals. Publishes: Nov. 1