It’s reading season, and what better book to read than one about what is probably nestled right next to you? Booze! Since more than just the spirits industry is paying attention to spirits, there are more (and more amazing) books that explore every aspect of booze you could think of.
Below, check out some of our top picks for boozy books to read this summer. Just be prepared, because you’re going to want a drink before, during, after, or at all times when reading these tomes.
A visual-driven book, this one is for the vintage lovers out there. Using vintage postcards, Cocktails Across America paints a picture of what it used to be like to drink in these United States. Whether you’re into the crazy bars and lounges that architects used to devise or the equally-crazy cocktails that were served in those dens of respite, this book chronicles it all. Not only do you get a look at boozy times past, but Lapis and Peck-Davis teach you to make some vintage cocktails too. (Countryman Press, 2018)
Whiskey has pretty much always been an essential part of the story of American. Whether it’s through the growth, decline, and regrowth of bourbon, our national spirit, or tales of expansion as people helped America find itself, the brown (or clear) stuff has always been there. Golden Elixir looks at how whiskey impacted the West, made it a little wilder, and ultimately shaped what we know as our country today. (Two Dot Press, 2017)
This book might be more for after the beach (the size and weight are better for a coffee table than a beach blanket), but Hacker’s book explores (in 32 chapters) pretty much every major spirit produced across the globe. While you’ve heard of bourbon, rye, and tequila, Hacker also delves into spirits such as grappa, cachaça, and baijiu (many of which you’ve heard of if you’re a consistent reader of The Manual). This is a solid compendium of knowledge for those looking to one-up their friends in alcohol trivia. (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018)
Written by the author of the best-selling book, The Etymologicon (about the English language), A Short History of Drunkenness takes long, hard look at humankind’s connection to booze. From when we first started drinking to today, Forsyth explores the various connections people have had to getting completely tanked throughout time, regardless of whether the reason was religious, royal, sexual, or something else entirely. It’s a fascinating read — you’ll have boozy fun facts for days with this one. (Three Rivers Press, 2018)
Yo ho ho. With more and more educated drinkers flocking to this tropical spirit, now is a better time than ever before to sit down and get your learning on before you find yourself in a rum bar, babbling about rhum agricoles, when you don’t even know what they are. In The New Rum, Bauer tackles the history of the spirit all the way through to the rum renaissance happening around us today. In addition, a rum guide fills you in on 40 different producers and 10 classic cocktails along the way. (Countryman Press, 2018)