Washington, DC – Many new drinks books have recently hit the market just in time for holiday gift-giving.  From distilling heritage to cocktail recipes, this year’s bookstore offers tasteful reading for every spirits enthusiast.  The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States recommends the following recently released publications for the spirituous bibliophile on your gift list.

Founding Spirits: George Washington and the Beginnings of the American Whiskey Industry

(Harbour Books, August 22, 2011) by Dennis J. Pogue

Pogue, head of preservation at Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens, presents a detailed portrayal of the origins of the American whiskey industry which includes George Washington’s role as the entrepreneurial owner of one of the largest whiskey distilleries in 18th century America.

Barrels and Drams: The History of Whisk(e)y in Jiggers and Shots

(Sterling Epicure, September 6, 2011) by William M. Dowd

Follow veteran journalist and spirits authority Bill Dowd down the worldwide whiskey trail with this collection of articles on the intricacies of whiskey making and the heritage of whiskies around the globe.  Dowd also profiles some of the most famous figures in the whiskey industry, including Jack Daniel, George Smith and the Beam family.

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

(Scribner, First Edition, May 11, 2010) by Daniel Okrent

The basis for Ken Burns’ PBS series on Prohibition, Okrent’s book gives an enlightening account of the American socio-political landscape that led to the passage of the 18th Amendment, banning the sale of spirituous liquors in the United States.  It details the public’s dissatisfaction with the “Noble Experiment,” the rise of organized crime, and the eventual repeal of Prohibition with the passage of the 21st Amendment.

Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t

(The History Press, March 25, 2011) by Garrett Peck

Cocktail historian Garrett Peck chronicles the capital’s own distinct Prohibition history. The federal government intended for D.C. to be the model dry city for Prohibition, but it turned out to be anything but, as 3,000 speakeasies operated across the city.  Peck leads readers through Prohibition-era Washington during a time of amateur bootleggers and hypocritical teetotalers.  He also includes a walking tour of former speakeasies in the nation’s capital and 11 vintage cocktail recipes.

The Happy Table of Eugene Walter: Southern Spirits in Food and Drink

(The University of North Carolina Press, September 12, 2011)

edited by Thomas Head and Don Goodman

A collection of over 300 recipes featuring the use of spirits in the food and drink of the South, short essays and amusing tales by Eugene Walter, a pioneering food writer and champion of southern foodways and culture.  Assembled and edited by Walter’s literary executor Donald Goodman and food writer Thomas Head, the book is a perfect gift for those interested in today’s booming scene in vintage and artisanal drinks.

Bloody Mary

(Thornwillow Press, 2011) by Jeffrey Pogash

Spirits industry veteran Jeffrey Pogash delves into the history and lore of the Bloody Mary, one of the world’s best loved and most complex cocktails.  In this beautifully printed letterpress edition, Pogash explores some of the mysteries and misconceptions surrounding the famed libation and includes his own recipe for the “Best Bloody Mary in the World.”

Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide: 75th Anniversary Edition

(Wiley Hardcover, November 2011) edited by Jonathan Pogash with Rick Rodgers

Jonathan Pogash, “The Cocktail Guru,” and culinary expert Rick Rodgers have updated the indispensable little red book, Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide, to reflect the modern world of mixology.  Pogash kept a collection of the most time-honored classic cocktails and added 200 cutting edge drink recipes from the world’s most well-known bartenders.   The Guide includes 1,500 drink recipes as well as tips on mixology techniques and photographs that showcase the beauty of the finished cocktails.

These, and other fine spirits-related books, can be found in your local bookstore and by online booksellers.