Saturday, March 12, 2011

For Your Liquor Library

Did you know that the cocktail is an American invention? Or that the phrase "D and D" (for drunk and disorderly) dates back to the 1600s? 

The newly revised Everything Bartender's Book teaches you this and more, and if you're looking for an inexpensive, compact guide to drinks and bartending, the book may be for you. A $10.95 paperback, it's the perfect book for keeping on your bar and consulting frequently -- you won't care if you accidentally splash the pages with Maraschino cherry juice or Scotch.  Author Cheryl Charming (I am not making that name up!) gives us the usual cocktail recipes, bartending terms, and information about bar supplies and tools, but the best things about this guide are the offbeat offerings, such as the first chapter, "A History of Alcohol and Bartending," and an appendix of "Drinking Words Through Time."  A nice gift for a novice or yourself.

Also just out is the Everything Guide to Wine by Peter Alig, the wine educator at the Robert Mondavi Winery. This is an up-to-date, well-organized primer on wine with some informative chapters on topics that don't usually get covered in wine guides, such as "The Cost of Wine: What Goes into the Bottle,"  "The Power of Packaging" and "Strategies for Buying Wine."  The book is $16.95 and both "Everthing" guides are available from Adams Media,