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2012 Year in Review: New Cocktail, Bartending, and Liquor Books

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I have to say that 2012 was a great year to publish a book and it has been fun looking back on the year to see the myriad of topics covered. The books below include the fun and the practical, as well as the freshly creative in bartending guides. Then there are the travel guides, two essentials for those looking for the best drinks in the world and finely crafted spirits of North America. And then, for the geeks in all of us, we have the histories of not only the cocktail itself, but a very fine whisky steeped in tradition. Yes, it was a great year for the spirited authors and libation-loving book lovers out there.

1. Cocktails with Bompas & Parr

Cocktails with Bompas and Parr
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Possibly my favorite book of the year, Cocktails with Bompas and Parr is another essential bar book that will appeal to everyone. Filled with humor and fun recipes including Tobacco Elixir and Black Gin Punch along with classics like the Whiskey Sour and Sazerac, this will make a great addition to your bar library. The final section on techniques is also a must have and has tips for everything from simple garnishes to nitrogen cavitation (a quick infusion trick).
  • Authors: Sam Bompas and Harry Parr
  • List Price: $22.95
  • ISBN: 9781862059061
  • Published by: Pavilion
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2. Edible Cocktails: From Garden to Glass

Edible Cocktails by Natalie Bovis
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Natalie Bovis (author of Preggatinis) released another book this year and it is as spectacular as her previous books. Bovis brings us into the world of fresh cocktails, following the seasons and mixing up drinks with a wonderful flare.
  • Author: Natalie Bovis
  • List Price: $17.95
  • ISBN: 9781440529726
  • Published by: Adams Media

3. New Orleans Classic Cocktails

New Orleans Cocktails by Kit Wohl
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Author Kit Wohl has written many books about New Orleans cuisine and this year she took on the subject of the city's famous cocktails. The majority of us are familiar with a handful of New Orleans' famous drinks and we know that the city loves a great party, so this book is only appropriate and long overdue. Almost any drink lover will fall for this fun tour of New Orleans cocktail scene.
  • Author: Kit Wohl
  • List Price: $16.95
  • ISBN: 9781455617289
  • Published by: Pelican Publishing
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4. Destination Cocktails: The Traveler's Guide to Superior Libations

Destination Cocktails by James Teitelbaum
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World travelers will find this book by James Teitelbaum an essential guide to finding the best drinks and the most interesting cocktail bars and bartenders throughout U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Teitelbaum reviews the top drinks at each establishment and shares the personality of the people behind the stick, and also includes recipes for recreating his finds at home.
  • Author: James Teitelbaum
  • List Price: $19.95
  • ISBN: 9781595800725
  • Published by: Santa Monica Press
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5. 901 Very Good Cocktails: A Practical Guide

901 Very Good Cocktails by Stew Ellington
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Author Stew Ellington has been working hard on his book that is due out in December and it is a very practical guide to hundreds of cocktails. He brings together the new and the classic of drink recipes, their stories, and it is all put together in a bar-friendly spiral bound, laminated book because we all know just how messy the bar can get. If you're interested in previewing one of Ellington's original cocktails, check out The 5/25, winner of our gin cocktail contest.
  • Author: Stew Ellington
  • List Price: $25.00
  • ISBN: 9780615708492
  • Published: Self-published

6. Micro-Distilleries in the U.S. and Canada, 2nd Edition

Micro-Distilleries in the U.S. and Canada by David Reimer
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A lot can happen in a year and that is especially true in the distilled spirits industry. David J. Reimer Sr. has updated his essential guide to finding those boutique distilleries in North America and it is something that the connoisseur will find indispensable on their road trips. Not only is this a guide to the craftsmanship of our modern micro-distilleries, but in this edition Reimer has included festivals, events, museums, associations, and guilds that are all associated with spirits.
  • Author: David J. Reimer Sr.
  • List Price: $19.95
  • ISBN: 9780985259907
  • Published by: Crave Press
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7. Scotch: The Whisky of Scotland in Fact and Story

Scotch: The Whisky of Scotland in Fact and Story
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While not a new book, this year it was updated and early in 2012 the 8th edition of Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart's book was released. Originally written in 1951, Scotch: The Whisky of Scotland in Fact and Story is absolutely essential for anyone who is remotely interested in the fascinating story behind this Scotch whisky. Not much has changed with Scotch in the last 60 years, either, so it is completely relevant and that is why I am including this revised classic in this list of 2012 picks.
  • Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart
  • List Price: $14.95
  • ISBN: 9781906476229
  • Neil Wilson Publishing Ltd
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8. Cocktails: A Global History

Reaktion Books The Edible Series - Gin, Rum, Vodka, Whiskey, and Herbs - Book Reviews
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Earlier this year I wrote a review on the other books in the Reaktion Books Edible Series that are about liquor, and since then I received a copy of another in the series, Cocktails: A Global History by Joseph M. Carlin. It is in keeping with the series, an easily readable history on a singular subject. In this case it tracks the story of the cocktail, mixed drinks, and the men and women behind them throughout the years. This entire series is fun and a fast way to catch up on your bar trivia.
  • Author: Joseph M. Carlin
  • List Price: $18.00
  • ISBN: 9781870230245
  • Published by: Reaktion Books
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