Summer is upon us and you may want a good book to take with you on vacation to read on the flight or when you get to the beach or mountain getaway. I have several good suggestions for you. Of course the first suggestion I am going to make is the second edition of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook by Susan Reigler and me. It has almost 350 Bourbons in this edition and yet the price is the same as the first edition. A book that will fit in your pocket or purse so when you go to the liquor store or bar and want to know what you should get to drink while relaxing, you will have a handy reference book.
Next I recommend Linda Ruffenach’s new book How to be a Bourbon Badass. This is a fun book with something for everyone. It discusses Bourbon basics for the beginner but even the seasoned drinker might pick up a thing or two they did not know. It has recipes for food dishes and cocktails for the summer barbecues. It has many great illustrations of the food and drink and my only complaint is that there is no index to help find specific subjects. Still, it is a great book for your summer reading list.
Keeping with the summer barbecue theme, there is Matt Jamie’s new cookbook Eat Your Bourbon. Matt is the founder of Bourbon Barrel Foods which uses Bourbon to create many of his products, whether it is aging his soy sauce in used Bourbon Barrels or smoking spices in wood chips from the barrels or adding Bourbon to cocktail cherries. The book has many fun recipes and it is well illustrated and indexed.
For those interested in a more intellectual pastime let me recommend William Hogeland’s The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Sovereignty. I think it is the best book I have ever read on the subject. It is well researched with end notes, bibliography and index, but don’t let that scare you away. Hogeland is an excellent writer and the book will keep your interest as if you were reading an historical novel. Do consider it for your summer reading.
Finally for those that wish to learn more about tasting food and creating menus based upon taste, I recommend The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based Upon The Wisdom Of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. The book starts by discussing the sense of taste with all of the technical subjects covered. Mouthfeel, location of tastes, the type of tastes, etc. For the rest of the book they look at different foods and what flavors are found in them and the foods that compliment and contrast those foods. An interesting read for those interested in cooking, but also helpful for pairing food with Bourbon.
I hope everyone has a great summer and that they find time to do plenty of reading. Enjoy your vacations and I hope this has given you some good ideas for your reading list.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller