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"[A]n enormous and authoritative work of scholarship, nearly a decade in the making...You enter as if through batwing saloon doors. Buy a copy for the curious drinker in your life and perhaps he or she will boomerang one back to you."
—The New York Times
"One can consume its vast and varied knowledge in sips or long deep draughts, using its meticulously organized critical apparatus to steady oneself... the book will make an excellent companion for both the drinker
and the bartender, adding savour to the beverage and the craic."
—Times Literary Supplement
"[A] heck of a lot of knowledge about a vast many of the things has been packed into this beautifully illustrated beast of a book that these drinks experts have been toiling over for nearly a decade...[W]hat a pile of riches this volume contains. I wish I'd had it years ago but am glad to have it now."
—The Washington Post
Anthropologists and historians have confirmed the central role alcohol has played in nearly every society since the dawn of human civilization, but it is only recently that it has been the subject of serious scholarly inquiry. The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails is the first major reference work to cover the subject from a global perspective, and provides an authoritative, enlightening, and entertaining overview of this third branch of the alcohol family. It will stand alongside the bestselling The Oxford Companions to Wine and Beer, presenting an in-depth exploration of the world of spirits and cocktails in a groundbreaking synthesis.
David Wondrich is a James Beard Award winning author, cocktail historian, mixologist, and educator, and one of the pioneers of the current renaissance in the art of mixing drinks. He is an acknowledged authority on spirits and their production, having written extensively on most categories in the market. A former English professor, his long-time interest in the arcana surrounding spirits and cocktails led him to leave academia to become Esquire Magazine's drinks correspondent, and later senior drinks columnist at the Daily Beast. David has written four books on drinks: Esquire Drinks; Killer Cocktails; Imbibe! (the first cocktail book to win a James Beard award); and Punch.
Noah Rothbaum is the editor of the Daily Beast's Half Full section. Under his leadership, the site won the 2018 and the 2020 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication. He also hosts the podcast Life Behind Bars with legendary cocktail historian David Wondrich, which won the 2018 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for Best Podcast Series and, according to the New York Times, is "a perfect comfort listen for the curious drinker." His publications include The Art of American Whiskey: A Visual History of the Nation's Most Storied SpiritThrough 100 Iconic Labels, The Business of Spirits: How Savvy Marketers, Innovative Distillers, and Entrepreneurs Changed How We Drink, and the forthcoming The Whiskey Bible.