Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits

Jason Wilson, Ten Speed, $22.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-58008-288-4
In his first book, Wilson, the spirits columnist for the Washington Post, has concocted an idiosyncratic exploration of the world of spirits. His primary ingredients include heavy doses of cocktail recipes, travelogues, history lessons, polemics against popular trends (flavored vodka is his primary target), all mixed together with a dash of autobiography. Wilson's bibulous quest takes him across Europe and the Americas, where he quaffs everything from Genever and Calvados to añejo tequilas and a substance called "Peanut Lolita." As he drinks his way around the world, Wilson also examines the myriad ways in which alcohol has shaped culture and his own suburban New Jersey upbringing. Wilson sees the American obsession with flavored vodka as part of the long hangover from Prohibition. Yet he also discerns a growing American interest in more complex spirits, and he makes it his mission to introduce readers to the delights of arcane substances like Chartreuse and Tuaca. Wilson succeeds in his pose as an American everyman abroad; his gestures toward memoir and cultural analysis, however, tend toward the generic. Yet he has done his readers a real service: with cocktail recipes at the end of each chapter, Boozehound serves as a smooth personalized guide to classy mixology. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/28/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-58008-611-0
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