Finding Mezcal: A Journey into the Liquid Soul of Mexico with 40 Cocktails

Ron Cooper, with Chantal Martineau. Ten Speed, $30 (272p) ISBN 978-0-399-57900-4
In this entertaining book, Cooper, founder of Del Maguey mezcal, gives readers a look into the world of the smoky Mexican liquor. Cooper profiles various producers and describes the tough, labor-intensive work that goes into producing mezcal, which is made from the agave plant. Connoisseurs and new initiates will appreciate Cooper’s insights into the nuances of mezcal varietals, such as Santo Domingo Albarradas (“a bright nose of citrus and pear”), Tepextate (made from leaves of high-altitude plants, the flavor is “delicate and ethereal”), and Tobala, which is prized for its herbaceousness and intense minerality. Cooper closes the book with 40 solid artisan cocktails, such as La Vida Buena, a riff on the Negroni; the Andrés y Cooper, a collaboration with chef Jose Andres that marries mezcal with sherry; the Call Ron Cooper, an ingenious mash-up of tequila and mezcal; and Naked and Famous by Joaquín Simó of New York City’s Pouring Ribbon, explaining that “using a big, funky mezcal like Chichicapa was the key to stand up to two complex liquors”—Chartreuse and Aperol. Readers will find Cooper’s work to be one of abiding love and an outstanding introduction to a unique, often overlooked spirit. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2018
Release date: 06/12/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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