cover image How to Be a Vodka Snob

How to Be a Vodka Snob

Brittany Jacques. Red Lightning, $24 (160p) ISBN 978-1-68435-128-2

Jacques, the pseudonym of a husband and wife duo, debuts with an entertaining homage to a favorite “underappreciated luxury,” vodka. In a chatty voice, Jacques mixes vodka history, trivia, and cocktail recipes, tracing the spirit’s rise in the U.S. after it came to America in the early 1930s when Russia’s most famous vodka maker, Vladimir Smirnov, was chased out of the country by the Bolsheviks. Jacques also nods to vodka’s pop culture bona fides, with discussions of James Bond’s preferred vesper cocktail, Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City’s love for the cosmopolitan, and The Office’s Dwight Schrute’s development of his own beet vodka. As for the cocktails themselves, Jacques’s recipes tend toward the classic and include several martinis, the sea breeze, the greyhound, and the screwdriver, and there’s a recipe for vodka-soaked gummy bears. (“Whip up a batch of these delightful treats and awaken the kid inside of you.”) A small assortment of food options—blue cheese stuffed olives, lemon-and-vodka seared scallops, Godiva liqueur brownies—highlight culinary uses for the spirit. This charming compendium is the perfect companion for any vodka lover. (May)