Some credit a return of the cocktail culture (though many doubt it ever went away). Others credit an improving economy, new interest in American-made distilled spirits and the next logical step after our enchantment with wine and craft beer. Whatever the reason, Americans are drinking more distilled spirits, and with this abundance of bottles comes an abundance of books about them, their backgrounds and suggestions on how best to enjoy them.
The revised and expanded edition of American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye by Clay Risen includes the history and ratings and tasting notes for more than 300 American distilled spirits, all with color photos, what to look for in each and how best to enjoy them. It’s a thorough, up-to-date guide. ($24.95, 400 pages).
British authors of The Thinking Drinker’s Guide to Alcohol, Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham, take on beer, cider, whiskey, tequila, vodka, rum, gin, aperitifs, digestifs and nightcaps with fact and a grain of humor. A quote from Gérard Depardieu, for example: “I’m happy with very little on this earth, but I do like a lot in my glass.” Add anecdotes about Peter the Great, Vincent van Gogh, Pancho Villa and others woven in with excellent explanatory material about each spirit ($24.95, 224 pages).
Dominic Roskrow concentrates on one spirit in Whiskey: What to Drink Next. Arranged by country with an introduction on how to taste and the best glass to use, he goes on to explain single malt whiskey, blended whiskeys, American whiskeys and more, with photos of each bottle and even graphs of each style’s atomic structure ($19.95, 224 pages).
Bartender Salvatore Calabrese puts it all together with Classic Cocktails. “Making a cocktail is an art,” he says, and explains the origin of the word cocktail, its history, what essentials to include in the home bar and a wealth of clearly explained recipes, both classics and originals ($19.95, 256 pages).
And for anyone contemplating a trip to Cuba, there is Cuban Cocktails. One hundred classics, punches and new versions of old favorites by three people involved in the New York City Cuban bar Cienfuegos are featured ($24.95, 256 pages).
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.