Being a Southerner, I started drinking with whiskey and bourbon: Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, and Jack. They were staples on gameday down on the Plains. So it was no surprise that I was drawn to this book to learn more about my favorite spirit.
The Art of American Whiskey by Noah Rothbaum chronicles the history of whiskey throughout the decades in America through the whiskey bottles labels. It goes through the early 1800s and 1900s, as well as Prohibition, through the 60s, 70s, 80s — all the way up until today.
My favorite story was how the bottle for Maker’s Mark came to be. The original maker of the bourbon didn’t have to hire any professionals to come up with the name and packaging. Everything from the red dipped wax top (which they still do by hand) to the bottle, which was seemingly impossible to make back then, came from the mind of his wife. They have barely changed their label since it’s inception.
And of course, what would a bourbon/whiskey book be without mentioning the infamous Pappy Van Winkle? If you’ve gotten to taste this liquid gold, consider yourself lucky. Having a pour straight up is definitely on my bucket list.
All in all, this book is full of beautiful label pictures and a tad bit about whiskey through the ages. It is definitely a must have book for the American whiskey lover. Each chapter is even ended with a few recipes that were popular during that time period. Take this one for instance that was popular during the 1960s:
Bourbon Stone Sour (contributed to the book by Dale Degroff)
– 1 1/4 oz bourbon
– 3/4 oz simple syrup
– 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
-1 oz fresh orange juice
Garnish with an orange slice and cherry in a rocks glass.
* Put all the ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and then strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with the orange slice and cherry*
You can bet that I’ll definitely be trying this recipe once Sheffy decides to make his appearance!
Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.