This book has the subtitle ‘How to make and drink whiskey’. This inspired me to immediately order this wee booklet since I had the feeling this wasn’t about to explain to process of Jack Daniel’s or Jim Beam in great detail, but would focus on the ‘home distiller’.
Technically the home distiller doesn’t exist, since that is illegal, but everybody knows how this really works. Anyway, the book.
The book is a great read in the way that it is written very informally and with an attitude and opinion. Of course, there is the obligatory piece about the American’s history with booze. In this case it’s rather quickly glanced over with some interesting details. It is, luckily, not an epic piece about all kinds of minutae.
What I enjoyed mostly is that this booklet is not trying to be a formal depiction of facts and history, but it is someone’s view of the whiskey industry, how it came to where it is today and why it is cool to become a part of it. This all is specked with opinions and blunders that were made along the way (calling Georgia Moon aweful to the people who make it comes to mind).
The story focuses less on how the writers started Kings County Distillery in New York, but it does cover it a bit. It would have been nice to get a bit more info on that since that is something every guy can relate too and it just sounds cool to do.
All this is wrapped up in the story of how you can make your own moonshine without it costing the world.
The only part of the book that I found rather tedious was the bit with the cocktail recipes. Of course, I like a good cocktail as much as the next guy, but it felt like they were more filling the book than actually adding to it. There’s some nice recipes in there though, and even some to which I have all the ingredients. They make the recipe bit a lot more fun though, by adding personal stories behind the cocktails.
All in all, this is a highly recommended read and a great change of pace to the million ‘you have to drink these whiskies’ books out there. One the most fun reads I’ve had in months.
The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: How to make and drink whiskey. It’s available from all major sellers, but I got mine from Play.com.