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Whiskey and Spirits For Dummies

Perry Luntz

ISBN: 978-1-118-05127-6 April 2011 364 Pages


Would you like to better appreciate fine distilled spirits? Whiskey & Spirits For Dummies is your complete guide to selecting and enjoying this family of noble beverages, flavor by flavor. From whiskey, rum, and brandy to vodka, gin, and cordials, this handy reference traces the history of distilled spirits, explains how they are made, and shows you how to evaluate, serve, and savor them.

Ever wonder why the Irish spell it “whiskey” and the Scottish “whisky”? This friendly book tells you as it reveals where the first whiskeys — or “dark” spirits — originated and how they came to the United States. It also explores the origins of clear spirits and the different varieties of each. You’ll compare American and European vodkas, see how to make the new and improved all-purpose Martini, and follow the spread of flavored rums across the globe. A slew of sidebars give you fascinating tidbits of information about these spirits. You’ll also discover how to:

  • Become a sophisticated taster
  • Shop for the best spirits
  • Select the right mixers
  • Use spirits in cooking
  • Make ten classic cocktails
  • Choose and taste cordials and liqueurs
  • Know the nutrients in one serving of each type of distilled spirit
  • Present spirits to guests
  • Set up tasting events at home

This thorough guide also features recipes for cooking with spirits, offering menu choices such as entrees, vegetables, and desserts that all include at least one type of spirit. Complete with an appendix of craft distillers across the United States, Whiskey & Spirits For Dummies will give you the knowledge and hands-on guidance you need to become a connoisseur of such greats as fine Scotch, Bourbon, and Cognac in no time!

Introduction 1

Part I: Entering the Spirits World 7

Chapter 1: Discovering Distilled Spirits 9

Chapter 2: How Distilled Spirits Are Created 23

Chapter 3: Enjoying Spirits 43

Part II: Whiskeys from Around the World 59

Chapter 4: Sipping the Irish Whiskeys 61

Chapter 5: Saluting the Scots 79

Chapter 6: American Cousins: Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey 97

Chapter 7: More Whiskeys from America and Other Parts of the World 115

Chapter 8: Channeling the Canadians 131

Part III: Surfing the White Waters: A Guide to “Clear” Spirits 147

Chapter 9: Getting the Goods on Gin 149

Chapter 10: Vodka: Toasting the Russians 169

Chapter 11: Tequila: Unearthing the Aztecs 191

Chapter 12: Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum 209

Part IV: Enjoying the “After Dinner” Specials 231

Chapter 13: Cultivating Brandy 233

Chapter 14: Collecting Cordials, Lining Up Liqueurs 255

Part V: The Part of Tens 275

Chapter 15: Ten (or so) Classic Spirits Cocktails 277

Chapter 16: Ten Spirited Dishes 291

Chapter 17: Ten Nutrition Profiles of Alcohol Beverages 303

Chapter 18: Ten (or so) Health Benefits of Moderate Drinking 307

Index 317