COOKING & FOOD

Spirits of Latin America: A Celebration of Culture & Cocktails, with 100 Recipes from Leyenda & Beyond

Ten Speed. May 2020. 256p. ISBN 9780399582875. $24.99.. COOKING
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Owner of the Brooklyn cocktail bar Leyenda and a James Beard Award–nominated bartender, first-time author Mix shares her experiences traveling in Latin America and her extensive knowledge of the production of Latin spirits. The work is broken into three main sections: “Agave (Tequila and Mezcal),” “Sugarcane (Rum),” and “Grape (Pisco and Singani).” Mix explains the history and production methods behind each spirit as well as highlighting sustainability issues with each crop. Each section ends with a lengthy selection of cocktail recipes, such as “The Big Karwinski,” a mezcal-inspired take on a White Russian. The recipes are fun, but the highlight is learning more about the agricultural history behind each crop, such as the Pisco debate between Chile and Peru or the mixed blessing of the Denomination of Origin (DO) designation for Mezcal in 1994.
VERDICT For readers interested in learning more about spirits, this is a unique cocktail guide. Those interested in Latin American culture and history should find much to enjoy.

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