The Art of Distilling by Bill Owens has the tagline of ‘your backstage pass into the world of small-scale distilling of whiskies, gins, vodkas, brandies and many other spirits.
This is a revised and expanded version of the original book and boy, is it comprehensive!
Bill Owens is the owner of the American Distilling Institute, so you can expect a bias towards American brands and a focus on their leading distilleries.
This book is structured into an Introduction then two chapters covering a brief history of distilling and the distilling process.
There are dedicated chapters to whisky, vodka, gin, brandy and eau de vie, rum, tequila and agave spirits. There is a chapter covering infused spirits, which are also known as liqueurs, schnapps, and anise and bitters.
The gin chapter (for example) includes colour photographs, quotes, interesting historical references and facts. The book explains the different styles of gin in a chart – London, Dry Gin, Plymouth Gin, Old Tom Gin and Governor or Hollands. This section also included regional differences and some classic cocktail recipes.
The last chapter covers distilling resources – a must buy list of books to improve your library.
If you are travelling over to America anytime soon, you might like to consult this book before you purchase a bottle or two duty-free from the airport shops.
The Art of Distilling is a fascinating stand-alone read, or a handy reference to keep near your bar or in the kitchen cookbook shelves.
Publisher: Quarto US
Imprint: Quarry Books
About Bill Owens
Distiller, publisher, photographer, brewer, and raconteur, author Bill Owens is president of the American Distilling Institute. His website, www.distilling.com, is the most comprehensive source of industry and hobby information for the distilling enthusiast. Owens spent nearly two decades as the publisher of Beer and American Brewer magazines and he is the author of ‘How to Build a Small Brewery’.
The book was edited by Bill Owens, Alan Dikty and Andrew Faulkner.