Title: Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits
Author: Jason Wilson
Release Date: September 21, 2010
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4 out of 5
In this search for the rare and obscure in liquor, Jason Wilson tries to raise awareness about spirits. He travels near and far, commenting on the spirit culture (or lack thereof) in America.
Jason Wilson’s book has just one goal: to raise the awareness of liquors and spirits in the United States. In a culture that seems to worship at the altar of the Cosmopolitan and Appletini, Wilson’s message is simple: there is something better out there. As an avid fan of craft beer, I don’t usually have much time or an inclination to drink too many cocktails, but I’m always interested in reading about culture, so I thought this book might be interesting.
Boozehound is many things in one: a travelogue, a lesson, a social commentary, and a a feast for the senses. Wilson writes in an engaging manner as he travels around the world seeking out rare spirits. Along the way, he tells the reader the history and evolution of the particular liquor. It’s a great structure, and serves to keep the reader entertained while also teaching them something. At the end of each chapter, the book also has drink recipes. They certainly look interesting, and I enjoyed browsing through them, but I highly doubt I will ever make any of them. The ingredients are often obscure, and I don’t fancy spending that much money on making a cocktail.
Wilson doesn’t hide his disdain for certain fads in the liquor market. The one he focuses on the most in Boozehound is that of flavored vodkas. I found myself chuckling out loud as he railed on against this phenomenon. He makes some very good points about their ridiculousness (and about vodka in general). It’s clear Wilson seeks out genuine spirits with a history behind them, so it’s very interesting to see what he chooses and why.
Though I’m not a big cocktail drinker (and won’t be one, even after reading this book), I did enjoy Boozehound. It’s always interesting to read about the nuances of a different culture, and I enjoyed Wilson’s enthusiasm for spirits. If you have a liquor lover in your life, this book would make an excellent gift.