Jason Wilson’s Boozehound was an entertaining read. If you’ve read no other contemporary books on cocktails and mixology, it’s a nice introduction and tour of contemporary sentiments and spirits. Wilson pulls no punching in defining what a martini is, why faux speakeasies are silly, how vodka sucks (but pays the bills), how sour mix sucks (no save on that one, slackers), why Amari are interesting, Fernet is great, and then … it sort of devolves into some personal anecdotes and loses its way.
Each chapter features recipes with some of the spirits featured in the chapter, and the spirits the author doesn’t like just get neglected. That’s okay, I guess, in some genres. But the problem is the book seems to be a mix of a bunch of genres: Guides to spirits, guides to regional drinking, veil-lifting of the American influence on (and bastardization of) fine spirits, and personal travelogue are at least a few of the things it’s trying to be half-heartedly.
Perhaps just a victim of conversion of a series of magazine columns to book form, I certainly still respect the effort: There aren’t a lot of books this concise or quick-reading that will get you caught up this much by themselves, but it’s probably going to leave you wanting if you’ve been playing in this field for a while.