Looking for a perfect Christmas gift?

The perfect gift. Honest!
Making a list, checking it twice, and hoping to find an interesting item to attach to the names?

May I humbly (OK, blatantly) suggest a copy of my book, "Barrels & Drams: The History of Whis(e)y In Jiggers and Shots"?

It's available at local bookstores such as The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland and Market Block Books in Troy. It also is available via the usual online sources, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart and so on.

"Barrels & Drams" is the culmination of a project I conceived, co-wrote and edited for the New York publishing house Sterling Epicure. It deals with the history, major characters, global reach and other aspects of whiskey through the centuries.

Other contributors to the book are such industry luminaries as James Rodewald, a former editor at Gourmet magazine; Daniel Okrent, a 1964 Pulitzer finalist in history; David Wondrich, a founding member of the Museum of the American Cocktail and a drinks writer for several publications, and "the writer in white," the iconic storyteller Tom Wolfe.

In addition, the unusual design of the book and its cover was honored with a design award this year from the Book Industry Guild of New York.


Adult beverage sales: Up and still rising

From Nation's Restaurant News

Sales of adult beverages in the U.S. increased in 2011 and will continue to rise, according to a study by restaurant research firm Technomic. 
Technomic's 2012 BarTAB (Trends in Adult Beverage) report showed that sales of beer, wine and spirits in restaurants increased 4.9 percent in 2011, reaching $93.7 billion and are trending up for 2012 and 2013. 
One reason for that sales growth and its predicted continuation may be pent-up demand left over from the recession, said Technomic senior director Donna Hood Crecca. “Now that we’re into the recovery and consumer confidence is improving, they’re giving in and going for that affordable indulgence,” she said. 
According to the report, one third of consumers say that alcoholic beverages at a restaurant influence their decision to go there, meaning that adult drinks are becoming a competitive differentiator. “Operators are also doing a great job promoting [drinks],” Crecca added.
 “They’re doing beer dinners and tequila dinners. That generates excitement among consumers.”
The study also found that when it comes to beverage sales, beer is, by far, the largest on-premise category, accounting for more than four-fifths of all beverages sold. Imported and craft beers are growing in popularity. Craft beer volumes increased 11 .4%  during 2011, while imported beers grew about 1%, Crecca said.
Go here for the rest of the story, which puts the craft vs. import beer situation in perspective.

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