Cold winter weather is a perfect time to get together with friends to eat, drink, and be merry! But a memorable party is not always easy to pull off, and even the best of us need a little assistance from time to time. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent books out there to help turn you into a star host or hostess. Whether you need help planning the menu or need some ideas for serving the booze, we’ve got some of the year’s hottest new releases for home entertaining collected below.
Cooking for Good Times: Super Delicious, Super Simple [A Cookbook]
By Paul Kahan
Lorena Jones Books, $35.00, 288 pages
Dinner parties can be a challenge to host; who doesn’t want to cook fantastic, impressive dishes while still getting time to chat it up with the guests? Chef Paul Kahan, well-known in the Chicago restaurant scene, offers this delightful cookbook that delivers to readers the chance to do just that. With Kahan’s twelve simple mix-and-match options, anyone can put together an amazing dinner party and still have time for the social aspect. Each core recipe features numerous customizations, and drink pairings are offered as well. This book is the key to a wonderful party!
The Martini Cocktail: A Meditation on the World’s Greatest Drink, with Recipes
By Robert Simonson
Ten Speed Press, $18.99, 176 pages
Most adults have a solid idea of what makes a good martini: gin, vermouth, a twist of some sort, sometimes bitters. But the martini is a surprisingly diverse drink with a storied history, and author Robert Simonson explores that history in this fascinating book. Readers will learn the history behind the name, get an understanding of how the components of this drink have changed over time, and delight in an abundance of recipes for at-home exploration. What an excellent addition for the enthusiast’s library!
Tequila Made Me Do It: 60 Tantalizing Tequila and Mezcal Cocktails
By Cecilia Rios Murrieta
Andrews McMeel Publishing, $16.99, 144 pages
Tequila lovers will rejoice in this fabulous collection of recipes devoted to their favorite liquor! Cecilia Rios Murrieta dives deep into the world of agave-created alcohol and offers readers sixty beautiful and varied recipes that utilize tequila and mezcal. Beautiful photographs will get your taste buds amped up, and the wide selection of cocktails will ensure that you can play around with making these drinks for a long time to come.
Mezcal: The Gift of Agave
By Nancy J. Hajeski
Imagine, $16.99, 160 pages
Mezcal used to be a relative unknown, but these days the smoky Mexican liquor has a broad following due to its many unique uses in the world of cocktails. This book serves as a fantastic introduction to the delights of mezcal, detailing its production, offering recipes to mix and serve it, and helping readers to choose different types of mezcal. Readers will also enjoy a virtual “tour” of various commercial distilleries. This is an excellent gift for anyone looking to learn more about mezcal!
Drink Like a Geek: Cocktails, Brews, and Spirits for the Nerd in All of Us
By Jeff Cioletti
Mango, $19.95, 224 pages
Treat your inner geek to a fancy new drink with this amazing collection of fandom-inspired drinks. Jeff Cioletti has put together a fantastic book that explores the many connections between popular culture and mixology. No matter where your nerd interests lie–sci-fi epics, video games, wizards, high fantasy, comic books, or elsewhere–you will find something in this book to get excited about.