Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - BOOKS -

The Bar­tender’s Bi­ble By Si­mon Dif­ford Fire­fly, 350 pages, $40 THIS schol­arly book ex­plains how gin is made. It has de­tailed pro­files of 18 lead­ing dis­til­leries and tast­ing notes for 175 brands from around the world. The writer, Si­mon Dif­ford, a Glen­fid­dich food and drink award win­ner and a life­long res­i­dent of Lon­don, Eng­land, also gives us a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory of gin, iin­clud­ingl di theh ddays ini 1750s when it was the crack co­caine of the poor in Lon­don’s east end. Also cov­ered: the role of the gin and tonic in the Bri­tish Em­pire; the first known recipe for the mar­tini in O.H. By­ron’s 1884 The Mod­ern Bar­tender; the bath­tub gin of Pro­hi­bi­tion and the “new cock­tail boom” start­ing in the 1990s.

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