The most recommended books on distillation

Who picked these books? Meet our 14 experts.

14 authors created a book list connected to distillation, and here are their favorite distillation books.
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Book cover of Single Malt Murder

Mary Karlik Author Of Hickville Crossroads

From my list on contemporary romances with a Scottish accent.

Who am I?

I love everything Scottish. My grandfather was Scottish. I never met him, but mom passed the pride of her heritage and culture to me. Mom used to throw out an occasional phrase or poem that I thought was Gaelic. (I later learned it was Scotts but that’s another story.) I decided I wanted to learn the language and found a short course at a small college on the Isle of Skye and it changed my life. After that short course I committed to learning the language and enrolled in the distance learning program. I travel to Skye for the short courses between my semesters and have made lifelong friends.  

Mary's book list on contemporary romances with a Scottish accent

Mary Karlik Why did Mary love this book?

This is the first in the Whisky Business Mystery series. I loved this series and was sad to see it end. I swear I know at least two of the characters personally. There is enough romance to make this romance reader happy but there was also a great murder mystery sprinkled—or should I say—splattered with humor. I loved it.

By Melinda Mullet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Single Malt Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Abigail Logan never expected to inherit a whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands. But in the first novel of an engaging new series blending fine spirits with chilling mystery, Abi finds that there are secrets lurking in the misty glens that some will go to any lengths to protect...even murder.

When Abi inherits her uncle's quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot - but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to…


Book cover of The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails

Anistatia R. Miller Author Of Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink, Book Two

From my list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history.

Who am I?

I’ve been researching and writing with my co-author husband Jared Brown about spirits and mixed drinks for three decades. After writing more than three dozen books plus hundreds of articles about the history and origins of alcoholic beverages, you could say I am addicted to the topic in a big way. While we’ve travelled and tasted drinks around the world we’ve also amassed a few thousand books on the subject. It’s served as a launch point of our secondary careers as drinks consultants and master distillers for global spirits brands. I'm currently finishing my doctoral thesis on early-modern English brewing at the University of Bristol to put a feather on the cap of my long career.

Anistatia's book list on folklore and fact on spirits & cocktail history

Anistatia R. Miller Why did Anistatia love this book?

This is the very first and very major reference work to cover the subjects of spirits, mixed drinks, cocktails, and the people who created them from a global perspective, providing authoritative, enlightening, and entertaining overviews. It makes this not only a valuable source but a great recreational read for enthusiasts to scan and share with friends and family. Into pub quizzes? This book offers enough libatious fodder to create thousands of brain-teasing questions.

By Dave Wondrich, Noah Rothbaum (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anthropologists and historians have confirmed the central role alcohol has played in nearly every society since the dawn of human civilization, but it is only recently that it has been the subject of serious scholarly inquiry. The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails is the first major reference work to cover the subject from a global perspective, and provides an authoritative, enlightening, and entertaining overview of this third branch of the alcohol
family. It will stand alongside the bestselling Companions to Wine and Beer, presenting an in-depth exploration of the world of spirits and cocktails in a groundbreaking synthesis.

The…


Book cover of The World Atlas of Whisky: More Than 200 Distilleries Explored and 750 Expressions Tasted

Kevin R. Kosar Author Of Whiskey: A Global History

From my list on whiskey and whisky.

Who am I?

I am the author of two books on distilled spirits and have been blogging at AlcoholReviews.com since 1998. I have written about drinks, drinks history, and drinks politics for the New York Times and the American Spectator magazine. Whiskey is my favorite distilled spirit—there are so many fantastic types and brands of it. For consumers, it can be really bewildering to navigate. So, I take it as my duty to help people navigate the wide and wild world of whiskey!

Kevin's book list on whiskey and whisky

Kevin R. Kosar Why did Kevin love this book?

This big, beautiful, photograph-loaded coffee table book is an encyclopedia of whiskey. The Atlas, as whiskey-heads often call it, carries descriptions of a couple of hundred distilleries and reviews of around 750 different whiskeys. Broom’s book devotes a lot of pages to Scotch whisky, however, it helpfully covers Irish and American whiskeys and the brown spirits made in nations less known to most readers, like Japan, India, and Australia. Drinks geeks will love Broom’s meticulous explanations of how different whiskeys are produced. Those seeking guidance on how to taste whiskey will benefit from the book’s brief tasting tips and its ‘flavor camp lists,” which categorizes whiskeys by their dominant characteristics (“fruity and spicy,” “fragrant and floral,” etc.)

By Dave Broom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World Atlas of Whisky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This new, fully updated edition of The World Atlas of Whisky provides an in-depth, comprehensive journey through the history, process, distilleries and expressions of world whiskies

"The best whisky book ever - a must-read for drinkers!" - Forbes

"The perfect go-to reference guide for the whisky lover's bookshelf." - Whisky Magazine

Award-winning author and whisky expert Dave Broom explores over 200 distilleries and examines over 400 expressions. Detailed descriptions of the Scottish distilleries can be found here, while Ireland, Japan, the USA, Canada and the rest of the world are given exhaustive coverage. There are tasting notes on single malts…


Book cover of Stillhouse Lake

Deborah Fletcher Mello Author Of Chasing a Colton Killer

From Deborah's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Orange juice enthusiast Devoted grandmother Armchair detective

Deborah's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Deborah's 8, and 10-year-old's favorite books.

Deborah Fletcher Mello Why did Deborah love this book?

I love great suspense, and Rachel Caine sucked me in and refused to let me go with Stillhouse Lake.

The book’s plot was killer (pun intended), and I couldn’t get enough. I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to reach out to the author to tell her what I thought and sadly learned that she had passed away. It felt like I’d lost a literary friend.

By Rachel Caine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stillhouse Lake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Amazon Charts and USA Today bestseller.

Gina Royal is the definition of average-a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband's secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor-the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband's crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.…


Book cover of A Proposal They Can't Refuse

Ofelia Martinez Author Of Remission

From my list on romance with positive representation of Latina women.

Who am I?

I write romance with Latinas on top. Strong, confident, and successful women (or women on their path to success) who are also sex-positive and know what they want are featured in all my work. I’m passionate about this type of representation of my community because until recently, it has been incredibly difficult to find. While the stories of our struggles are important stories to tell and read, I want to read more stories of our triumphs. Latina women have among the lowest reading for fun rates of any group, but why would we read for fun when we are not seeing our reflection anywhere on the page? This is why representation is so important.

Ofelia's book list on romance with positive representation of Latina women

Ofelia Martinez Why did Ofelia love this book?

New to the scene, I have no idea where Natalie has been my whole life. This is another rom-com that left strangers wondering if I was deranged, I was laughing so hard. 

Puerto Rican firecracker heroine Kamilah Vega just wants to save the family restaurant. 

Broody, artsy perfection, Scottish-American Liam Kane wants his grandpa to get the treatment he’s refusing and to take the family whiskey distillery in a new direction. 

When the two hilarious grandfathers, who own the building, blackmail Kamila and Liam to get married or they’ll sell the building housing the restaurant and distillery, the couple agrees to a fake relationship. 

Fake dating is my all-time favorite trope because it lends itself to hilarity and all the sexual tension. 

By Natalie Caña,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Proposal They Can't Refuse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Utterly charming… A Proposal They Can't Refuse is a surefire winner!” —Mia Sosa, USA Today bestselling author of The Worst Best Man

Natalie Caña turns up the heat, humor and heart in this debut rom-com about a Puerto Rican chef and an Irish American whiskey distiller forced into a fake engagement by their scheming octogenarian grandfathers.

Kamilah Vega is desperate to convince her family to update their Puerto Rican restaurant and enter it into the Fall Foodie Tour. With the gentrification of their Chicago neighborhood, it's the only way to save the place. The fly in her mofongo—her blackmailing abuelo…


Book cover of Lonely Planet's Global Distillery Tour 1

André Darlington Author Of Booze Cruise: A Tour of the World's Essential Mixed Drinks

From my list on cocktail books for armchair travelers.

Who am I?

I have been researching and writing about cocktails for over two decades. My first book, The New Cocktail Hour, appeared in 2016 and I have since written seven more books pairing mixed drinks with topics such as classic movies, vinyl music, the DC Comics universe, Westerns, and travel. Cocktails are truly global concoctions, invented by using tea from the Far East, sugar from the Caribbean, liquor from Europe, and citrus from the tropics. The best books about mixed drinks transport us to a worldly state of mind wherever we are. 

André's book list on cocktail books for armchair travelers

André Darlington Why did André love this book?

Capturing the excitement of our drinking age, Lonely Planet’s Global Distillery Tour stops in over 30 countries and provides a tantalizing glimpse at what is happening around the world. With photographs of both product and place, the book offers not just information on distilleries but itineraries to start planning those visits. Vast in scope while feeling manageable, the book makes a great introduction to the spirits world -- plus, has readers itching to experience it all for themselves. 

By Lonely Planet Food,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lonely Planet's Global Distillery Tour 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explore the exciting world of spirits with Lonely Planet. Featuring the best distilleries and bars in over 30 countries, we'll tell you where to go and what to taste - from gin, bourbon and whisky to vodka, cachaca, tequila and more. Includes unmissable regional drinks from South Africa, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, France, Italy, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Within each of the 33 countries in Lonely Planet's Global Distillery Tour, we've organised the distilleries alphabetically by region. Each distillery has a suggested must-try drink or tasting experience and also recommended local sights so you can explore…


Book cover of Amethyst

Tim Hanley Author Of Not All Supermen: Sexism, Toxic Masculinity, and the Complex History of Superheroes

From my list on heroines who have yet to hit the big screen.

Who am I?

I’ve been a comic book nerd forever and a comic book historian for the past fifteen years, specializing in the history of female superheroes and writing books about Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Catwoman, and more. A lot of amazing heroines have been featured in adaptations that have introduced them to a larger audience, but there are so many other great characters still waiting to get their chance to shine. I’m excited to share a few of them that I really love with you here, as well as spotlight a diverse collection of creators and characters that deserve a closer look.

Tim's book list on heroines who have yet to hit the big screen

Tim Hanley Why did Tim love this book?

We’re finally starting to see superhero movies and TV shows featuring the amazing heroines of the comic book world, but some have yet to make the jump. One of these heroines is Amethyst, and Amy Reeder’s recent reinvention of the classic 1980s series is a great distillation of the character. The book is colorful and action-packed, an amazing introduction to a unique setting and heroine that melds the real world with a fantastical realm unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Reeder’s writing is engaging, and her art as she explores and populates Gemworld is gorgeous and immersive. I automatically pick up anything Reeder draws, and this book is her at her best.

By Amy Reeder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Amethyst as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reintroducing Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld! Teenager Amy Winston lives a second life in the magical realm of Gemworld, where she is known as Princess Amethyst. Or at least she did. When she tries to return to Gemworld to celebrate her 16th birthday in style, she discovers that the Amethyst Kingdom is mising! Her subjects have vanished, and no one in any of the neighboring lands note evenher best friend remain loyal to her house. Left alone and dejected in this colorful fantasy realm, Amy must find new allies and confront dark secrets if she is to restore what's been taken...…


Book cover of Canadian Whisky: The New Portable Expert

Kevin R. Kosar Author Of Whiskey: A Global History

From my list on whiskey and whisky.

Who am I?

I am the author of two books on distilled spirits and have been blogging at AlcoholReviews.com since 1998. I have written about drinks, drinks history, and drinks politics for the New York Times and the American Spectator magazine. Whiskey is my favorite distilled spirit—there are so many fantastic types and brands of it. For consumers, it can be really bewildering to navigate. So, I take it as my duty to help people navigate the wide and wild world of whiskey!

Kevin's book list on whiskey and whisky

Kevin R. Kosar Why did Kevin love this book?

Canadians have been making whisky for a few centuries, but drinks experts long have given the nation’s hooch scant attention. This is understandable, as Canadian distillers spent much of the 20th century churning out an ocean of low-priced and bland-tasting blends like Seagrams 7 and Canadian Club. Times have changed, though, and Canada is producing single malts and various high-end, sophisticated whiskies that have garnered international acclaim. David de Kergommeaux is the preeminent expert on whisky in the Great North, and his book is an indispensable guide to anyone who wants to learn the what-and-how of Canadian whisky-making and its history through the current day. He also directs readers’ attention to the brands of Canadian whisky worth buying, and his recommendations are spot on.

By Davin de Kergommeaux,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Canadian Whisky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Savour the bold notes and rich varieties of Canadian whisky with this fully revised, updated,  and indispensable guide.

This fully updated and revised edition of the award-winning Canadian Whisky invites you on a journey across Canada and back through time to discover the story of this unique spirit. Independent whisky expert Davin de Kergommeaux weaves a compelling narrative, beginning with the substance of Canadian whisky—grains, water, and wood—and details the process of how it’s made and how to taste it. He traces the fascinating history of the country’s major distilleries and key visionaries, and introduces the present-day players—big and small—who…


Book cover of One-Liners: A Mini-Manual for a Spiritual Life Hardcover

Joan Budilovsky Author Of Sages of Young Ages

From my list on new moms to listen and laugh with their children.

Who am I?

I’ve taught yoga and meditation for decades to children from ages 3 to 93. My Doctorate is in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to experience personal development and child development has a very special place in my heart. I learn so much from them! It is particularly fun to watch children discover and explore life. Everything old is new again! Sages of Young Ages can open our eyes if we simply open our ears to each child’s unique spoken truths.

Joan's book list on new moms to listen and laugh with their children

Joan Budilovsky Why did Joan love this book?

"Don't take yourself so personally" says Ram Dass. His humor, his insights, his ability to capture great lessons and truths in one line. This book made me think and laugh at the same time = quite a feat! I so appreciate his fun look at life with his deep sense of spiritual understanding. Fantastic read.

By Ram Dass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One-Liners as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One-Liners is a collection of over 200 penetrating and pithy spiritual instructions from spiritual guru Ram Dass, who describes it as a 'distillation' of the lectures he has given over the last couple of decades. His insightful quotes cover topics such as Love and Devotion, Suffering, Ageing, Planes of Consciousness, Death and Dying, Service and Compassion, Psychedelics, Social Awareness and Liberation.


Book cover of Into The Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them

Matt Zandstra Author Of PHP 8 Objects, Patterns, and Practice: Mastering OO Enhancements, Design Patterns, and Essential Development Tools

From my list on non-fiction that turn their topics upside down.

Who am I?

Software developers love to question the assumptions that underpin their practice. Some of the most exciting phases of my career have come about as a result of such questions. Often they are revolutionary in the literal sense that they ask you to turn your thinking upside down – to design systems from the bottom up rather than the top down, for example, or to write your tests before your components. I may not adopt every practice, but each challenge enriches the conceptual world in which I work. Over the years, I have come to look for similar shifts and inversions across other subject areas. Here are some recommendations from my reading.

Matt's book list on non-fiction that turn their topics upside down

Matt Zandstra Why did Matt love this book?

I must have read a hundred books about story structure over the years. Somehow, perhaps because of some story-related blind spot on my part, none of them ever seemed to stick.

My problem was always the middle. Middles can sag. It seems that a story's interior becomes little more than the wasteland a protagonist must traverse to get from the mystery of a beginning to the ultimate challenge of an ending.

Yorke's Into The Woods celebrates the middle. He reminds us that the essential crux of a story lies in its midpoint. Right at the heart of an effective story, he argues, lies a fundamental transformation, a change so great that the protagonist emerges with new powers into a new world.

Furthermore, by analysing stories in five acts rather than three, he allows for an elegant symmetry in which the first and fifth, second, and fourth acts mirror one another.…

By John Yorke,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Into The Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The best book on the subject I've read. Quite brilliant' Tony Jordan, creator/writer, Life on Mars, Hustle

We all love stories. But why do we tell them? And why do all stories function in an eerily similar way? John Yorke, creator of the BBC Writers' Academy, has brought a vast array of drama to British screens. Here he takes us on a journey to the heart of storytelling, revealing that there truly is a unifying shape to narrative forms - one that echoes the fairytale journey into the woods and, like any great art, comes from deep within. From ancient…