By Ben Bowers
on 11.23.09

big-shots-the-men-behind-the-boozeThe perfect gift for any man fond of a cocktail from time to time, “Big Shots” is more than just your average drink recipe source. Packed with history behind some of the world’s most famous liquor brands, this flask sized quick read contains all the information you’ll ever need to chat about booze to the end of your days. Written by former Maxim magazine editor A.J. Baime, most of the book is dedicated to setting the record straight against popular beliefs on booze proliferated through the global marketing initiatives of bar staples like: Bacardi, Captain Morgan, Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker, Seagram’s and Smirnoff. For instance, despite the history of the Smirnov brothers making vodka in Russia, did you know that the ubiquitous brand we know today was actually created by an Englishman who then successfully exported the vodka to Russia?

Filled with eye friendly charts, tables, and random trivia, Baime also discusses critical drink knowledge that any edified man should know such as the difference between Tequila vs. Mezcal or the variations in run distillation and how it affects the common drink’s power and flavor. Though we’ll admit that the author’s clear Maxim tone can be somewhat fatiguing over a solid reading session, overall his mix of entertainment and information is spot on and definitely worth reading.

Cost: $6

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