A history of the new world in 10 cocktails

Tasting Notes: And a Bottle of Rum by Wayne Curtis

Culture : Books By Photo by Crown

William Faulkner once said, “Civilization begins with distillation.” Sounds about right. The more history you read, the more entwined it becomes with booze, and not just because you’re often drinking while reading. In his book And a Bottle of Rum ($11), travel writer Wayne Curtis tells the tale of rum-soaked America, from its innocent beginnings as a tipsy youth to its present day role as a consumption giant.

Through the histories and anecdotes of ten rum cocktails, from the grog that fueled pirates to the Rum and Cokes and Mojitos that fuel Miami club-goers, Curtis explores rum’s impact on the culture and drinking habits of North America and the Caribbean. Along the way he visits bars and aficionados and collects more stories to add to this already colorful subject. It’s a well-written, exhaustively-researched book, and readers who get through all 10 chapters are rewarded with an appendix of cocktail recipes.

Now, it’s time to conduct some research of our own.

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