The Spirit of Gin: A Stirring Miscellany of the New Gin Revival by Matt Teacher

Just released in November, this book is all about Gin. It’s a beautifully produced book that gives a great overview of Gin’s history, how it’s made, and the folks who are producing it today. We were lucky to receive a review copy and wanted to share our thoughts!

What’s In the Book

If you’re the kind of person who judges a book by its cover, you won’t be disappointed. The Spirit of Gin’s cover is thick and embossed with gold-foil and a heavily stamped “GIN” across the front. It’s clear that Teacher and the publisher spent a great deal of time making this book look great on your coffee table, bar or bookshelf.

As you open the book, you’ll discover an array of Gin-related topics on the contents page: Cocktail Recipes, an introduction featuring The London Gin Club, a Historical Account of Gin, (including a guide on how to legally make your own gin), the Art and Craft of Distillation, and an extensive catalog of Gin distillers. Finally, it wraps up with a complete index for those who want to refer to specific topics or recipes. (For the record, a complete index is a huge plus for me – I hate flipping back through books to find that one sentence I remembered!)

By the way – the brief forward by Arrigo Cipriani is worth a visit – if anything, it’ll put you in the right state of mind to enjoy a book wholly dedicated to what is clearly his favorite spirit.

In addition to the information itself, Teacher has sprinkled dozens of great Gin-focused recipes throughout the book – and usually accompanied them with beautiful pictures. So if this book makes you thirsty, you can’t say I didn’t warn you!

Style & Prose

Teacher’s style in The Spirit of Gin feels like a mix of storyteller and journalist. It’s obvious he’s put a lot of effort in making the book readable and enjoyable, and he’s not trying to create a Gin Encyclopedia. He’s bringing the reader along for a journey – and taken the time to include hundreds of gorgeous pictures throughout.

Who Would Enjoy It:

As I mentioned, The Spirit of Gin is not intended to be the be-all and end-all reference for the history and making of Gin. And if that’s what you’re looking for – I don’t recommend you choose this book.

But if you’re someone who enjoys the spirit and likes an amiable story with some interesting history behind it – and who appreciates a beautifully laid out and well-made book – then The Spirit of Gin is definitely worth a little real estate on your coffee table or bookshelf!

Julia Tunstall

Julia Tunstall is the co-founder of A Bar Above and Chief Cocktail Taster. She's in charge of keeping things running smoothly around here, but you'll also find her stopping by on the Mixology Talk Podcast or hanging around the Craft Cocktail Club.