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!