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Readable. Edible. Drinkable. 8 Books for the Holidays

by April Stamm
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Sunday Dec 10, 2017

Additional contributions by Matthew Wexler.

Yes, people still read books. In fact, they love them. Give the gift of the printed word (along with gorgeous photography, expert insights, and easy-to-follow recipes) with our favorite picks for the holidays. Wrap them as gifts or keep for yourself to get through the winter ahead.

Gizzi's Season's Eatings: Feats & Celebrations from Halloween to Happy New Year.
By Gizzi Erskine

Like a British, hipster Martha Stewart, Gizzi Erskine has laid it all out for the entire holiday season in her new book, "Gizzi's Season's Eatings." From hearty, belly-warming food, to quirky decorations, to setting the properly adorned table, former body piercer turned chef, food writer, stylist and TV personality, Gizzi's British homespun-yet-cool sensibility shines in this holiday primer. Recipes are rich and warm, in all senses of the word, like Coq au Vin Spooky-Faced Pie and Beef-Dripping Yorkshires. (A.S.)

"Straight Up: Where to drink and what to drink on every continent"
By Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley

For your favorite loved one with wanderlust who also happens to enjoy a good cocktail, Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley's 288-page guidebook covers the four corners of the globe to unearth some of the world's most iconic (and undiscovered) watering holes. Discover remote picks like The Cove in San Francisco or legendary spots such as French 75 in New Orleans or Loos American Bar in Vienna. It's also a great companion piece to EDGE's forthcoming "7 Gay Wonders of the World: Culinary Edition" to identify terrific spots in some of our favorite cities, including Copenhagen, Vancouver, and more. (M.W)

"Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond"
By Alex Lewin and Raquel Guajardo

Who's not into fermenting these days? Whether your recipient is leaping onboard for his or her health or the tart, special taste that only fermentation can give, Alex Lewin and Raquel Guajardo's "Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond" delivers everything one needs to jump head first into the world of fermented beverages.

Complete with pages on the whys and wherefores of fermentation, a brief global history of fermentation and recipes for Kombucha (a fermented tea drink reminiscent of effervescent sweet/tart vinegar), wines and ciders, and even fermented cocktails, this book is more than recipes - it could become a way of life and you may end up receiving fermented everything next holiday season. (A.S.)

"Leon Happy Soups"
By Rebecca Seal and John Vincent

From the busy UK chain of natural fast food restaurants, Leon, comes the perfect follow up to their "Leon Happy Salads" book, "Leon Happy Soups." Chock full of tummy warmers like a classic Mulligatawny, spicy Posole, and velvety Red Pepper soup, this book will help home chefs get through the chilly months to come with soups that are as good for your soul as they are stuffed with good-for-your-body ingredients. (A.S.)

"Meyer's Bakery"
By Claus Meyer

Not for the carb-challenged, gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer delivers a definitive guide to baking bread (along with pastries and other inspired recipes). Filled with Meyer's philosophy and step-by-step instructions for slow fermenting, starters, and enriched doughs, the hearty book is an ideal gift for someone who wants to be ensconced for days at a time to create the perfect loaf. (M.W.)

"The Way of Whisky: A journey around Japanese whisky"
By Dave Broom

If there's one guy you want to go drinking with, it's whisky expert Dave Broom. He's there in spirit with his latest tome, "The Way of Whisky," a gorgeous 256-page guide through Japan's whisky distilleries. This might be the one that you keep for yourself, but if you can bear to part with it, the lucky recipient will revel in Kohei Take's gorgeous photography, which provides a visual framework for Broom's regional guide through the country's notable prominent distilleries. (M.W.)

"The Midlife Kitchen"
By Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice

Out to save our midlife health are Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice with their new book, "The Midlife Kitchen." The Manifesto at the start of the tomb lays out their systems and beliefs, giving clear instructions on how readers can boost their 40s, 50s and beyond, including a color-coded system for reading and applying their recipes. More than 160 recipes from Salted Almond Oatmeal to Vietnamese Crabacado Wraps, give a complete tutorial on not just how to cook but why to cook it to boost one's middle years. (A.S.)

"Larousse Wine: The Definitive Reference for Wine Lovers"

A wine lover's guide from the publishers of Larousse Gastronomique, a classic culinary reference book, you might need an extra roll of gift wrap to encase this heavyweight beauty. Colored illustrations, maps, historical references, and how to's like reading a wine label and whether to decant are all included.

Pair this with a magnum of your favorite vintage for the ultimate holiday giveaway and be sure to earmark some of the more esoteric highlights such as the lightly sparkling Lambrusco di Sorbara from Italy (page 466). (M.W.)

April Stamm is a lifestyle and food writer and chef based in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY.


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