Great books for holiday gifts

Can you believe the holidays are right around the corner? What better holiday treat than a book. We heartily recommend:

CHURRASCO-Grilling The Brazilian Way by Churrasco Grill Master Evandro Caregnato, Publisher: Gibbs Smith, will help you create your own family traditions that can be passed down from generation to generation, just as they do in Brazil. Side dishes (many of them vegetarian) also play an important role in churrasco, and this book is loaded with fresh, easy, and delicious recipes that will complement and enhance the star of the show: The Meat, of course. You will discover new spice combinations, some secret barbecue techniques, and learn about some cuts of meat that you may not even be aware exist! No Brazilian barbecue would be complete without the country’s national drink: The Caipirinha made with lime, simple syrup and a good-quality cachaca, the potent a rum-like spirit made from pure cane sugar. The Caipirinha will surprise and delight your guests–and make you a true gaucho. Caregnato is Culinary Director of Texas De Brazil, the country’s top churrascaria steak house and in this book he shares the grilling traditions of Southern Brazil’s gauchos. In addition to practical grilling techniques and easy-to-succeed side-dish and dessert recipes, Chef Caregnato shares the rich history of Brazilian gauchos and his own family’s churrasco traditions. Discover how professional gauchos grill the Brazilian way, and then recreate the mouth-watering flavors in your own backyard (or kitchen).

THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL: EXPLORING AMERICA’S WILDERNESS TRAIL published by the great house of Rizzoli, New York. This gloriously lush and finely written by Mark Larabee and Barney Scout Mann book heads west and looks at the trail made even more famous by Cheryl Strayed in Wild (she contributes the foreword to this book). The only illustrated book officially published with the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA), THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL explores this legendary footpath with more than 250 spectacular contemporary images, unpublished historical photos and documents from the PCTA archives, and even the official trail map folded into an inside pocket. This inspired book truly makes you want to get up and out to explore the 48 wilderness areas and six national parks along this majestic trail with half of its 2,650 miles running through congressionally-designated dramatic wilderness.

Fred Minnick’s BOURBON: The Rise, Fall & Rebirth of An American Whiskey (Voyageur Press). Let’s face it, bourbon is not just alcohol — this amber-colored drink is deeply ingrained in American culture and tangled in American history. From the early days of raw corn liquor to the myriad distilleries that have proliferated around the country today, bourbon has come to symbolize America. Award-winning whiskey author Fred Minnick traces bourbon’s entire history, from the 1700s with Irish, Scottish, and French settlers setting up stills and making distilled spirits in the New World through today’s booming resurgence. He also lays out in expert detail the critical role this spirit has played throughout the cultural and even political history of the nation—from Congress passing whiskey-protection laws to consumers standing in long lines just for a glimpse of a rare bottle of Pappy Van Winkle — complemented by more than 100 illustrations and photos. And most importantly, Minnick explores the mystery of who most likely created the sweet corn liquor we now know as bourbon. He studies the men who’ve been championed as its inventors over time—from Daniel Boone’s cousin to Baptist minister Elijah Craig—and, based on new research and never-before-seen documentation, answers the question of who deserves the credit.

BUT FIRST, CHAMPAGNE: A Modern Guide to the World’s Favorite Wine by David White and photos by John Trinidad, Skyhorse Publishing. Champagne is in the midst of a renaissance—no longer to be unjustly neglected. Over the past decade, an increasing number of wine enthusiasts have discovered the joys of grower Champagne—wines made by the farmers who grow the grapes. Thanks to a few key wine importers and America’s newfound obsession with knowing where food comes from, these shipments have been climbing steadily. In BUT FIRST CHAMPAGNE, author David White details Champagne’s history along with that of its wines, explains how and why the market is changing, and profiles the region’s leading producers. This book is essential reading for wine enthusiasts, adventurous drinkers, foodies, sommeliers, and drinks professionals. With a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the region, its history, and its leading producers, BUT FIRST, CHAMPAGNE will demystify Champagne for all.

CUBA’S CAR CULTURE: Celebrating the Island’s Automotive Love Affair by Tom Cotter and Bill Warner, published by Motorbooks, takes readers on a whirlwind tour of all things automotive in Cuba, beginning with Cuba’s pre-Castro car and racing history and bringing you up to today’s lost collector cars, street racing, and the challenges of keeping decades-old cars on the road. The book is illustrated throughout with rare historical photos as well as contemporary photos of Cuba’s current car scene. For anyone who enjoys classic cars, from old Chevy Bel-Airs to Studebakers to Ford Fairlanes, a cruise around Cuba with this book in hand will make you feel like a kid in a candy store.

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