Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781789141528 Published February 2020 For sale in North and South America only
An e-book edition will be published.

Strong, Sweet and Dry

A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira and Marsala

Becky Sue Epstein

Strong, Sweet and Dry

Becky Sue Epstein

Distributed for Reaktion Books

240 pages | 80 color plates, 50 halftones | 6 3/4 x 8 3/4
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781789141528 Published February 2020 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9781789141863 Published October 2019
Today, many fortified wines are flourishing again, revived by discerning drinkers and modern mixologists all over the world. Once popularly savored before or after dinner, fortified wines—vermouth, sherry, port, madeira, and the like—had fallen out of favor until recent times. But now, in pubs and wine bars, high-end restaurants and homes, these wines are finding their way into innovative cocktails, and they are being appreciated anew for their fine qualities and strong, complex tastes.

Strong, Sweet and Dry is the ultimate guide to these freshly rediscovered palate pleasers. In lively style, Becky Sue Epstein explores the latest fortified wine innovations and trends, along with their colorful history, including the merchants, warriors, and kings who helped bring these beverages into being. Featuring a plethora of enticing images, along with anecdotes, facts, and recipes, this is a superb tour through the long history of fortified wines and their global resurgence today.
Review Quotes
Times Literary Supplement
"The drinks announced in the subtitle of Epstein’s book evoke the arcane charms of the Old World, but have, in recent years, made a comeback among bartenders and mixologists. Epstein narrates their history while also liberating them from the dusty drinks cabinet. A first chapter on vermouth, essential for the now near-ubiquitous negroni—a heady blend of vermouth, aromatics and fortifying spirit (Epstein notes its 'sultry darkness')—prepares the reader for the cocktail of genres that follows: travelogue and history mix with guidance, a glossary (for the more arcane terms of the drinking arts), and recommended reading. . . . The succinct battery of cocktail recipes at the end of the book . . . [features] unfussy preparations that showcase the wines’ varied characters."
Wine Economist
"What do Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala wines have in common? They are all fortified wines (the 'strong' part of the book title). You probably have bottles of several if not all of them stashed away somewhere in the back of the wine closet, although you might not have thought about them in a while. And they are all delicious. Time you brought them out of the closet and onto the table where they belong! Epstein's entertaining and informative new book is just the nudge you need to do it. . . . Strong, Sweet and Dry inspired us and I think it will inspire you to try something new that's also something old. Highly recommended."
Houstonia Magazine
"Y’all, it’s been a year for our dads. March Madness, baseball, and just life in general have been canceled thanks to COVID-19. But you know what’s not canceled? Father’s Day. That’s right, to help y’all celebrate this Sunday, we’ve rounded up a list of luxurious bar cart items to gift Dad. Why stuff for the bar cart? Because, after being stuck at home with us for months, Dad just needs a drink. It’s been a year. . . . Ever wondered the difference between a vermouth and a sherry and when you should be drinking them? Refine Dad’s palate—and your own—and learn about fortified wines (plus, cocktail recipes!) with this new book by Epstein."
Delicious Magazine
"Sip, sip, hooray, for a new book on some overlooked stars of the drinks world. . . . Strong, Sweet and Dry delves into the complex history of these aromatic fortified wines and makes a case for the current revival among mixologists. This is a serious book, crammed with facts, but it's clearly written, with some intriguing glimpses into the past, plus there's a section on cocktails for getting more out of these vinous gems."
Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2020: Drink Book Category
Shortlisted
Choice
"What do Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala wines have in common? They are all fortified wines (the 'strong' part of the book title). You probably have bottles of several if not all of them stashed away somewhere in the back of the wine closet, although you might not have thought about them in a while. And they are all delicious. Time you brought them out of the closet and onto the table where they belong! Epstein's entertaining and informative new book is just the nudge you need to do it. . . . Strong, Sweet and Dry inspired us and I think it will inspire you to try something new that's also something old. Highly recommended."
Yorkshire Post
"Epstein has the ability to dig deep into the background and culture of drinks from around the world, bringing out snippets of information that evade many other writers. She dips briefly into the history of her fortified wine topics, but rather than get weighed down with how things were in the past, she is more interested in the current status of the wines. She weaves methods of winemaking, grape varieties, and ageing into an easily digested format, bring out the directions of each industry as it adapts to changing markets. She then rounds off with a selection of cocktail recipes that adds another dimension to the enjoyment of these wines."
Dale “kingcocktail” DeGroff
"Strong, Sweet and Dry is an extraordinary voyage demystifying the aromatized and fortified wine world, and the timing couldn’t be better. Americans are enjoying the world of port, sherry, vermouth, and Madeira in some cases for the first time in their cocktails! We have officially rediscovered the wet Martini and we have amazing choices for vermouth in our Manhattans. This book needs to be on your reading list.”
Debra Meiburg MW, master of wine & director, Meiburg Wine Media
“Epstein’s fresh take on these oft-overlooked treasures takes you through the fascinating past, where the origins of vermouth, port, sherry, madeira, and marsala are revealed, traces their contemporary trends, and discusses their modern relevance. Strong, Sweet and Dry is a wonderful read for professionals and passionate connoisseurs alike!”
Club Oenologique
"Epstein, a wine commentator of huge experience, pulls on a robust pair of cracked leather hiking boots and strides gamely into this great historical sweep. As a guide she’s engaging. . . . In many ways a fascinating book. . . . You’ll find all you need to know about an increasingly fashionable family of wines."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://press.uchicago.edu
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