It's Real

Ladies and gentlemen, I can confirm that the book has taken physical form: my copy of Distilled Knowledge arrived this weekend!

I spent months trying to imagine what this moment would feel like. I gave up (often), because I really had no parallel for it. I would often joke that seeing my name on the cover would make me certain that someone had made a mistake, that my name had gotten slapped onto somebody else’s book somehow. I say, “joke,” even though some part of me probably thought that might happen. I really, really had no idea what to expect.

I’m very happy to report that the feeling I actually experienced when I opened the box and saw my copy of my book was absolute, unbridled joy. Have you ever hugged a book? Literally hugged it. Squeezed it into your chest like it would dissolve into your body. I have. Books are harder than people, but it still works.

I could ramble on about this forever, but I won't. Instead I'll answer some of your possibly-burning questions, after which I'll give you the recipe for the cocktail I devised the night I found out my copy of Distilled Knowledge was in the country and on its way to me.

Does this mean I can get a copy now, too?
Not yet! Unless you're reviewing Distilled Knowledge for a publication or something like that. This is a small initial order for reviewers and people who worked on the book.

OK, so when and how do I get a copy?
October 4th is still the landfall date. If you want to pick up a copy at your local bookstore, it should be available from then on.

If you want to order a copy online, you can do that now, although it still won't arrive before 10/4. Distilled Knowledge is available for pre-order through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

What if I want a signed copy? Where can I order that?
You can't order a signed copy per se. If you order a regular copy or buy one at your local bookstore, I'll be happy to sign it whenever you, I, and it are all in the same room.

You can also come to a book signing, and either buy a book there or bring one for me to sign! Our schedule of promotional events isn't out just yet, but I can say we're planning to focus on Boston and New York, where we'll be doing a bunch of events from October until the last drop of interest has been squeezed from those cities' populations. Other events throughout the Northeast are reasonably likely but have yet to be scheduled.

If you live in other parts of the country (or in other countries), I hope we'll be able to do events near you, but it will depend to some degree on how well the book is doing, and I don't expect we'd be there before 2017.

How do I know when promotional events are happening, and where, and whether they're signings or cocktail lessons or something else entirely?
Sign up for the Herzog Cocktail School Mailing list! That is, by far, the surest way to get information about upcoming events. You can even choose to just receive information about Distilled Knowledge.

Sign up here:

Is there, like, a one-stop shop where I can get any Distilled Knowledge information I could possibly need at once? That will be regularly updated as new information comes in?
You bet! It's right here:

You said something about a cocktail?
Frequently, yes!

Here you go:

Publication Cocktail
1 1/2 oz. Rittenhouse 100º Rye
1 oz. Angostura Amaro
1/4 oz. Maple Syrup
2 Dashes Crude "Sycophant" (Orange & Fig) Bitters
Shake with ice. Strain into a chilled coupé glass.

Note: This drink is definitely inspired by Angostura's Waffle Shots, which I encountered at Tales of the Cocktail last summer (and which are the primary reason I own Angostura Amaro in the first place). Waffle Shots consist of Angostura Rum, Angostura Amaro, and maple syrup, mixed together in a wide-mouth cup, with a quarter of a waffle dusted in powdered sugar and dunked into it. I can think of no better breakfast item for a tailgate, ever.

The Waffle Shot is a richer, heavier drink than the Publication, which ends up being very whiskey-forward thanks to the Rittenhouse and gets a nice bit of brightness from the bitters. The drinks are also distinguished by the presence or absence of waffles.


The Twenty-Four Nineteen

So named for the (roughly) 24" of snow this storm's dropped on us so far, which has been falling (last I checked) at about 19 degrees.

Like most of Massachusetts, today I was both physically unable and legally forbidden to stray very far from home. My solution to this problem was to invent a cocktail.

The restriction I placed on myself - because being limited to ingredients I already had on hand wasn't enough of one - was that each component of the drink had to be specifically connected, somehow, to my experience of this storm.

Last night, on my way home, I stopped into a liquor store to stock up. Item one on my agenda was dark rum, since I'd killed my previous bottle over the weekend, and there's really nothing better than a rich dark rum when it's snowing. (This is also true when it isn't snowing, but it's less obvious then.)

Item two, chiefly because the store happened to have it and to have it very visible, was a bottle of Meletti, an amaro I enjoy very much but had never previously purchased for myself. If not for the storm, I wouldn't have gotten either it or the rum last night; both went into the drink.

In my fridge, there is half a tired lemon, left over from pre-blizzard experiments. I have no other lemons or limes. Until the snow stops and the stores reopen, all the citrus I consume will come from that half lemon. A small portion of it went into the drink.

Finally, a cocktail themed after this specific storm would hardly be complete without a piece of this specific storm, by which I mean snow.

Those little droplets on the sides? That's snow. I opened my window, stuck my hand outside, and allowed Mother Nature to deliver unto the cocktail its final and signature ingredient. It needed a touch of water anyway.

And thus, as Frankenstein's monster from a lightning bolt, was born the Twenty-Four Nineteen.

1 oz. Rhum Barbancourt
1/4 oz. Amaro Meletti
4 drops lemon juice squeezed out of a tired old half-lemon by hand
1 rough-cut twist from the same tired old half-lemon, used to rim the glass and then dropped in
As much snow as you can capture in the otherwise-finished cocktail by thrusting it out into the elements until it becomes necessary to close the window

If you thought I was kidding, oh, how wrong you were.

If you thought I was kidding, oh, how wrong you were.

Rich, warm, and spicy - that sums it up well. It's nicely brightened by the citrus, and would do well as an aperi- or digestif, although its highest use is without a doubt as a winter warming drink.

Whether the snow actually contributed anything beyond the psychological satisfaction of having collected it by hand, I can't tell. But then, what could it possibly provide that's greater than that?

The things I used my last bottle of dark rum and the first half of that lemon for will be the subjects of future posts; Meletti will get one of its own, too, since I imagine a lot of you have never had it before. In the mean time, stay warm and dry. And don't try harvesting cocktail snow at home.