That’s the spirit! New book highlights local liquors and libations

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Lovers of both booze and Brooklyn are going to drink this up!

A pair of cocktail connoisseurs have penned a tribute to locally-made liquors — and the drinks you can make with them. “Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough” highlights borough booze-makers such as Greenhook Ginsmiths and Industry City Distilling, alongside about 70 cocktail recipes. And you don’t need to be an expert mixologist to make them. Most of the drinks require minimal preparation, because when it comes to mixing liquors, there is such a thing as too much alcohol, one of the authors said.

“The easiest way to mess one up is to use too many ingredients and follow a recipe too closely.” said Chris Wertz, who co-authored the book with his pal Peter Thomas Fornatale. “The easiest way to make a cocktail is to barely touch it.”

The book began as a collection of random recipes the duo, both former bartenders, had created themselves. But during their research, it turned into a collaboration with Brooklyn’s best bars, distilleries, and liquor luminaries, highlighting classic and original cocktail they have created using Brooklyn-made spirits.

“As we started going forward and meeting these incredible people, it just became natural to highlight what they were doing,” said Wertz. “My philosophy for cocktails is how the book came together — the best ingredients rose to the top.”

The duo said the most important part of a cocktail is the first sip. Before a cocktail is really complete, Wertz said drink makers need to follow their gut — and taste buds — and take a swig before adding extra ingredients that could make it too sweet or sour.

“Let your palate do the rest,” he said.

The pair will launch their book at PowerHouse Arena in Dumbo on Oct. 17, chased up with a reading at the Central Library in Prospect Heights on Oct. 23.

“Brooklyn Sprits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough” at the PowerHouse Arena [37 Main St. between Water and Front streets in Dumbo, (718) 666–3049,]. Oct. 17 at 7 pm. Free. And at Central Library [10 Grand Army Plaza, near Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 230-2100,]. Oct. 23 at 7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle‌@cngl‌ or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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