This ambitious book is the perfect starting place for anyone who is curious about spirits south of the border. Each section deals with a different source: agave, sugarcane, and grape. Mix gives the history behind these delicious drinks as well as information on the ethics of buying them, and doesn’t shy away from the less savory aspects of the drinks. While most of her cocktails match her status as world-class bartender, there are a few (hello, caipirinha) that are a simple and elegant, the perfect introduction to these amazing spirits. ¡Salud!
A James Beard Award-nominated bartender explores the history and culture of Latin American spirits in this stunningly photographed travelogue—with 100+ irresistible cocktails featuring tequila, rum, pisco, and more.
“Ivy’s unique combination of taste, talent, and tenacity make her the ideal ‘spirit’ guide.”—Steven Soderbergh, filmmaker, professional drinker, and owner of Singani 63
Through its in-depth look at drinking culture throughout Latin America, this gorgeous book offers a rich cultural and historical context for understanding Latin spirits. Ivy Mix has dedicated years to traveling south, getting to know Latin culture, in part through what the locals drink. What she details in this book is the discovery that Latin spirits echo the Latin palate, which echoes Latin life, emphasizing spiciness, vivaciousness, strength, and variation. After digging into tequila and Mexico's other traditional spirits, Ivy Mix follows the sugar trail through the Caribbean and beyond, winding up in Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, where grape-based spirits like pisco and singani have been made for generations.
With more than 100 recipes that have garnered acclaim at her Brooklyn bar, Leyenda, including fun spins on traditional cocktails such as the Pisco Sour, Margarita, and Mojito, plus drinks inspired by Ivy's travels, like the Tia Mia (which combines mezcal, rum, and orange curacao, with a splash of lime and almond orgeat) or the Sonambula (which features jalapeño-infused tequila, lemon juice, chamomile syrup, and a dash of Peychaud's bitters), along with mouthwatering photos and gorgeous travel images, this is the ultimate book on Latin American spirits.
About the Author
Ivy Mix is one of the best known bartenders in the United States. She won the Spirited Award for Best American Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail, and Wine Enthusiast named her "Mixologist of the Year." Through her work with Speed Rack, a bartending competition for women, Mix travels and bartends across the country in addition to operating her own Brooklyn-based pan-Latin bar, Leyenda, which was nominated for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program in 2019.
“It’s clear as soon as you crack the cover that Ivy Mix long ago left her heart somewhere beneath the Tropic of Cancer. Her passion for the remarkably diverse spirits, peoples, and lands radiates from each page, and her book (and bar, Leyenda) are a testament to her desire to share them with us. Like the first sip of an ice-cold cocktail on a warm San Juan night, this book refreshes and delights.”—Martin Cate, author and owner of Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco
“Smartly written and beautifully photographed, Spirits of Latin America is a necessary addition to any thoughtful spirit lover’s library. Ivy Mix goes far beyond technical insight and gets to the heart of what actually makes these spirits so special: the people who make them, the cultures from which they were born, and the lands that contribute so much to their personality. We’re brought not just on a journey into her deep passion for agave, sugarcane, and grape spirits but are allowed to ride shotgun as Ivy explores the nuance of each, brings to life the voices of those who put their soul into every drop, and cultivates an appreciation for the deep heritage and tradition that are entwined with their stories.”—Alex Day, co-author of Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions and Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails
“In this book, Ivy Mix reveals the roots of her inspiration: Latin American spirits, and her personal experience of the culture behind them. This book plumbs the depths—and provides a vivid portrait—of the spirits that have inspired cocktails that have taken the world by storm. You will not only get a first-class ticket to the places that have given birth to Latin American drink culture but exciting and easy to execute recipes that will appeal to home cocktail enthusiast and seasoned bar pro alike—Saludos!”—Shannon Mustipher, beverage director of Glady’s Caribbean, Brooklyn, and author of Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails
“With Spirits of Latin America, Ivy Mix has thrown open the doors to one of the most shadowy, but also most interesting, sections of the liquor cabinet. I can't read more than a couple of pages of this engaging, informative book without getting thirsty; and the more I read, the thirstier I get.”—David Wondrich, author of Imbibe! and Punch
“Ivy’s unique combination of taste, talent, and tenacity make her the ideal ‘spirit’ guide, and her subject has long deserved this close and careful attention. My advice: listen, learn, and drink up.”—Steven Soderbergh, filmmaker, professional drinker, and owner of Singani 63