When it comes to entertaining those lovely (if occasionally needy) guests over the holiday season, you can probably use all the help you can get. And since we can't be there ourselves to actually help—with the dishes, the drinks, the turkey or the politically discomfiting uncle—we thought we'd share with you three new books from experts in the not-so-dark art of hosting, pertaining to cocktailing, your home bar and making some—how should we put this—delicious appetizers infused with weed.
Excuse us for being so blunt.
Who it's by: The proprietors of the NYC cocktail institution, Death & Co., Alex Day and David Kaplan, along with Brooklyn-based scribe Nick Fauchald. This is the much-ballyhooed follow-up to their best-seller, Death & Co.: Modern Classic Cocktails. For what it's worth, filmmaker (and known spirit lover) Steven Soderbergh swears by this book, writing, "If Dora the Explorer turned twenty-one, split herself into three people, and decided to write the Magna Carta of booze books, this would be the result." High praise.
How it'll help you: They've basically declared six fundamental recipes—for the Old Fashioned, Sidecar, Daiquiri, Martini, Whiskey Highball and the Flip—the periodic table of cocktail elements, from which all other cocktails are borne. By studying and mastering those drinks, you should have the know-how to create inventive cocktails of your own. Of course, cocktail recipes by some of the country's best barkeeps are included as well, if you don't quite get that far...
Where to buy: Amazon, from $20
The Home Bar: The Guide to Designing, Equipping and Stocking Your Home Bar
Who it's by: Henry Jeffreys, a drink correspondent for The Guardian and the author of Empire of Booze, an intoxicating history of the British empire, via the origin stories of our favorite alcoholic beverages.
How it'll help you: In addition to giving you the necessary context for a comely home bar, through the cultural history of social drinking, Jeffreys dispenses sage wisdom on all manner of bar-related accoutrements, from proper stools to optimal bar surfaces. He also provides some tips on how to amass an enviable collection of spirits. Should you have the capacity to absorb and utilize all of this information prior to Thanksgiving, well...it's going to be a good Thanksgiving.
Where to buy: Amazon, from $21
Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen
Who it's by: Stephanie Hua is an experienced food writer and the woman responsible for a popular line of cannabis-infused marshmallows, dubbed, appropriately, Mellows; Coreen Carroll cofounded an edibles company, whose product won the Best Edible prize at the High Times Cannabis Cup San Fransisco—which you now know is a thing—and has since founded the Cannaisseur Series, to curate cannabis-and-food-related experiences in California. Together, their knowledge of cooking delicious things and getting you high off of those delicious things is likely unmatched.
How it'll help you: We don't recommend drugging your family on Thanksgiving dinner with cannabis-infused duck meatball sliders or roasted grape crostinis. But we don't not recommend deploying the user-friendly recipes, for savory appetizers as well as desserts, like Birthday Cake Mellows and Cardamom Caramels, at what will undoubtedly turn out to be a very memorable Friendsgiving...
Where to buy: Amazon, from $10