Spirits distilled

Spirits distilled

By: Mark Ridgwell, Michael Butt

Publication date: August 2016
ISBN-13 (print): 9781908984784
ISBN-13 (e-book): 9781910902363

Table of Contents

The third edition of Spirits distilled is a comprehensive guide to all of the major spirits categories. Mark Ridgwell explains the principles of distillation and how to taste spirits as well as the history and legends behind both popular and less fashionable spirits. The new edition also features cocktails from expert mixologist Michael Butt.

Title information

Every bartender must know each and every ingredient behind the bar. The third edition of Spirits distilled, by Mark Ridgwell, is a comprehensive guide to all of the major spirits categories. Taking the reader through the principles of distillation to an explanation on how to taste spirits, Ridgwell reveals the history and legends behind vodka, gin, tequila, genever, rum, brandies, liqueurs, eaux-de-vie, flavored white spirits and the entire range of whiskies. Lovers of spirits will find this book to be an invaluable resource for understanding and appreciating the world of spirits from a qualitative rather than quantitative perspective. Professionals too will find the quizzes in Spirits distilled a particularly useful tool for understanding better the spirits they sell. This edition of Spirits distilled contains a new chapter on cocktails by drinks consultant Michael Butt, with a section at the end of each spirit chapter providing simple to follow steps to create a selection of cocktails and demonstrate that the art of creating cocktails, if not simple, is much easier than some would have us believe.

An essential book that belongs on the reference shelf of everyone who works with or enjoys spirits, Spirits distilled is a classic in the making.

Pages: 256
Language: English
Publisher: Infinite Ideas Ltd
Edition: 3
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Mark Ridgwell

Mark Ridgwell worked with many of the world’s leading spirit companies – the pinnacle of his corporate career was launching Maker’s Mark outside the US. In 1999 Mark set up Taste & Flavour, a passionate network of speakers and spirit enthusiasts. Mark was a Musketeer of Armagnac, appointed Cognac Educator and Consul of Tequila. As a Wine and Spirit Education Trust Approved Programme Provider, Mark worked with WSET to create its Level 1 Award in Spirits, a unique vocational spirit and liqueur qualification.

Michael Butt

Michael Butt began his career working as a bartender at some of London’s finest cocktail bars before setting up Soulshakers, a London-based drinks consultancy firm responsible for the drinks menus at some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.

Review of Spirits distilled

“Given the increased interest in spirits, this is a wonderfully timely book."


"Those who work with spirits or simply enjoy them should take a look at a new book on the intoxicating subject."  

--So Tunbridge Wells Magazine

"An excellent reference manual for industry professionals."


"This is a decent addition to the bookshelves."

--The Vodka Guy

"An absolutely fascinating book."


"I don’t really like drinks books. They normally preach to me and I feel SMALL. [Mark Ridgwell’s Spirits distilled, however, in particular], the mescal and tequila page [was] so good. I finished it. What an oeuvre."

--Rupert Ponsonby, Director R and R Teamwork Media Relations

"This is an absolute must for anyone who is thinking of becoming a bartender, the information in here is invaluable for them. I would definitely recommend it."

--Michael John Sweetman, National Vice President of UKBG

"Great book. Rare to get such a conversational tone along with so much factual material. It’s normally one or the other."

--Graham Holter, The Wine Merchant Magazine

"It all makes an essential read for the bartender wanting to further their knowledge."

--Australian Bartender

A collection that represents three of today's hottest trends in wine and spirits. In Rosé, Elizabeth Gabay MW explores the wines behind the huge recent boom in the popularity of pink wines and discovers that far from merely being fashionable and undemanding, the wines created by today’s rosé producers are every bit as complex and intriguing as their red and white cellarmates. In Spirits Distilled spirits guru Mark Ridgwell looks in detail at all forms of spirits – from whisk(e)y to brandy, tequila to gin – discovering the stories behind the drinks as well as details of how each is made, all accompanied by a selection of cocktail recipes from mixologist Michael Butt. The third book in the set, Biodynamic Wine, sees eco-wine expert Monty Waldin detailing the theory and practice of one of the most important current trends in viticulture and winemaking, with producers from Bordeaux to the Barossa Valley and Chablis to California discovering the remarkable effect converting to biodynamics has had on their wines.