Tequila : a guide to types, flights, cocktails, and bites (Book Review)

Tequila : a guide to types, flights, cocktails, and bites / by Joanne Weir.

(Berkeley, Calif. : Ten Speed Press, c2009.)

Celebrity chef Joanne Weir offers up a welcome addition to the sparse, hit-and-miss genre of tequila writing. Weir is a true tequila lover, and her infectious enthusiasm comes through loud and clear in the preface, where she describes creating the Agave Girls, a club of female tequila aficionados in the often male-identified world of agave spirits.

The book will primarily interest bartenders and cooks, both professional and amateur, since over 80% of the text consists of recipes from the author and collected from some of the country’s top mixologists. Weir’s brief survey of tequila’s history and production process is a fun read, and free of the types of embarrassing factual errors that all too often typify tequila writing. The brevity of her treatment, however, keeps this book from being a “go-to” tequila reference book for spirits generalists.

There is really only one other shortcoming here: I had hoped Weir would expand upon the idea of pairing different types of tequila with food, which she seems exceptionally qualified to do, but we get only a brief comment on the topic. Perhaps in a future book, as Weir is a unique voice with even more to offer than we get here.

This book is well-suited for tequila beginners and any cook or bartender, and the hardcore tequila fan will want to add it to their library, not only because the genre is so small, but because the cocktail and food recipes will inspire dreams of a tequila-centered diet.