Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits (Hardcover)

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Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits By Aaron Goldfarb Cover Image

Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits (Hardcover)


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An entertaining journey into the booming world of vintage spirits, the quirky and intensely passionate “dusty hunters” who chase them, and the history they reveal, from an acclaimed author and journalist.
In Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits, journalist Aaron Goldfarb goes on an adventure in vintage spirits. This is an intoxicating story of obsessives on the hunt for old bottles of whiskey, tequila, rum, chartreuse—you name it—from estate sales, grandpa’s liquor cabinet, and out-of-the-way and inner-city liquor stores that may just have a case or a few bottles lying around in the basement.
What Goldfarb and these “dusty hunters” discover are more than just bottles from bygone brands or old formulations no longer available—they find portals into history. Spirits, once bottled, don’t age like wine. A bourbon from the 1935 lets you savor the end of Prohibition. A 1940s rum cocktail with actual 1940s rum tastes the way it would to a GI returning from WWII. An old Italian amaro captures la dolce vita in a glass, and vintage gin is a drinkable time capsule from Mad Men-era lunchtime martinis.
Dusty Booze mixes the history of our drinking culture and the Indiana Jones-meets-Simpsons Comic Book Guy adventures of the collectors, including the hunt for rumored stash from a reclusive Hollywood legend. This is a buoyant, thirst-triggering voyage into a unique subculture that has exploded in popularity in recent years.
Aaron Goldfarb has been a journalist for over a decade, frequently writing on the subjects of cocktails and drinking culture for such publications as the New York Times, Esquire, Playboy, PUNCH, and VinePair, and has had features written about his career in the New York Times, Forbes, and the Boston Globe. His previous books include Hacking Whiskey, named a finalist for Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards Best New Book, and Gather Around Cocktails. In 2020, Tales of the Cocktail named Goldfarb the Best Cocktail & Spirit Writer for the year. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, daughter, son, cat, and a lot of bottles of booze.
Product Details ISBN: 9781419766794
ISBN-10: 1419766791
Publisher: Abrams Press
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English
“I put back Dusty Booze in one sitting. Aaron Goldfarb is a drinker’s drinker, and a writer’s writer. He’s as well-versed in spirits as nearly anyone writing today, yet manages to uncover entirely new worlds in the pages of this book. By turns suspenseful, humorous, and philosophical, Dusty Booze is a propulsive read as deeply concerned with the obsessive, treasure-seeking mindset of collectors as with the vintage bottles themselves. It’s easy to get invested in the thrill of the hunt.”
— Carey Jones, author of Every Cocktail Has a Twist and Be Your Own Bartender

“I’ll read anything that Aaron Goldfarb writes about beverages, but Dusty Booze is essential reading for anyone interested in the lore of liqueur. Not only is this book a captivating and tirelessly reported dive into a subculture and its cast of Indiana Jones–like collectors, but it’s also an engaging history about the global spirits industry and cocktail culture. Even if, like me, you’re kicking yourself for missing the apex of collecting ‘dusties,’ this book will forever change the way you think about—and shop for—booze.”
— Nick Fauchald, author of Death & Co and Cocktail Codex

“This book, like those dusty old bottles that so capture our romantic longing, takes us back in time on a journey into the animating forces that created the universe, the sun and the stars—and 1960s Very Very Old Fitzgerald.”
— Wright Thompson, author of Pappyland

“There are few more intriguing phenomena in the current drinking landscape than dusty hunting and there’s no better booze writer to tell the tale than Aaron Goldfarb. His mix of solid reporting chops and gifted storytelling bring to life this strange world of colorful obsessives chasing the chance of owning, and maybe tasting, history in a bottle.”
— Robert Simonson, cocktail writer for the New York Times and author of the Substack newsletter The Mix with Robert Simonson

“Aaron Goldfarb nails it again. Witty and informative, Dusty Booze is a deep dive into a world you either know well, or never knew existed—but in either case will find irresistible.”
— Clay Risen, author of Bourbon: The Story of Kentucky Whiskey

“Like a film noir detective falling in love with a bewildering client, Aaron Goldfarb immerses himself in a world of mysterious eccentrics and obsessive dusty hunters on a never-ending treasure hunt to uncover unicorn bottles of booze from the past through estate sales and online auctions, and behind bulletproof glass in inner-city liquor stores. But vintage spirits are essentially a nonrenewable resource and Goldfarb’s meditative exploration wrestles with whether this complicated impermanence is simply chasing after trophies or truly a way to taste, and understand, the past.”
— Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters, Amaro, and Last Call

“An investigation into the secretive and competitive collectors and their methods, unsolved mysteries, and mythological caches. The once worthless dusties inspire Goldfarb to debate the monetary value of quality versus rarity and the proximity to fame. And unlike, say, stamp collectors, the author and every other dusty hunter must grapple with the decision whether to taste a moment in time or to keep time locked away in a bottle.”
— Camper English, author of Doctors and Distillers: The Remarkable Medicinal History of Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Cocktails