ICONIC SPIRITS: An Intoxicating History

Published by Lyons Press (Globe Pequot)
Hardcover, $16.95; Kindle, $9.99

A fascinating portrait of twelve spirits that changed the world and forged the cocktail culture

What’s the relationship between moonshine and NASCAR? 

Why was absinthe considered to be the most dangerous substance on earth? 

How did a pile of juniper berries almost destroy the British Empire? 

How did a homeless man become one of the wealthiest people in America?

Writing in an engaging and appealing style, Mark Spivak explore the untold tales behind the world’s greatest spirits. “These are the best types of stories—the kind a writer could never make up.”

What they’re saying:

“It’s like sitting in a bar at closing time, listening to a good friend tell stories. You never want it to end.”
Louis Marmon, wine and spirits writer, Washington, D.C.

”Even teetotalers might want to learn about what they’re missing.”
Scott Eyman, Palm Beach Post

“Mr. Spivak even manages to make a tasting of Canadian Club sound like he’s eating a decadent hot fudge sundae…Packed with interesting anecdotes, stories and trivia, Iconic Spirits provides a riveting look at the history behind the hooch.”
Renee C. Fountain, Bookfetish.org

“I could not put this book down. It cost me a night’s sleep…What a wonderful read for you or a gift for others.”
Ken Schechet, Amazon.com

Tired of Grilled Phish and Rack of Spam?

Revised text now available in print, e-book and audiobook formats.

Joseph Soderini di Avenzano is America’s most celebrated chef…

Some believe he cut a deal with the Devil to achieve fame and fortune. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the twenty-fifth anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee and quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, Alessandra, unwittingly transforming himself into Avenzano’s rival. When the chef invites David to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography, he gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex—shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; and the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven.

As Alessandra plots the demise of the chef, David tries to sort out hallucination and reality, while Avenzano plays with him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

 “A little Kitchen Confidential, a little Real Housewives of Palm Beach, and a little Faust.”

 “Unlike anything I have read before.”

 “Caution: Descriptions of culinary masterpieces may cause hunger pangs.”

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