Giveaway: Whiskey by Michael Dietsch

May 17, 2016(updated on August 30, 2021)

Whiskey cover - Food in Jars

In my early years as an adult of drinking age, I made terrible choices. I drank many an amaretto sour or green apple martini before eventually coming to my senses. Slowly but surely, I found my way to a small handful of cocktails that I enjoyed, were designed to be sipped slowly, and didn’t make me feel like I’d spent the evening licking a Jolly Rancher.

Whiskey spine - Food in Jars

The bulk of this short list featured drinks made with a member of the whiskey family. Over time, I’ve also found myself gravitating towards the same array of spirits in when preserving peaches and cherries. There’s just something about those flavors that speak to me.

Whiskey contents - Food in Jars

So, now that you know that I have something of a weakness for the world of whiskey, it will make perfect sense that today I’m writing a post about a lovely new book called Whiskey. Written by Michael Dietsch (he is also responsible for Shrubs, a most fabulous book), this volume offers its reader the history of whiskey, helpful instruction on making cocktails, and 100 pages of the most popular whiskey cocktails of all time, arrayed in chronological order.

Whiskey cherry bounce - Food in Jars

Half compelling history and half instructional volume, this book begins with a dive into whiskey’s history (known today as distilled spirit made from a grain mash, though that wasn’t always the case) and an explanation the differences in spelling (whiskey/whisky) and where they appear geographically.

From there, Michael traces its international heritage and deals with the history of production around the world. Finally (because the first half will make you thirsty), we get to the nuts and bolts of cocktail crafting and the recipes.

Whiskey mixer recipes - Food in Jars

It’s a wonderfully crafted book, written with skill, humor, and enthusiasm. The photography is gorgeous and the whole thing is presented in a very pretty package. If you have a family member who is a fan of whiskey (Father’s Day is just around the corner!), it would make a lovely gift (particularly if paired with a nice bottle).

Whiskey back - Food in Jars

Thanks to the kind folks at The Countryman Press, I have both a recipe from this book to share, and a copy to give away. The recipe is for a Whiskey Cobbler, which speaks to me thanks to the presence of berries. Here’s how to enter the giveaway.

  1. Leave a comment on this post that has something to do with whiskey.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, May 21, 2016. A winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, May 22, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States and Canadian residents. Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: The Countryman Press sent me the copy you see pictured above for photography and review purposes, and is also providing the giveaway unit. Both are being provided at no cost to me. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 


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Whiskey Cobbler

The cobbler is one of the oldest drinks in a bartender’s arsenal, and once upon a time, it was the most popular drink in the United States. It’s fallen from popularity somehow, and other writers (David Wondrich, in his Imbibe!, for example) have tried to resurrect it. I wish more people would try the cobbler. I had a sherry cobbler in Boston while promoting my first book, and I fell in love. The sherry cobbler, in fact, is the oldest version of the drink, arising in the 1830s. It’s a refreshing tipple—low in alcohol, icier than a julep, and very mildly fruity. The whiskey variation is, of course, a stronger, more bracing drink. But sometimes that’s what you want.


  • 4 ounces rye whiskey high-proof, like Rittenhouse
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 3 orange slices
  • Berries (optional; ideally fresh, local, and seasonal—so if you’re making this in winter,
  • I wouldn’t bother)


  • Crack a whole lot of ice. You want something like little pebbles. Best bet: Fill a gallon-sized zipper bag with ice, place a towel over it, and wallop it with a rolling pin, meat mallet, or saucepan.
  • Fill a shaker with the cracked ice, as much as you can fit. Add the whiskey, simple syrup, and orange slices.
  • Shake vigorously to combine.
  • Pour unstrained into a collins glass. Add more ice if you want and stir.
  • Garnish with berries, if using.


Recipe reprinted with permission from Whiskey © 2016 by Michael Dietsch, The Countryman Press.


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201 thoughts on "Giveaway: Whiskey by Michael Dietsch"

  • We are always in search of new whiskey/rye/bourbon cocktails! We often default to a perfect Manhattan w/ rye.

  • Something about whiskey…how about that I haven’t had any in about 9 months. Looking forward to my little guy, but also looking forward to a whiskey sour this summer. 🙂

  • Just purchases my first bottle of whiskey the other day to make a batch of vanilla extract. The book would be a great way to figure out what to use the rest of it for.

  • My usual drink is an Old Fashioned (without the syrup), but Whiskey Sours are good, as are Gin and Tonics, as are ……….

  • Wow, I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. My go to drink was Jack and Diet Coke, for as long as I can remember. But I have tried a few other cocktails, and of course many brands straight up. This book looks like it will be a really fun. I’d like to start at the beginning and try a different cocktail every week until I’m through the book. Can’t wait to get a copy. Thanks for sharing.

  • In Colorado it is getting to the season for sitting on the patio trying new whiskey drinks and soaking in the sun

  • Old Fashioned Cocktails and Sazeracs are my go-to sipping drinks. We keep our shelf stocked for those, even if the rest of the “bar” is lacking. What a lovely book to expand our whiskey knowlege!

  • I don’t have much experience with whiskey, but if I had some good recipes I might become experienced? I do like using whiskey barrels to plant in!

  • Whiskey is one of those things about which I am woefully undereducated. This book looks like just the cure for that!

  • I have memories of whiskey and grapefruit soda – my dad would always make these at the holidays!
    Would love one today!

  • So glad this is open to Canadians! Have been testing jam recipes with a variety of whiskeys and liqueurs. Can’t wait for the hot weather to sip some cocktails in the garden!

  • Whiskey why I could think of a great recipe with a bit of blueberry added! We could call it ….. I’ll save that for the bottle!. xoxo

  • We toured some of the Kentucky Bourbon distilleries last year, and were able to watch the process of constructing the barrels used to cure whiskey. It was very interesting, and the bourbon truffles we tasted were amazing!

  • My husband loves whiskey- for his bachelor party he went to a specialized bar and his brother paid $30 for a single drink for him!

  • Whiskey, I want to drink you, in all your forms, occasionally mixing you with other delectable ingredients and even pretentiously placing one of those oversized square ice cubes into your depths of deliciousness.

  • The Canadian-made Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye won top honours in the world last year, which shocked everyone. I have a bottle just waiting to be used in some lovely cocktails!

  • Whiskey. Great drink, or greatest drink? My husband and I honeymooned around whiskey, Scotch whiskey to be more precise. And the Manhattan (bourbon, preferably) was our signature cocktail at our wedding. That cobbler sounds fantastic, perfect to sip while lounging in the backyard.

  • I’ve canned “whiskey’d pears” before, when a friend had a bumper crop of the fruit. Delicious!

    My neighbors made me some bourbon cherries last year that were the hit of a recent party I held.

  • How perfect and timely! Saturday just so happens to be World Whiskey Day! I’ll drink to that – and the recipes and lore in this book look fascinating, I’d love to tuck into it.

  • While in Scotland some years back, we hit the Glenlivet Distillery quite early in the day. After the tour we found ourselves in their sampling room at 10:30am. Perhaps not the best time of day for whiskey, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. We graciously consumed what they offered. And it was very good.

  • Whiskey is my favorite! I like cheap whiskey and cola our or nice whiskey on the rocks! New recipes are always fun to try too!

  • I absolutely love to bake cakes and pies with whiskey in them! Also, whiskey and coke to drink while baking isn’t a bad thing, right??!! 🙂 One for cake, one for the cook … HA! However, I really do need more recipes, I need to get out of my ssdd rut. Thanks a bunch!!

  • I need to make your whiskey cobbler very soon !!! Today I canned about 20 cups of kumquat jam…yesterday was spent slicing them?, the rest of the 8 cups of kumquats went in a jar with some vodka and a sprig of thyme, oh and I used the same jar that I just took my lemonchello out of!!!?

  • I can’t say I have much whiskey knowledge, so this book would be great! I do like to taste different whiskeys!!

  • I would give this book to my whiskey loving friend Angela G. She is such a whiskey gal she is on a week long tour of Tennessee and Kentucky.

  • I love whiskey! Old fashioned, manhattans, on the rocks or neat! I guess I raised my daughter right because she love whiskey too! 🙂

  • We have Shrubs and love it. My husband is a huge whiskey fan and also makes fantastic cocktails. This would be a great addition to his cocktail library. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • I think my husband fell in love with me the night I cooked him bourbon peach cobbler in a cast iron skillet. This book looks awesome

  • Oh how I would LOVE this Whiskey book to give to my brother! It looks great and he’d love it. Thanks for the chance!

  • I love whiskey, especially Irish whiskey. A hot toddy made wig whiskey, honey, lemon juice & cayenne is my go-to when not feeling well.

  • Whiskey was responsible…… For an unforgettable night in Adelaide, Australia 15 years ago! Back then, quantity mattered…. Now I’m all about quality. ?

  • Whiskey, Whisky, however you say it or spell it, it’s all good. Mixed, straight or on the rocks.

  • Ooh this book looks delightful! My husband and I are both partial to Scotch whisky for sipping neat, and so far have only tried a few whiskey cocktails – the favorite is bourbon with coffee syrup. This book looks like a fun way to try out a few other combinations!

  • I love my rye Manhattans (Up. Always up.) Buut i’d also love some ideas for how to shake up my routine.

  • On a recent trip to Scotland I went on my first distillery tour. Afterwards, we have an opportunity to taste some rare whisky at a very reasonable price. It was a lot of fun.

  • We always have a good Scotch whiskey in the house, but I prefer Kentucky bourbon in my drinks and sauces.

  • I don’t usually put anything into my whiskey but a splash of water, but this has me tempted to play. Thanks for sharing!

  • We have been making old fashioneds and other whiskey drinks with my home made brandied cherries. Yum!

  • Musha rain dum a doo, dum a da
    Whack for my daddy, oh
    Whack for my daddy, oh
    There’s whiskey in the jar, oh

  • My husband is a whiskey drinker- his latest passion is a Montana Mule made with whiskey, lime juice and ginger. Looks like a fun book!

  • There was a stage in my spouse’s and my lives where every gift that was given to us seemed to be a bottle of high-end single malt scotch, because people knew we liked it. I think I’d like to go back to that stage again, as my budget could never let me recreate it. 🙂

  • I’ve always wanted to try different whiskey drinks, this book would be a great start!

  • So awesome! I love whiskey cocktails and am just entering the stage where I want to make and entertain with them at home!

  • How could I say “no” to something that Ava Gardner and William Faulkner so often said “yes” to?

  • Single malt scotch, neat. I know it’s not cool, but a prefer a lowland scotch to the burn-your-tastebuds-out peatiness of some snootier scotches.

  • I have recently gotten into whiskey and have been making drinks with it at home. I would love a copy of your book!

  • My go-to drink for comparing cocktail bars is and likely always will be a Manhattan. It’s a simple enough drink that doesn’t allow bartenders to hide behind a ton of ingredients or a lot of flare. Also, they taste darn good.

  • I’ve been learning to enjoy bourbon thanks to your boozy cherries. I’ve already made my first batch this year, and am looking forward to them.

  • My husband and I enjoy whiskey and would love to learn more about it and make some interesting cocktails!

  • Whiskey is definitely the preferred spirit in our household. My favorite bar moment: Drinking a Manhattan (up, in a cute glass), get asked “what’s that?”. When I replied “A Manhattan” the guy made a face and said “My grandmother always drank those!” So apparently the guy had a pretty cool granny.

  • I know this sounds a little old fashioned but I love whiskey sours. I did not discover whiskey until my late 20’s so don’t let this happen to you because whiskey tastes great

  • Nice, I would love to try some new cocktails. I’m not one for whiskey straight, but I do like a good manhattan now and again.

  • My husband wishes he was born in cowboy times. Since he wasn’t he just sips whiskey, LOL!!! I’d love to give him this book for fathers day!

  • My first ever “adult beverage” was a shot of Crown Royal (pssst, don’t tell, but I was 19, lol) while hanging out with my brother and his groomsmen the night before his wedding, pretty much been a fan since.

  • Whiskey is something new for me to love. My husband has been making so many delicious cocktails with whiskey and making me do blind tastings,it is fun to pull out different notes from each one.

  • I always drank whiskey going out (and got weird looks) because that’s what my Irish relatives drank. Now, it’s in vogue. I’m finally cool!

  • Just bough the PDT cocktail recipe book for my husband for my birthday and this would be the perfect complement to his cocktail cookbook collection…. gives me a chance to justify my own cookbook purchases too!

  • Whiskey always seems like more of a winter drink to me…would love to expand and have summer recipes to try too!

  • My husband introduced me to Irish whiskey. For a treat after a long day of work, nothing beats a little bit on the rocks in front of the fireplace.