Giveaway: Whiskey by Michael Dietsch

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. 


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)


  1. 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.
  2. Fill a shaker with the cracked ice, as much as you can fit. Add the whiskey, simple syrup, and orange slices.
  3. Shake vigorously to combine.
  4. Pour unstrained into a collins glass. Add more ice if you want and stir.
  5. Garnish with berries, if using.


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


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201 responses to “Giveaway: Whiskey by Michael Dietsch”

  1. I too used to enjoy the amaretto or whiskey sours but have now come to appreciate the true flavors of whiskey. I am looking forward to making peach bourbon jam this year.

  2. My husband and I have become big whiskey fans! Can’t beat a Manhattan after the kids are in bed.

  3. I adore whisky sours made with meyer lemon juice; they’re heavenly, but I till can’t drink whisky straight. My dad, who is an aficionado, thinks this is both a travesty and completely hilarious.

  4. I read a blog about a British couple that moved to Bulgaria and are converting an old school into a home for themselves. He is a whiskey connoisseur and as we speak is at a whisky festival in Scotland. I would love to send him this book if I was lucky enough to win it. I lived in Ireland in the 70ès and drank whisky, quite enjoyed it!

  5. I’m a Manhattan lover, as well as most cocktails with a rye whiskey as the base (or a good one neat or on the rocks).

  6. An Old Fashioned and Manhattan are my two “go-to” cocktails. The Whiskey Cobbler looks interesting.

  7. I am another who’s drink is the Old Fashioned. I also really like experimenting with some f my homemade bitters to make a tasty whiskey cocktail.

  8. Whiskey!! I love bourbon and rye in just about anything. Especially Old Fashioneds. And whiskey hot toddies. Love love love.

  9. My husband loves whiskey! Old fashioneds are his favorite drink to order. He would really enjoy this book!

  10. I love his Shrub book – it is my Bible, so I anticipate this book being my Whiskey Bible!

  11. Whiskey is so cozy. On a warm or cold night, bourbon or rye is a great choice. I like to have it with a splash of club or a fiery ginger ale!

  12. I often argue with a close friend about whether whiskey is better than bourbon. He has not yet converted me but he is still trying. The smokier/peatier the whiskey – the better I like it.

  13. My husband is a straight bourbon guy but I keep telling him he should branch out a little and try a mix. This might be just what he needs to get started.

  14. Oh my gosh, this is amazing! Pretty sure I need to get a copy of this for each of my family members, since we’re all Scottish whisky-loving fools!

  15. I have special little ceramic cups made by a friend that are my whiskey cups for my nightly imbibing!

  16. I’m a bourbon girl born and bred. I find myself making bourbon cocktails with jams and syrups and shrubs. Why drink anything else?

  17. We’ve been on a whiskey and anything ginger kick around here. I love the idea of a chronological whiskey cocktail tour!

  18. I’m more of a gin person, but my husband spends copious amounts on higher end scotch. I would love to be able to make drinkable cocktails that aren’t so sweet!

  19. I am particularly fond of smoky single malts, but I also love cocktails. I am decidedly intrigued by the possibilities here!

  20. When I was pregnant, I ADORED the smell (and only the smell) of whiskey. I would force my husband to only drink whiskey by playing the pregnant and miserable card. I’d love to be better at whipping up a whiskey cocktail, and even gear some of my preserving to those cocktails.

  21. When I turned 16 and got my first car, my grandfather taught me how to chain the oil, change the tires, and make a whiskey sour from scratch – all things I still do on my own 30 years later.

  22. Best whiskey cocktail I ever had involved smooooooth whiskey, a vanilla bean & pitted sweet cherries.

  23. I’ve been experimenting with spirits in my jams for two years.

    I can’t taste any difference using rum but bourbon. Oh my! Until I bought a bottle for some spiced apricot bourbon jam I wasn’t familiar with it at all. But I LOVE it. It is my favorite.

    I can’t taste vodka, tequila or rum in any of my preserves but I sure know when there’s bourbon in it.

    I have also used some wines and can taste a difference but can’t really say they enhance or make that much of a difference.

    But oh, the bourbon!

    I think bourbon is a whiskey so I hope this counts.

  24. Our whiskey journey began before our honeymoon in Scotland, but it has “aged” well. Now our eldest daughter is our mixologist and I see many a wonderful evening with Dad and Daughter crafting cocktails while Mom makes the mixers. What a happy family!

  25. I never had whiskey until my Irish family went to a tasting at our local Irish Festival and my brother-in-law brought back some for those of us who hadn’t gone to have our own tasting at his house. About a month later, went on vacation with a group and a new couple introduced me to ever more whiskeys, (bourbon is my fave!) and ways to enjoy them.

    What a fabulous idea mlaiuppa! I have used wine and Jameson’s reserve in some of my jams…this summer I’m going to have to try some with bourbon. I’m thinking peaches would be fabulous pared with it!

  26. This book sounds fantastic! And as for whiskey, a good whiskey sour never fails to hit the spot. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  27. I always liked whiskey when I had a cold, with hot water and lemon (the cure all). Over the years I just started appreciating the flavor more. Nowdays, I enjoy it neat whether or not anything is ailing me 🙂

  28. I’m not really a drinker so doubt very much I would use whiskey in a mixed drink but I would use whiskey in my cooking like making pulled chicken sandwiches, etc.
    I would much rather cook with alcohol than drink it.
    Thank you for this giveaway opportunity

  29. We are planning to retire to Louisville KY – so I have been learning about whiskey, this book would be so helpful!
    my current fave is a Kentucky Mule – bourbon, ginger beer and lime

  30. My husband is a whiskey nut, but I prefer to cut mine with something to take off the bite. This sounds like a book both of us can enjoy!

  31. I love a good whiskey. There are several whiskey drinkers in my family who would appreciate this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  32. I think it is funny that if you visit Jack Daniels distillery you can’t have any actual alcohol! They give you lemonade and puff the barrels so you can ‘taste’ the air, which is pretty whisky-ish. My funny whisky story 🙂

  33. I’ve never liked beer or wine, but in the last couple of years, I’ve started experimenting with spirits. I love the craft behind whiskey more than I love to drink it. I do enjoy incorporating it into recipes, especially jams! Thank you for the chance to win. 🙂

  34. I pick blackberries at a local berry farm in the summer and make several batches of blackberry jam. In one of the batches, I put some bourbon. The book sounds very good – not only some delicious drink recipes, but lots of good information about the history of the spirits.

  35. i have a soft spot for bourbon! my last cocktail invention – 2 ounces of bourbon, 1 1/2 ounces rhubarb ginger simple syrup, juice of one lime, blood orange bitters – shake well and serve over ice…..delicious!!!!

  36. Spirits and Berries are a good combination. We have a lot of Appalachian traditionalists that love their home made spirits and with the most recent rave of adding flavors, it has turned more into cocktails instead of a sipping whiskey or ailment medicine. Love the berry cobbler recipe!

  37. Manhattans at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Whikey Sours on the 4th of July. First drinks I learned how to make with my father.

  38. Whisky can be found at our house only not just for drinking. When our children were quite small, toddlers, they couldn’t tolerate prescription cough syrups. Their pediatrician suggested a homemade whisky cough syrup: 2-oz whiskey, 1-tbsp lemon juice and 1-tbsp honey. Take as needed. I am looking forward to trying all the new recipes using whisky.

  39. Two comments – I’m a whisky fan and I’ll be trying that cobbler recipe ASAP! Also, I recommend trying the Texas Whisky if you’re ever in Texas – good stuff! Thanks!

  40. I need to try that cobbler! My great-grandfather was a whiskey drinker, but he always insisted that it couldn’t be “protestant whiskey”. Always made me laugh!

  41. I had just made a batch of rhubarb compote that included a bit of Triple Sec when I saw this post. I’d love to learn more about distilled spirits in general.

  42. This frosty drink sounds pretty good. I used to tend bar and it made me crazy when someone would order a perfectly wonderful sipping spirit with coke. UGH!

  43. My hubs is a HUG fan of whiskey!! Bourbon in particular and he has kinds gotten me hooked. He even does cocktail contests on IG, I would love to be able to gift this to him for Father’s Day!! He would be stoked to learn more!

  44. I use a bourbon whiskey (Ezra Brooks) to make my vanilla. Winning a whiskey book of drink recipes would be fun! (Then I’d know what to do with the left over whiskey! LoL!!)

  45. Last year, we planned a two-week trip to Ireland to visit a friend in grad school. I really wanted to go to Scotland for a few days as well. For me, it’s about the city, the history, the scenery. He’s all, whatev. I remarked, we could go to some of the whiskey distilleries while were there… Next thing I know, he’s re-arranging the trip to spend the majority of our time over four different cities in Scotland!

  46. I used to think I didn’t like “brown” liquors, but it turns out I do like rye and some of the bourbons. Straight up — no way. But in a balanced not-too-sweet cocktail — love it. I recently threw together something with rye, a fruit-infused simple syrup, and blackberries — not so different from this one — who knew whiskey + berries would work so well together?

  47. I absolutely looooove whiskey. It is my beverage of choice. I was a happy camper on a recent trip to Scotland…

  48. My hubby loves whiskey….actually bought him some small charred oak barrels so he can start making his own!

  49. Have you heard of the new local-to-NC Defiant Whiskey? Instead of putting the whiskey in oak barrels, they put the oak barrels in the whiskey! Brilliant!

  50. There’s nothing like a great Old Fashioned and I love to add a splash of whiskey when making my homemade mincemeat. Really, though, I do need to learn more about whiskey and this book looks like it’s perfect for the job!

  51. From Mint Juleps with great Kentucky Bourbon to Artisanal Whiskey Sours… This book is going to be great. I want to preserve some of summers bountiful fruits in different whiskeys thanks to the many ideas in this book. I think I will have to make twice as much…a predict a lot of quality control samples.

  52. Can’t wait to try the bottle I just picked up last night – Crown Royal Northern Harvest. It’s supposed to be excellent! The stores have been sold out for months so it should be a good one. Can’t wait for the long weekend!

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

  54. 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. 🙂

  55. 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.

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

  57. 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.

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

  59. 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!

  60. 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!

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

  62. 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!

  63. 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

  64. 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!

  65. 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!

  66. 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.

  67. 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!

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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!

  73. 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!!

  74. 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!!!?

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

  76. 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.

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

  78. 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.

  79. 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

  80. 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!

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

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

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

  84. 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!

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

  86. 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.

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

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

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

  90. 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

  91. 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!

  92. 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. 🙂

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

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

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

  96. 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.

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

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

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

  101. 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.

  102. 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

  103. 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.

  104. 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!

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. 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!

  108. 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!

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

  110. 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.

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