A is for Absinthe: A Spirited Book of ABCs

Cookbooks and cultural conversation starters top our summer reading list

Food, Foodies, Foodways

A is for Absinthe: A Spirited Book of ABCs

by Lara Nixon
Illustrated by Casey Barber
Self-published (available for purchase at www.aisforabsinthe.com), 38 pp., $18.95

Walk into any bar in Austin and you're likely to see them. Ditto for most any liquor store in town. And don't even get me started on the major distribution channels. I'm talking about the folks in town who slave over every detail, from providing the main ingredients to preparation to serving alcohol-based drinks. Check out the bartenders, servers, and shop workers. The vast majority are of the age for child rearing. Lara Nixon – the award-winning drink designer, educator, and co-founder of Bad Dog Bar Craft – has created a book that is made for mommies and daddies who work in the liquor industry and want something to read to their children that sort of leads to an explanation of what they do when they leave the house. She's targeting a niche market for sure, but a pretty darn big one.

This book is subversive in the most diabolical way. Can you imagine the livid response Ms. Nixon would get from most of Texas other than our little blue area? I can just see some member of the Daughters of the Republic with her head exploding while she is reading a child's primer on cocktails! Both Nixon's cute little poetic statements and Barber's colorful illustrations are sure to attract children, but there's also something here for adults. Besides being cute, the interaction of words and art is often hilarious and howlingly ironic. On top of everything else, it is cultivated and sophisticated. Imagine your 4-year-old telling granny that absinthe is "where the fairies come from." Highly recommended for intelligent people who like a great cocktail. And their children!

READ MORE
More cookbook reviews
In Print
In Print
Colette Rossant's The World in My Kitchen

Kate Thornberry, Jan. 12, 2007

In Print
In Print
The Brass sisters' Heirloom Baking

Kate Thornberry, Jan. 12, 2007

More Food Reviews
Review: Dilly Deli
Review: Dilly Deli
Neighborhood Americana goes the extra mile

Brandon Watson, June 17, 2016

Review: Chicon
Review: Chicon
Edgerton and Wiseheart trade preciousness for accessibility

Brandon Watson, May 27, 2016

More by Wes Marshall
Texas Chardonnay?
Texas Chardonnay?
Don't let the wine police scare you away!

June 23, 2016

AC Wine: Randall Grahm's Great Grenache
AC Wine: Randall Grahm's Grenache
Thinking about a cookout? Here's your wine!

July 23, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

cookbook reviews, cookbooks, summer reading, A is for Absinthe: A Spirited Book of ABCs, Lara Nixon, Casey Barber, Bad Dog Bar Craft

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)