Drink in ‘Whiskey Opus’s’ broad knowledge

Sometimes recipes don’t work out, but how does one mess up a recipe with only four ingredients?

I was testing a recipe from a book I planned to review this week and thought a four-ingredient recipe would be a snap. I was wrong. Either I misread something or the recipe really needs a fifth ingredient. Regardless, I’m not discussing that cookbook until I retest the recipe plus another from the cookbook.

In the meantime, I turned to drink. Not literally; the recipe wasn’t that big a disaster, but it did cause me to take a look at “Whiskey Opus: The world’s greatest distilleries and their whiskeys.” The impressive book by Gavin D. Smith and Dominic Roskrow explores the varieties of whiskey from around the world.

Serious fans of whiskey will enjoy the book, which discusses what makes the spirit an unique drink, the basics of whiskey making, what makes a good whiskey and who invented it. It also explains how to train the palate to appreciate the spirit’s flavors.

It takes an in-depth look at the “whiskey regions” and distilleries of the countries producing the drink, from Scotland and Ireland to Pakistan and Taiwan. It includes extensive tasting notes and extensive full-color illustrations and photographs.

This is an attractive book sure to please anyone who wants to become a whiskey connoisseur.

Favorite cookbooks

Quail Ridge Press editors Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley are again searching Louisiana for cookbooks to be included in a new edition of their bestselling “Best of the Best from Louisiana Cookbook.”

The first edition is one of the publishing company’s most popular cookbooks.

The original “Best of the Best from Louisiana Cookbook” was published in 1984 as part of the Quail Ridge Press “Best of the Best” state cookbook series and has gone through 24 printings, the company says. A second edition, “Best of the Best from Louisiana II,” published in 1998, is in its ninth printing.

McKee and Moseley, known as the Cookbook Ladies, began seeking the best recipes from locally published cookbooks in each state in 1982, beginning with Mississippi and then moving to Louisiana, McKee’s home state.

Now they are looking for recipes for the third edition of the “Best of the Best from Louisiana Cookbook.”

They are reviewing cookbooks from publishers, community clubs, churches, restaurants and individuals. Authors of each Louisiana cookbook chosen for inclusion will be asked to contribute a sampling of their most popular recipes.

Those interested in recommending or submitting a cookbook for review should call Lacy Ward at (800) 343-1583 or send a copy of the cookbook to Quail Ridge Press, P.O. Box 123, Brandon, MS 39043. For information, go to the web site http://www.quailridge.com.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s Food editor. Her email address is csonnier@theadvocate.com.