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220 × 171 × 20 mm
272 pages
130 illustrations, 80 in colour
18 Nov 2019

Strong, Sweet and Dry A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira and Marsala Becky Sue Epstein

Today fortified wines are enjoying a renaissance, rediscovered by discerning imbibers and modern mixologists all over the world. Once extremely popular drinks savoured before or after dinner, fortified wines – such as sherry, port and Madeira – fell out of favour in recent times. But now, in pubs and wine bars, high-end restaurants and homes, these wines are finding their way into innovative cocktails and are being appreciated anew for their fine qualities and strong, complex flavours.

This is the ultimate guide to these freshly rediscovered wines. In lively style, Becky Sue Epstein surveys the latest trends, along with stories of the merchants, warriors and kings who helped create these wines. Featuring fine images along with anecdotes, facts, history and cocktail recipes, this is a superb tour of the long history of fortified wines and their global resurgence today.

Strong, Sweet and Dry is an extraordinary voyage de-mystifying the aromatized and fortified wine world and the timing couldn’t be better. Americans are enjoying the world of port, sherry, vermouth and Madeira in some cases for the first time in their cocktails! We have officially rediscovered the wet Martini and we have amazing choices for vermouth in our Manhattans. This book needs to be on your reading list.’ — Dale “kingcocktail” DeGroff

‘Becky Sue Epstein's fresh-take on these oft-overlooked treasures takes you through the fascinating past, where the origins of Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira and Marsala are revealed, traces their contemporary trends and discusses their modern relevance. Strong, Sweet and Dry is a wonderful read for professionals and passionate connoisseurs alike!’ — Debra Meiburg MW, Master of Wine & Director, Meiburg Wine Media

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Becky Sue Epstein is an author and journalist in the fields of wine, spirits, food and travel based in Massachussets, USA. She is the author of many books on wine, spirits and food including Champagne: A Global History and Brandy: A Global History, both published by Reaktion Books.


1 Vermouth
2 Port
3 Sherry
4 Madeira
5 Marsala
6 Vin Doux Naturel
7 Worldwide Fortified Wines
Cocktail Recipes

Photo Acknowledgements