Ivy Mix, an owner of Leyenda, a bar in Brooklyn, has put the focus on tequila, rum and pisco in her useful new book, “Spirits of Latin America.” Agave, sugar cane and grapes: Each one has its own chapter, giving the history, production methods and cultural influences of tequila (and mezcal), rum (and cachaça) and pisco (and Bolivian singani), and dipping into matters of archaeology, colonialism, slavery and politics. Cocktail recipes are included for all the liquors. Ms. Mix points out that all tequilas are mezcals, but not all mezcals are tequilas, and why; that there are easily defined types of rum; and that Prohibition killed a thriving American market for pisco, which is just now coming back. The cocktail recipes feature classics, as well as Ms. Mix’s recipes, like the lovely Palo Negro, combining tequila, rum and sherry. Her Brooklyn Burro with rum, lime, ginger syrup and pineapple juice is a winner.
“Spirits of Latin America: A Celebration of Culture & Cocktails, with 100 Recipes From Leyenda & Beyond” by Ivy Mix with James Carpenter (Ten Speed Press, $24.99).