While the low-ABV cocktail is nearly as old as the cocktail itself (see: ye olde sherry classics), over the last several years, we’ve seen a new kind of “session” movement materialize. Gone is the notion that a cocktail must be strong to be serious; in its place is a full spectrum of drinks that clock in at low alcohol levels, but still pack all of the flavor.
We’re are longtime fans of the session approach to drinking, whether it’s a spritz or a Sherry Cobbler, a reverse Manhattan or a Suze & Tonic. And we’ve watched as bartenders have increasingly embraced this style of drinks and its attendant culture with the help of a spirits market now flush with amari, vermouth and aperitif wines. Today, it’s expected that a cocktail menu have at least a few low-ABV options—if not an entire section, or even menu, devoted to them.
Which brings us to Session Cocktails. It felt like the right time to document how this category has evolved, so we tapped one of our favorite writers, Drew Lazor, to explore all that the current session landscape has to offer. Together, we ended up with this beauty: a compact, boldly photographed and illustrated guide to low-ABV drinks, from shaken to stirred to frozen. It lands May 22, at a bookstore (or doorstep) near you, but you can get ahead of the curve by pre-ordering a copy today.