“What are the best books for cocktail recipes?” We looked at 16 sources and came away with 94 of the best books about cocktails, so we could answer that very question.
Part 3 in our 7 part series of Alcohol Articles.
Today we aggregated the best books about Cocktails and Books for at home or professional bartenders, to find out what the top books on the subject are. The top 26 books that appeared on multiple lists are ranked below with pictures, links, and summaries. The remaining 68 books and the sources we used are also listed at the bottom of the article.
Be sure to check back for the rest of our alcohol articles on:
An invaluable reference for any bartender or home entertainer, this book is conveniently organized into informative sections that explain how cocktails are made and include important information about their ingredients. For easy use, more than 500 recipes are arranged alphabetically, each cross-referenced in drink categories.
“Death & Co is the most important, influential, and oft-imitated bar to emerge from the contemporary craft cocktail movement. Since its opening in 2006, Death & Co has been a must-visit destination for serious drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts, and the winner of every major industry award—including America’s Best Cocktail Bar and Best Cocktail Menu at the Tales of the Cocktail convention. Boasting a supremely talented and creative bar staff—the best in the industry—Death & Co is also the birthplace of some of the modern era’s most iconic drinks, such as the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, Naked and Famous, and the Conference.
Destined to become a definitive reference on craft cocktails, Death & Co features more than 500 of the bar’s most innovative and sought-after cocktails. But more than just a collection of recipes, Death & Co is also a complete cocktail education, with information on the theory and philosophy of drink making, a complete guide to buying and using spirits, and step-by-step instructions for mastering key bartending techniques. Filled with beautiful, evocative photography; illustrative charts and infographics; and colorful essays about the characters who fill the bar each night; Death & Co—like its namesake bar—is bold, elegant, and setting the pace for mixologists around the world.”
“Move over, Mother Goose.
Congratulations, and welcome to parenthood! Babies are a miracle, but even miracles poop. A lot. Thank goodness she’s got your twinkling eyes, he’s got your perfect nose, and we’ve got your aching back. Welcome to Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist—the ultimate gift for new parents everywhere.
Featuring 20 classic nursery rhymes with a decidedly grown-up twist, it’s time to lose the rattle, pick up a shaker, and throw yourself an extremely quiet party. Especially if you’ve finally gotten the baby to sleep, which is always worth toasting to.”
“Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as “”a minor masterpiece”” when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they’re made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious.
Now, for its twentieth anniversary, Harold McGee has prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment.
On Food and Cooking pioneered the translation of technical food science into cook-friendly kitchen science and helped give birth to the inventive culinary movement known as “”molecular gastronomy.”” Though other books have now been written about kitchen science, On Food and Cooking remains unmatched in the accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness of its explanations, and the intriguing way in which it blends science with the historical evolution of foods and cooking techniques.”
“Cast aside your cares and worries. Make yourself a Mai Tai, put your favorite exotica record on the hi-fi, and prepare to lose yourself in the fantastical world of tiki, one of the most alluring—and often misunderstood—movements in American cultural history. Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders and owners of Smuggler’s Cove (the most acclaimed tiki bar of the modern era) take you on a colorful journey into the lore and legend of tiki: its birth as an escapist fantasy for Depression-era Americans; how exotic cocktails were invented, stolen, and re-invented; Hollywood starlets and scandals; and tiki’s modern-day revival.
Featuring more than 100 delicious recipes (original and historic), plus a groundbreaking new approach to understanding rum, Smuggler’s Cove is the magnum opus of the contemporary tiki renaissance. Whether you’re looking for a new favorite cocktail, tips on how to trick out your home tiki grotto, help stocking your bar with great rums, or inspiration for your next tiki party, Smuggler’s Cove has everything you need to transform your world into a Polynesian Pop fantasia.”
A fun gift for barflies and a terrific treat for book clubs, Tequila Mockingbird is the ultimate cocktail book for the literary obsessed. Featuring 65 delicious drink recipes—paired with wry commentary on history’s most beloved novels—the book also includes bar bites, drinking games, and whimsical illustrations throughout.
“It’s a system, a tool kit, a recipe book. Beginning with one irresistible idea–a complete home bar of just 12 key bottles–here’s how to make more than 200 classic and unique mixed drinks, including sours, slings, toddies, and highballs, plus the perfect Martini, the perfect Manhattan, and the perfect Mint Julep.
It’s a surprising guide–tequila didn’t make the cut, and neither did bourbon, but genever did. And it’s a literate guide–describing with great liveliness everything from the importance of vermouth and bitters (the “salt and pepper” of mixology) to the story of a punch bowl so big it was stirred by a boy in a rowboat.”
“Julie Reiner, the co-owner of The Clover Club in Brooklyn and The Flatiron Lounge in Manhattan, has written a book that provides inspiration for the rest of us, not only the cocktail geeks. She wants to balance the needs of the everyday drinker with those of the passionate mixologist.
Recipes are organized around seasonality and occasion, with different events and themes appropriate to the specific time of the year. Each section will include a mixture of holiday-inspired drinks, classic cocktails, and innovative new drinks, all along with fun cocktail lore. Tricks, tips, and techniques–such as batching and infusions, tools of the trade, notes on spirit types, and easy substitutions to utilize what you already have on hand–will round out the amazing amount of information in Reiner’s book.”
Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in Lower Manhattan has dominated the bar industry, receiving award after award including World’s Best Bar, World’s Best Cocktail Menu, World’s Best Drink Selection, and Best American Cocktail Bar. Now, the critically acclaimed bar has its first cocktail book, The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual, which, along with its inventive recipes, also details founder Sean Muldoon and bar manager Jack McGarry’s inspiring rags-to-riches story that began in Ireland and has brought them to the top of the cocktail world. Like the bar’s décor, Dead Rabbit’s award-winning drinks are a nod to the “Gangs of New York” era. They range from fizzes to cobblers to toddies, each with its own historical inspiration. There are also recipes for communal punches as well as an entire chapter on absinthe. Along with the recipes and their photos, this stylish and handsome book includes photographs from the bar itself so readers are able to take a peek into the classic world of Dead Rabbit.
“The Essential Cocktail features only those drinks that stand out for their flavor, interesting formula, or distinctive technique. These are the very ones every amateur and professional bartender must know, the martinis, sours, highballs, tropicals, punches, sweets, and classics, both old and new, that form the core of a connoisseur’s repertoire. Throughout the book are DeGroff’s personal twists, such as a tangy Grapefruit Julep or a refreshing Yuzu Gimlet.
To complement the tantalizing photographs of each essential cocktail, DeGroff also regales readers with the fascinating lore behind a drink’s genesis and instructs us on using the right ingredients, techniques, glasses, and garnishes. As Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the classic compendium for home chefs and gourmands, so The Essential Cocktail will be the go-to book for serious mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts.”
“Great cooking goes beyond following a recipe–it’s knowing how to season ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them. Drawing on dozens of leading chefs’ combined experience in top restaurants across the country, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg present the definitive guide to creating “”deliciousness”” in any dish.
Thousands of ingredient entries, organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, provide a treasure trove of spectacular flavor combinations. Readers will learn to work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients; experiment with temperature and texture; excite the nose and palate with herbs, spices, and other seasonings; and balance the sensual, emotional, and spiritual elements of an extraordinary meal. Seasoned with tips, anecdotes, and signature dishes from America’s most imaginative chefs, The Flavor Bible is an essential reference for every kitchen.”
Gone are the days when a lonely bottle of Angostura bitters held court behind the bar. A cocktail renaissance has swept across the country, inspiring in bartenders and their thirsty patrons a new fascination with the ingredients, techniques, and traditions that make the American cocktail so special. And few ingredients have as rich a history or serve as fundamental a role in our beverage heritage as bitters.
“In Dave Arnold’s world, the shape of an ice cube, the sugars and acids in an apple, and the bubbles in a bottle of champagne are all ingredients to be measured, tested, and tweaked.
With Liquid Intelligence, the creative force at work in Booker & Dax, New York City’s high-tech bar, brings readers behind the counter and into the lab. There, Arnold and his collaborators investigate temperature, carbonation, sugar concentration, and acidity in search of ways to enhance classic cocktails and invent new ones that revolutionize your expectations about what a drink can look and taste like.
Years of rigorous experimentation and study―botched attempts and inspired solutions―have yielded the recipes and techniques found in these pages. Featuring more than 120 recipes and nearly 450 color photographs, Liquid Intelligence begins with the simple―how ice forms and how to make crystal-clear cubes in your own freezer―and then progresses into advanced techniques like clarifying cloudy lime juice with enzymes, nitro-muddling fresh basil to prevent browning, and infusing vodka with coffee, orange, or peppercorns.”
From Milan to Los Angeles, Venice to New York, the spritz—Italy’s bitter and bubbly aperitivo cocktail—has become synonymous with a leisurely, convivial golden hour. But the spritz is more than just an early evening cocktail—it’s a style of drinking. In Spritz, Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau trace the drink’s origins to ancient Rome, uncover its unlikely history and culture, explore the evolution of aperitivo throughout Northern Italy, and document the spritz’s revival around the world. From regional classics to modern variations, Spritz includes dozens of recipes from some of America’s most lauded bartenders, a guide to building a spritz bar, and a collection of food recipes for classic Italian snacks to pair alongside.
“Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries.
Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs–but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.
This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology–with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners–will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.”
First published in 1862, this seminal work in bartending was the first drink book ever published in the United States. Collected here by Jerry Thomas—America’s most famous bartender—are dozens of cocktail recipes, from old standards to mixes invented by Thomas himself, including his trademark drink, The Blue Blazer. Guides for mixing drinks of all categories—including sours, fizzes, and highballs—are included along with instructions on using various bartending tools, from jiggers to ponies and beyond. This is a nostalgic and delicious homage to a drinking era that is gone but not forgotten.
“Cocktail writer and historian David Wondrich presents the colorful, little-known history of classic American drinks–and the ultimate mixologist’s guide–in this engaging homage to Jerry Thomas, father of the American bar.
Wondrich reveals never-before-published details and stories about this larger-than-life nineteenth-century figure, along with definitive recipes for more than 100 punches, cocktails, sours, fizzes, toddies, slings, and other essential drinks, along with detailed historical and mixological notes.
The first edition, published in 2007, won a James Beard Award. Now updated with newly discovered recipes and historical information, this new edition includes the origins of the first American drink, the Mint Julep (which Wondrich places before the American Revolution), and those of the Cocktail itself. It also provides more detail about 19th century spirits, many new and colorful anecdotes and details about Thomas’s life, and a number of particularly notable, delicious, and influential cocktails not covered in the original edition, rounding out the picture of pre-Prohibition tippling.”
In this expanded and updated edition of Forgotten Cocktails and Vintage Spirits, historian, expert, and drink aficionado Dr. Cocktail adds another 20 fine recipes to his hand-picked collection of 80 rare-and-worth-rediscovered drink recipes, shares revelations about the latest cocktail trends, provides new resources for uncommon ingredients, and profiles of many of the cocktail world’s movers and shakers. Historic facts, expanded anecdotes, and full-color vintage images from extremely uncommon sources round out this must-have volume. For anyone who enjoys an icy drink and an unforgettable tale.
To say that PDT is a unique bar is an understatement. It recalls the era of hidden Prohibition speakeasies: to gain access, you walk into a raucous hot dog stand, step into a phone booth, and get permission to enter the serene cocktail lounge. Now, Jim Meehan, PDT’s innovative operator and mixmaster, is revolutionizing bar books, too, offering all 304 cocktail recipes available at PDT plus behind-the-scenes secrets. From his bar design, tools, and equipment to his techniques, food, and spirits, it’s all here, stunningly illustrated by Chris Gall.
“Covering the entire breadth of this rich subject, The Craft of the Cocktail provides much more than merely the same old recipes: it delves into history, personalities, and anecdotes; it shows you how to set up a bar, master important techniques, and use tools correctly; and it delivers unique concoctions, many featuring DeGroff’s signature use of fresh juices, as well as all the classics.
It begins with the history of spirits, how they’re made (but without too much boring science), the development of the mixed drink, and the culture it created, all drawn from DeGroff’s vast library of vintage cocktail books. Then on to stocking the essential bar, choosing the right tools and ingredients, and mastering key techniques—the same information that DeGroff shares with the bartenders he trains in seminars and through his videos. And then the meat of the matter: 500 recipes, including everything from tried-and-true classics to of-the-moment originals. Throughout are rich stories, vintage recipes, fast facts, and other entertaining asides. “
“An original book on the craft of mixology is a rare gem. Gary Regan’s The Joy of Mixology is such a gem, one whose genius lies in Regan’s breakthrough system for categorizing drinks that helps bartenders—both professionals and amateurs alike—not only to remember drink recipes but also to invent their own.
For example, once you understand that the Margarita is a member of the New Orleans Sour Family, you’ll instantly see that a Kamikaze is just a vodka-based Margarita; a Cosmopolitan follows the same formula, with some cranberry juice thrown in for color. Similarly, the Manhattan and the Rob Roy, both members of the French-Italian family, are variations on the whiskey-vermouth-bitters formula.
In this way Regan brings a whole new understanding to the world of cocktails and how to make them. Not only will you learn how to make standard cocktails, you’ll actually learn to feel your way through making a drink, thereby attaining the skills needed to create concoctions of your own. And as Regan explains methods for mixing drinks, how to choose bartenders’ wares and select spirits and liqueurs, and the origins of many cocktails, you’ll feel as though you’re behind the bar with him, learning from a master. Plus, his charming and detailed history of mixed drinks raises this far above the standard cocktail guide fare. “
|901 Very Good Cocktails: A Practical Guide||Stew Ellington||About|
|A History of the World in Six Glasses||Tom Standage||Jeffrey Morgenthaler|
|A VISUAL GUIDE TO DRINK||Ben Gibson||Mental Floss|
|All the Gin Joints: New Spins on Gin from America’s Best Bars||Michael Turback||Food & Wine|
|Amaro||Brad Thomas Parsons||Saveur|
|AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO COCKTAILS||Orr Shtuhl||Mental Floss|
|AND A BOTTLE OF RUM||WAYNE CURTIS||Serious Eats|
|Bartending Inside-Out||Lori Marcus||About|
|Beta Cocktails||Maksym Pazuniak & Kirk Estopinal||Food & Wine|
|BOOZEHOUND||JASON WILSON||Serious Eats|
|Brooklyn Bartender||Carey Jones||Saveur|
|Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender||William T. Boothby||Tales of the Cocktail|
|Cocktail Techniques||Kazuo Uyeda||Food & Wine|
|Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century||Paul Harrington||Jeffrey Morgenthaler|
|COCKTAILS OF THE MOVIES||Mental Floss|
|Cosmopolitan: A Bartender’s Life||Toby Cecchini||Jeffrey Morgenthaler|
|Craft Cocktails at Home||Kevin Liu||About|
|Diffordsguide Cocktail||Simon Difford||Difford’s Guide|
|Distilled||Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley||Los Angeles Times|
|Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book||Frederic Robert Yarm||Food & Wine|
|Esquire Handbook for Hosts||Difford’s Guide|
|Experimental Cocktail Club||Evening Standard|
|Good Spirits||A.J. Rathbun||About|
|Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends||Ryan Chetiyawardana||Evening Standard|
|In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks||Ti Adelaide Martin & Lally Brennan||Food & Wine|
|Jigger, Beaker and Glass||Charles Henry Baker||Difford’s Guide|
|Kindred Spirits 2||F. Paul Pacult||Jeffrey Morgenthaler|
|Malt Whisky||Charles MacLean||Los Angeles Times|
|Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook||Kelley Lilien||My Domaine|
|Old Man Drinks||Robert Schackenberg||Food & Wine|
|Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book||A.S. Crockett||Difford’s Guide|
|PARIS COCKTAILS||Mental Floss|
|Punch||Dave Wondrich||Difford’s Guide|
|Recipes for Mixed Drinks||Hugo Ensslin||Eater|
|Shake, Stir, Pour||Katie Loeb||Food & Wine|
|Shake: A new perspective on cocktails||Eric Prum and Josh Williams||Los Angeles Times|
|Southern Spirits||Robert F. Moss||Saveur|
|SPEAKEASY||JASON KOSMAS AND DUSHAN ZARIC||Serious Eats|
|Straight Up or On The Rocks||William Grimes||Jeffrey Morgenthaler|
|Taste What You’re Missing||Barb Stuckey||Cocktails & Bars|
|The Art of the Bar||Jeff Hollinger and Bob Schwartz||Los Angeles Times|
|The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique||Jeffrey Morgenthaler||Cool Material|
|The Bartender’s Bible||Gary Regan||About|
|The Bartender’s Black Book||Stephen Kittredge Cunningham||About|
|THE BARTENDER’S GUIDE||Mental Floss|
|The Big Sleep||Raymond Chandler||Cocktails & Bars|
|The Bon-Vivant’s Companion||Jerry Thomas||Difford’s Guide|
|The Cafe Royal Cocktail Book||W. J Tarling||Difford’s Guide|
|THE COCKTAIL CHRONICLES||Paul Clarke||Mental Floss|
|The Essential Bar Book: An A-to-Z Guide to Spirits, Cocktails, and Wine, with 115 Recipes for the World’s Great Drinks||Jennifer Fiedler||Cool Material|
|The Essential New York Times Book of Cocktails||Steve Reddicliffe||Cool Material|
|The Everything Bartender’s Book||Cheryl Charming||About|
|The Flavour Thesaurus||Niki Segnit||Cocktails & Bars|
|The Gentleman’s Companion: Around the World with Jigger, Beaker & Flask||Charles Baker||Eater|
|The Little Book of Cocktails||Rufus Cavendish||Evening Standard|
|THE NEW COCKTAIL HOUR||André and Tenaya Darlington||Epicurious|
|The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book||Albert S. Crockett||Tales of the Cocktail|
|The Periodic Table of Cocktails||Emma Stokes||Evening Standard|
|The Spirits||Richard Godwin||Evening Standard|
|The Stork Bar Book||Lucius Beebe||Difford’s Guide|
|The Ultimate Bar Book||Mittie Hellmich||Cocktails & Bars|
|THE WALDORF ASTORIA BAR BOOK||Frank Caifa||Epicurious|
|To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion||Philip Greene||Food & Wine|
|Trader Vic’s Bartender Guide||Victor Bergeron||Difford’s Guide|
|Vintage Cocktails||Laziz Hamani||My Domaine|
|What to Drink with What You Eat||Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page||Jeffrey Morgenthaler|
|About||10 Great Bartending Guides for Every Cocktail Library|
|Cocktails & Bars||10 BEST COCKTAIL BOOKS: AUSTRALIAN BARTENDERS’ FAVOURITES|
|Cool Material||The 10 Best Books for Your Home Bar|
|Difford’s Guide||5 Bartenders on the Cocktail Books That Set the Bar|
|Eater||The Best Cocktail Books: Bartenders Pick Their Favorites|
|Epicurious||5 Great Cocktail Books for Spring and Summer Entertaining|
|Evening Standard||The best cocktail recipe books|
|Food & Wine||Ultimate Cocktail-Book Buying Guide|
|Jeffrey Morgenthaler||Ten Books Every Bartender Should Own|
|Los Angeles Times||Read before you drink! Six essential cocktail books|
|Mental Floss||13 Beautiful Cocktail Recipe Books|
|My Domaine||11 Books for the Beginner Cocktail Enthusiast|
|Saveur||6 NEW COCKTAIL AND SPIRIT BOOKS FOR THE BEST SUMMER DRINKING|
|Serious Eats||10 Essential Books For Cocktail Lovers: Vintage and Modern Classics|
|Tales of the Cocktail||5 Bartenders on the Cocktail Books That Set the Bar|
|World Best Bars||THE 5 ULTIMATE COCKTAILS BOOKS ALL BARTENDERS SHOULD READ|
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