Everyone has their own ‘falling in love with cocktails’ story. Mine is a bit quirky: it was from watching Tom Cruise in Cocktail. (Could the craft of making brews be so cool?) Yours might be more: from a blue martini you had at a beach bar in Mykonos, or a $20 mint julep you had at a world-class destination like Death & Co or Katana Kitten. Though we can probably all agree that there will come a time when we need to learn how to make drinks ourselves so we can whip up those $20-worthy cocktails at home, hopefully with the same panache as a young Tom Cruise.
The easiest way is through a home bar cart stacked with bar supplies and ingredients. Finally, cocktail recipe books written by real bartenders to teach you both techniques and hundreds of recipes. Think of these as the 101 course books to help you set up using those bartending kits and mixing drinks under your belt before hitting your home bar.
We’ve collected 16 best cocktail books that will For real you’ll learn how, whether you’re a mixologist who already knows how many corpse revivers there are, or a budding bartender who’s just discovered the ramos gin fizz. From classic tutorials to graphic tutorials, these recipe books are all, say, spicy†
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Best for home bartending
‘The Bar Book’
Renowned bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler believes that to make your drinking palate a semi-renowned career path, you should start small in the pantry before eventually making your closet bigger — because techniques are more important than how many drinks you can make, especially if they not great. His book has a very manageable number of basic knowledge recipes – just over 60 – and will give you in-depth training in the technical approach to beverage making.
If there’s one thing that’s always good at bartending, it’s listening to the words of Sasha Petraske, the late great icon of the bar world, the mastermind behind NYC’s Milk & Honey, whose acolytes have spread the gospel of craft cocktails throughout the world. spreading country. This is his only cocktail book. There are 85 recipes inside, covering the classics and the present, but everything is clearly illustrated, from preparation to measurements to ingredients.
‘Meehan’s Bartender Manual’
“Meehan’s Manual” is just that, a wealth of bar knowledge written by the award-winning bartender himself. It’s more of an anatomy of the bar industry than a recipe book, covering bar design to spatial planning and menu development. In the cocktail section, there are 100 recipes from the vault and Meehan’s own life history, and each is broken down like a Wikipedia entry: origin, history, hacks, and recipe.
The cocktail encyclopedia
‘The joy of mixology’
Gary ‘Gaz’ Regan is a modern bar world legend, like Gordon Ramsey to chefs, and his compendium of recipes unravels the mixology for the novices and the pros. In it, 350 drinks are classified into different families based on ingredients, with a full breakdown of the basic techniques, liqueurs, finishes and nuances like why pomegranate goes well with martinis so it’s easier to remember and reinvent when the time comes. .
From the legendary Mixologist
‘The Ideal Bartender’ (1917 reprint)
This one belongs in a museum: it was originally written and published before the Prohibition era of the jazz era, by Tom Bullock, a former slave turned bartender for President Teddy-Roosevelt. He was the first known black American to write a cocktail book. The ideal bartender offers a rare glimpse into the pre-prohibition cocktail renaissance, including 173 recipes and some bartending tips that are still relevant after a centenary.
‘The Savoy Cocktail Book’
A true classic, as it was first written in 1930, by a man credited with the white lady, who took the dry martini to the limelight, and who invented corpse reviver #2 that “must be taken before 11 a.m.” . Yes, he’s got a decent resume, and he wrote this tome for classic cocktail recipes when he was in his prime as a bartender at The Savoy hotel in London – still a mecca for mixologists to this day. Inside are 750 of the Savoy’s drinks and a glimpse of London’s cocktail society at the time. And the stunning Art Deco illustrations in the hardcover reprint will set the mood for the 1920s.
The cocktail book
This is the cocktail bible, written by disciples — or, as we know them, the guys behind Death and Company, a famously moody bar in the East Village where cool bow-tie and suspender bartenders can put a modern spin on classic cocktails like “Oaxaca Old Fashioned.” or “naked and famous”. The authors structure it like a textbook, focusing on the six “carrot recipes” that all cocktails come from: old-fashioned, martini, daiquiri, sidecar, whiskey highball, and flip. Each chapter explores the arts and crafts behind each cocktail template, and eventually you’ll be able to break the rule of classic mixes and improvise your own mixes.
From the editors of Esquire
‘Drink like a man’
This one is our own best and brightest, and we only conjure our own horn because of our nearly 90 years of experience in drinking better. Here we’ve rounded up over 125 cocktail recipes — including 13 drinks every man should know how to make — from mass drinks that please the crowd to homemade classics for one person. It’s also a guide to how to drink – up vs on the rocks, shaken vs stirred, in a highball vs lowball – on what occasion (Bar? Party? Solo? Romantic Night?). You’ll find it all here, with some humor and of course a damn good cocktail.
The graphic cocktail novel
‘The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem’
This is basically a graphic novel that, instead of letting you suffer through pages of dry infographics, tells a Gangs-of-New-York-esque tale of an anti-hero rabbit who vengefully kills people in the bar world, with 90 cocktail recipes mapped out on each picture page and connected to the plot of the page. The beam in the book, The Dead Rabbit, by the way, is real, and this novel is the unheard of way the owners decided to present a cocktail menu. Some skills are required to realize their rather innovative concoctions, such as a creamy “Billion Dollar Man” so it’s more of a pro’s territory.
From the award-winning bar
‘The Japanese art of the cocktail’
Masahiro Urushido is the owner and head bartender of Katana Kitten, one of Esquire‘s Best Bars of 2019. What makes Katana Kitten – and Master Urushido – special is the way they infuse Japanese cocktail art with American comfort bites that make you muse along the lines of “I can easily devour this” and “This must be tasted.” “. In his book, Urushido pays tribute to Japanese mixology with eighty curated recipes, each sublime enough to be served on a highball. There’s also beautiful photography to boot, and the breakup of generations of cocktail techniques that will leave you wondering “Oh, so this is how That to work”.
For tropical cocktails
‘Tiki: modern tropical cocktails’
Tiki, the tropical cocktail, often requires more than seven hard-to-find ingredients. So having a Tiki cocktail book on hand is your best bet. This particular one has caused some sensationThe first cocktail recipe book written and published by an African-American bartender in over 100 years, it offers a breath of fresh air from the traditional rum-based Tikis. In it, Mustipher manages to lean on the extravagance of Tiki but makes drinks like blue curaçao or pineapple-banana daiquiri easy to execute.
For Latin American classics
‘Spirits of Latin America’
The story of Ivy Mix begins with her first taste of mezcal at Café No Sé, Guatemala, where she had to pay her bill through bartending. That was her cocktail gag, one that led her to explore the spicy drinks in the Latin world, and returned with this atlas of Latin American spirit culture featuring over 100 acclaimed recipes from her Brooklyn bar, Leyenda. Inside, she describes the Latin palate, her spins on traditional pisco sour or mojito, and her own invention such as the tia mia, a blend of mezcal, rum and orange curacao.
For party fun
‘Liquor & Vinyl’
booze and vinyl is the guide to hosting a booze listening session, with 70 albums organized by genre (rock, chill, dance, etc.), and cocktail recipes to match the music and lyrics found on side A of each vinyl and side B. If you want to take it easy, go to Frank Sinatra with oldies like tuxedo or manhattan in tow. If you gotta jack it up, hit some Hip-Hop like The low-end theory and boogie-woogie with a jazzy sidecar at hand. And if you’re feeling lyrical, Joni Mitchell’s tunes will fit perfectly with a Santorini or Negroni sunrise.
From the popular bar
‘The Nomad Cocktail Book’
You know the NoMad Hotel, right? The restaurant hotel with a beautiful mahogany bar that used to be a mecca for happy-hour fixers and cocktail savants. Sadly the establishment is now permanently closed† It marked the end of an era, but the man behind the Nomad bar scene, Leo Robitschek, published a book on over 300 recipes there, incorporating NoMad’s own philosophy of making cocktails to change the way you see and use spirits. change.
The Drink Travelogue
More on the cocktail art in Japan, this booze travelogue takes readers to Tokyo and takes them to the best bars and mixologists there. It was written by Nick Coldicott, a longtime Tokyo resident and lover of the cocktail scene. He highlights the excellent service sector and how a thousand-year history there has spawned a vibrant modern scene. You’ll probably want to book a ticket to Japan right after reading his book, but if circumstances don’t allow it, you’re always welcome to dig through your liquor cabinet and make one based on the book.
‘The Essential Cocktail Book’
Don’t judge a book — even a cocktail book — by its cover. This leather-bound book might look more like a collectible you’d display at the coffee table and never read again after your first skim, but it really is a great handbook for all mixologists. Beautiful photography is the first thing you see in it, for each of the 150 recipes; the methodology and anecdote behind each drink are also as good as a 101 lecture on prepping and serving. It may seem a little pedantic, but in case you haven’t already, all great mixologists are well-read people.
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