We get inspired from traveling and reading. You might not always have time to travel but you always have time for a book.
We have a rather big collection of cocktail books, and we are happy to share our top selection below.
We have devided the books into three categories:
- Classics – oldies but goldies
- Geekiness – nerdy books from single subject to bibles
- Bars – books from famous bars and their cocktails
We’ve also provided links to Amazon, in case you want to take a closer look at any of the books.
One of our cocktail books used most often is Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh. This book is a treasure cove for fans of the American 1920’s cocktail era. Most recipes in the book are very doable and delicious also today, and ingredients are surprisingly available. There is a lot of background information on each cocktail presented in the book. Pictures are extra interesting, as they often show vintage bottles of the particular ingredients.
Can a cocktail book get old? This is a fantastic gem and was first published in 1930 by the Savoy and Harry Craddock and the full title is “The Savoy Cocktail Book“. Here you find about 750 recipes, among those French 75 and you learn that there is not only a Corpse Reviver #2 but also a #1. So its time to time travel and experience classic cocktails. Facsimiles are obviously available, but lucky you if you own or get hold of an original edition.
This is a special cocktail book. We haven´t seen anything like this. Charles H. Baker’s book “The Gentleman’s Companion, Volume II: The Exotic Drinking Book. Or, Around the World with Jiggers Beaker, and Flask“, its not a recipe book but rather a travel journal with encounters and cryptic recipes. Here is the recipe of the Forth Regiment Cocktail:
“THE FOURTH REGIMENT COCKTAIL, Brought to Our Amazed Attention by One Commander Livesey, in Command of One of His Majesty’s Dapper Little Sloops of War, out in Bombay, a.d. 1931
This, we discovered finally, was merely a Manhattan Cocktail made in 4 oz size, spiced with 1 dash each of celery, Angostura and orange bitters – but why the last was included we never have understood as the Angostura dominates. Chill very cold and garnish with a twist of green lime peel squeezed so as to deposit oil upon the waters after the drink is poured.”
Brad Thomas Parson has written two nerdy books and this Amaro bible is fantastic. The full title is “Amaro; the spirited world of bittersweet, herbal liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas” and describes the book very well. In this bitter book, you learn everything about different amari and there are many suggested cocktails. Beware! you might buy a lot of different bottles after reading the book. Our amari shelf is full.
The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks written by Amy Stewart is a pure inspiration but also highly educational. The book is split into three parts beginning with the process of making liquor followed by a tour of the garden and finishing up incorporating what we found in the garden in different cocktails.
An optimal book for those of you who don’t like sweet cocktails. Greg Henry has written “Savory Cocktails: sour, spicy, herbal, umami, bitter, smoky, rich, strong” …. which delivers recipes where something savory is always more apparent than something sweet. We have tried several of the book’s recipes, and we always end up with a surprisingly unique but still tasty cocktail.
Another comprehensive guide from Brad Thomas Parson. “Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails Recipes, and Formulas gives insights about bitters and extend it way beyond Angostura. Maybe you even get inspired to make some home made bitters (which the book offers plenty of recipes for).
This is truly nerdy book, by Dave Arnold. The focus of the book is different cocktail techniques, several of them quite complicated, but with gorgeous end results. There are articles about perfect ice, clarification, mixing techniques, carbonation and bottling just to mention a few. Most readers will probably only attempt a handful of all these ideas, but it’s still a fascinating read, backed up with loads of color photos.
Smuggler’s Cove is one of the world’s most well-known tiki bars, located in San Francisco USA. And of course this book is all about those exotic, rum-based, garnished cocktail that we like to associate with vacation and lazy days. The book is full of wonderful and inspiring recipes and photos, but there are also chapters on the different types of rum, and even a few tips of how to set up your own tiki bar.
William Yeoward has written very inspiring book “American Bar: The world’s most glamorous cocktails“. You will find several classic cocktails executed to perfection in this book. The photos are shot at some of London’s most prestigious bars, like Savoy’s American Bar. If you are looking for timeless cocktails, and want to learn how to make them properly, this is the book for you.
“Regarding Cocktails” by Sasha Petraske is one of the most beautiful books in our cocktail library. The book offers no photos, but several great recipes, each accompanied by a schematic drawing of the cocktail. Most cocktails are fairly uncomplicated, and easy to make at home.
The founder of the award winning Seattle bar Canon, Jamie Boudreau has togehter with James O. Fraioili written “The Canon Cocktail Book” with 100 cocktail recipes. It contains both classic cocktials and also Canon original cocktails. We have found many fun cocktails in this book and by now we have probably made half of them at home.
Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in New York’s Lower Manhattan is the Worlds Best Bar 2016/2017 and the founder Sean Muldoon and bar manager Jack McGarry has put together the cocktail book “The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual: Secret Recipes and Barroom Tails from Two Belfast Boys Who Conquered the Cocktail World“. This is an inspiring book for sure, but recipes tend to be on the complicated side, containing a lot of special ingredients. Nevertheless it is an interesting read, buy it and read it for inspirational purposes while sipping a slightly more simple cocktail.
Jim Meehan’s book “The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender’s Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy” is a pure gem. Jim guides you through setting up a bar as well as contributing with a lot of original cocktail recipes. The PDT bar itself is an almost legendary institution in New York. So you can be pretty sure the recipes in this book are gonna be good.
Well, where do we even begin? This truly is a the cocktail bible you need to own if you have any ambitions at all of taking your home bar to the next level. With hundreds of original recipes, most of them fairly easy to make at home, you will always find a new cocktail to make from this book. Obviously the recipes come from world famous bar Death & Co in New York, and they are actually quite eager to see your creations on Instagram, so don’t forget to tag with @deathandconyc if you post cocktails from the book. But not only is this a book full of delicious recipes, there are also several chapters on techniques, ingredients and barware – making this a rather ultimate book also for beginners.