Become a master home bartender with this list of the best cocktail recipe books. You'll find everything from complex, yet tasty concoctions to recipe books with only 3 ingredients per drink.
We love all of these for their own special take on drinks, styles, and even the feelings of entering a speakeasy since you need to open the book, "enter" a phonebook, and then get into it. The photos and illustrations in these books make them invaluable.
These recipe books teach you how to make everything from unique margaritas to warm or cool mixes for the upcoming season.
Written by: Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry, and Jillian Vose
Published: October 30th, 2018
Manhattan is not just a great location in N.Y. City, it is a classic drink if you didn’t know that yet. The Dead Rabbit by Grocery & Grog is one of the most famous cocktail recipe books and has won basically every award possible for their creations.
Instead of just being your usual "This is how you make a martini" cocktail book, this one enters a whole new genre since it is a graphic novel. It is based on the era when gangsters would hang out and do their thing. There are 90 recipes, loads of fun stories, and some of the most fun depictions of the authors as the good guys and the bad guys.
Written by: Alex Day and David Kaplan
Published: October 30th, 2018
What is a cocktail? What makes one better than the other? This book, Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas and Evolutions written by Alex Day, seeks to answer these questions. One of the reasons we love it is that this book is broken down into sections like "The Basics" and "Classic Recipes," which will be perfect for those new to cocktails or who want to learn more about them.
Unlike most other books on this list, there are only six basic templates for mixed drinks. Once you learn these, you'll be able to mix and match to your heart's desire. I loved learning why you want to have your martini "stirred not shaken," unlike James Bond, and you will also.
This book also includes some of the most famous recipes such as Old Fashioned, Margarita, Sazerac, and many others that have been popularized in recent years.
Written by: Dave Arnold
Published: November 21st, 2014
Have you ever noticed how your favorite cocktails are perfectly balanced? They have a nice blend of sweet, sour, bitter, and savory flavors. Dave Arnold, the author of Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail, says these ingredients are carefully combined with science to create a fantastic drink. He likes to call himself a "mad scientist" because he uses science in his recipes.
In this book, you will learn about some common cocktail ingredients- like acidity levels and fruit juices- and some uncommon ones like hydrocolloids which are used for thickening liquids without drastically changing their flavor profile or mouthfeel.
You'll also learn about various types of glasses and ice cubes, along with proper preparation techniques.
With over 120 recipes and 450 gorgeous photos, this book will allow you to amaze your friends and blow their minds!
Written by: Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig
Published: June 1st, 2021
The Japanese Art of the Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido is a book that will help any person who enjoys drinking alcohol. This book can be used to learn how to make drinks or just enjoy reading about cocktails that have been enjoyed in Japan for many years. It's fascinating learning about the history and culture behind these drinks.
Masahiro Urushido has been in the business for over 15 years and is a bartender at the popular bar Katana Kitchen in New York City. He also works as an international ambassador for Suntory Whisky and has won multiple awards for his work over the last few years.
With eighty recipes that show the best of Japanese cocktails, you are going to love mixing them up. It is genuinely an art.
Written by: Jeffrey Morganthaler, Martha Holmberg, and Alanna Hale
Published: June 3rd, 2014
It's one thing to know how to mix drinks, but it's something else entirely to make them well. Jeffrey Morgenthaler has created a book that teaches the art of craft cocktails through technique instead of recipes.
Rather than just mixing whatever is needed for each drink, there are lessons on shaking and stirring techniques as well as garnish preparation, so your final product looks as good as it tastes. The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique is an excellent resource for any home bartender who wants their craft perfected.
He has over 60 of his favorite recipes and how his techniques make them so original and memorable. We love all of them and also that we can listen to his blog if we ever need more!
Written by: Misty Kalkofen and Kirsten Amann
Published: June 19th, 2018
Misty Kalkofen and Kirsten Amann's new book, Drinking Like Ladies: 75 Modern Cocktails, is the perfect guide for every woman who wants to learn how to make drinks like a pro. The author takes you through everything from choosing your liquor and bitters to ensuring that your garnishes are always on point.
However, what truly sets this book apart from others is that every drink is named for a woman who has changed history. Some of them include the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Princess Diana, Wilma Mankiller (YIKES!), and more. Their imagination is fun, and the drinks are delicious!
Misty also teaches you how to mix cocktails with different flavors and alcohol content- so no matter what kind of drinker you are, there will be something for everyone! This book will be helpful for parties and date nights alike – no matter what your gender, it's never too late to start drinking like ladies!
Written by: Tim Federle and Lauren Mortimer
Published: April 23rd, 2013
Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist is an innovative book that takes classic literature and mixes it up into delicious drinks. Tim Federle has taken some of the greatest classics in literature, including Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, Pride & Prejudice, Huckleberry Finn, and more, and turned them into cocktail recipes.
With this creative twist on cocktails, readers will enjoy literary classics while enjoying tasty beverages. In this book, Federle shows off his bartending skills by creating unique drink recipes inspired by classic works of fiction. He uses sherry (from The Great Gatsby) or egg whites (from James Bond's Goldfinger). He also includes games and illustrations. In other words, this book has everything!
Since you love to read and make mixed drinks, this book will give you ideas on how to do more of both!
Written by: Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas and Allen Hemberger
Published: January 1st, 2018
The Aviary Cocktail Book is a labor of love and an homage to one of the world's most critical culinary inventions: cocktails. It was created by Nick Kokonas, chef/owner of Alinea in Chicago, who has been hailed as "the best restaurant chef in America," and Allen Hemberger, head mixologist at The Aviary.
This book, which is over 400 pages long, features recipes for 240 stunning cocktails worldwide, with more than 200 color photos and illustrations that capture their flavor and spirit.
You'll find ingredients like edible flowers, pomegranate vinegar; grasshoppers; kaffir lime leaves; roasted coffee beans; crystallized ginger, pineapple sage syrup, fresh-pressed apple juice--and many more unusual ingredients to create your best cocktails. This book is one of the most beautiful and artistic of all the mixed drinks anywhere.
Written by: Downtown Abbey
Published: September 17th, 2019
The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book is a must-have for any fan of the show. It includes more than 75 delicious drink recipes inspired by the award-winning series, including our very own official Downtown Abbey cocktail.
With this book on your bar cart, you'll be able to mix up British classics like Pimm's Cup and Fish House Punch along with some modern twists on the classics like The Grantham & Tasty Titillating Teasers (a play on Sex on the Beach). This book has it all!
So, get ready to raise your glass high in celebration of one of television's most beloved shows! And, if you've never seen the show, here is a great chance to watch it, make their drinks, and clink your glasses along with the actors.
NOTE: This is one of four of the “Downtown Abbey” collection. The other three are all about their food cookbooks and lots of fun. Cheerio, mate!
Written by: Prairie Rose
Published: October 26th, 2021
If you're looking to learn more about mixology for your next cocktail party or want to impress friends and family with an innovative craft cocktail, Prairie Rose has the perfect book for you.
The Mixology for Beginners: Innovative Craft Cocktails by Prairie Rose is a guide designed to help people learn the basics of making drinks, building a perfect home bar, knowing all the terminology, and more.
Even though it is supposedly for beginners, this book will give mixologists of all skill levels the ability to create delicious drinks that will please everyone at the party.
From shots and shooters to shots and beer combos, this book covers it all! From classic concoctions like Mint Juleps and Whiskey Sours to more inventive creations like The French Connection (a twist on the Bloody Mary), you will have a great time and learn how to adapt drinks to make your own.
Written by: Shane Carley
Published: September 25th, 2018
The Home Bartender is an excellent book for cocktail lovers who want to add flair and fun to their bar. This updated edition of the best-selling guide contains all-new recipes, including 50 new ones for you to explore. We love that he has also designed a number of them with an organic “twist”!
Carley, who has several other fun books, this guide has everything you need to know about creating your fantastic cocktails at home. Whether you're looking for something classic or adventurous, this book has it all and more!
He leaves no stone unturned in his quest to help you create the perfect drink every time. From ingredients and tools needed to measurements and even glassware suggestions, he's covered it all in one convenient place that will have your guests impressed before they even take a sip! With over 175 recipes, you'll be ready to "mix" it up and have a great time learning, and you'll enjoy this book.
Written by: Tom Bullock and Ross Brown
Published: First printed in 1917
Tom Bullock's The Ideal Bartender is a bartender handbook first published in 1917 and was revised and updated in 2021. This book provides readers with knowledge about the job of bartending, what qualities are needed to be successful at it, and why people enjoy going out for drinks. It is a short book but still has over 170 recipes, and it defines what it is to be a bartender, mixologist, and someone who loves charm and wit all at the same time.
Tom Bullock's original writings were used, and new content from Brown created this updated version of The Ideal Bartender. The goal was to make this book more relevant than ever before while still retaining its charm and character.
It will provide the reader with an entertaining read while also offering invaluable information on becoming a great bartender.
Fun Fact: The Mint Julep made by Bullock caused a lawsuit that involved President Theodore Roosevelt!
Written by: Kurt Maitland
Published: April 30th, 2019
In complete opposition to the short book above book by Bullock, we have this one. As they say in the USA, "What's your poison," meaning what do you want to drink and how strong? Therefore, it's always time to start thinking about what you're going to serve at your upcoming events.
Whether hosting a cocktail party or just having some friends over for dinner, this book will have everything you need to create delicious drinks that everyone is sure to love!
With over 1,100 recipes covering all sorts of spirits, wines, and cocktails, there's sure to be something here for everyone. From classics like daiquiris and mojitos to more unique offerings such as pineapple-mango sangria or tangerine margaritas - whatever your preference may be, this book has got it covered!
So, pick up a copy today and make one, or fifty, of the drinks that have been gathered for you to enjoy from all over the world!
Written by: Ivy Mix
Published: April 7th, 2020
Ivy Mix is the owner of Leyenda, a Latin-inspired cocktail bar in New York City. She takes her inspiration from spirits worldwide, but she's especially enamored with those found throughout Latin America.
She's won Best American Bartender and World's Best Bar Mentor, so you know you'll be getting some of the finest cocktails taught in an easy-to-understand manner from this book.
Her book, Spirits of Latin America, features 100 recipes that include ingredients like pineapple, coffee beans, prickly pear cactus fruit, and even insects! We love it because, even if we aren’t going to drink something made of insects, it is still cool to imagine and learn how they became cocktail drinks.
On top of that, it is a cultural exploration as you know about the people from these countries and their lives.
Ps. Could Ivy have a better last name than "Mix" for this booklist?
Written by: Robert Simonson
Published: April 6th, 2021
Continuing with the international theme, we have this excellent book by Robert Simonson. I'm sure you've heard the terms "mezcal" and "tequila" thrown around in bars, but do you know what they mean? Or how to use them when making cocktails at home?
The two spirits are often confused because of how similar they are. Both come from Mexico (obviously), both are made from agave, and both can be served straight or on the rocks and have very different tastes.
Simonson uses his knowledge to make some enjoyable drinks. Some of these include humorous restyling like the "Mezcal Mule," the "Oaxaca Old-Fashioned." And, instead of just resting on the oldies, he's created new ones, one of which we love beyond belief, the "Smoke and Ice."
We won't tell you about it, other than the name, because we don't want to give anything away and ruin your surprise and enjoyment. If you are afraid to make new drinks, don’t worry about it since they are almost all just 4 or 5 ingredients total.
Simonson has also written other books, including The Old-Fashioned and The Martini Cocktail, so definitely check all of them out.
Written by: Robert Simonson
Published: September 26th, 2017
This is another book by the author mentioned above, Robert Simonson. Jill and I try to have as many different authors as possible on each page, but Simonson deserves a second one as this will be the best cocktail recipe book for anyone new to mixology.
The beauty of this book is that you will only need, as the title suggests, three ingredients for any of these seventy-five cocktails. Even if you've never made any type of cocktail, you can easily breeze through these and impress your friends.
Some of the classic drinks include the Harvey Wallbanger, Japanese Cocktail, and others. He also has some new ones like "Remember the Alimony," which tastes great and always makes us laugh.
Last but not least, the photographs are beautiful, and the stories are fun.
Written by: John DeBary
Published: June 2nd, 2020
Whether you're a cocktail enthusiast or just looking to impress your friends, delicious cocktails are always in season. In his new book Delicious Cocktails: The Subjective Guide to What You Want to Drink, John DeBary takes readers through the world of spirits and mixology with a subjective and educational approach.
By discussing the history behind different types of liquor, ingredients used in recipes, and techniques for creation, he ensures that no matter what drink you want to make, there's a recipe available for it within these pages.
He also provides tips on how much booze should be consumed at each event – from wedding receptions to casual get-togethers – and general guidelines for pairing drinks with food.
On top of it all, DeBary adds his "100 proof personality" to the book with his hilarious stories and anecdotes from his many years of being a bartender and mixologist.
Written by: Amy Stewart
Published: March 19th, 2013
Have you ever heard of a “Drunken Botanist?” Now, this may sound like an alcoholic who studies plants, but it is one who knows how to make infusions from different types of plants. In her new book, Amy Stewart explores the history and stories behind many kinds of alcohols that she has personally tried and enjoyed.
Some of these include how sake came from rice, tequila from agave, bourbon from corn, and others. Aram and I found it to be a fascinating and informative read. We often think about it when we are mixing our drinks or mention them when drinking with friends.
It also has over fifty drink recipes and even gardening tips if you want to grow your plants for drinks.
Written by: Lesley and David Solmonson
Published: July 1st, 2014
Anyone who has ever walked into a well-stocked bar knows that there is no shortage of choices when it comes to drinks. There are dozens and dozens of bottles lining the shelves, each full of its unique flavor and personality.
While these bars may be filled with countless options for those looking to imbibe, they can also make things difficult for those trying to learn how to mix cocktails at home.
Even if you are an expert, choosing from such a wide array of spirits can be overwhelming, making it hard to know where or even how to start! Luckily though, if you only have twelve bottles in your bar, then you'll never run out of recipes again, being that this book has over two hundred recipes.
Jill and I find this book really interesting in that it leaves out the usual suspects, such as tequila, bourbons, and goes for more exciting ingredients.
Written by: Gary Regan
Published: August 28th, 2018
Initially published in 2003, Regan decided it was time to update since so much had changed in the cocktail and mixology world. This revised and updated edition provides over 1,000 recipes for different types of cocktails that can be enjoyed while socializing with friends or while relaxing at home.
It also contains information on all the tools necessary to make each drink.
By reading this book, readers will not only learn about many new cocktail recipes, but they will also become more knowledgeable bartenders themselves. At the end of each chapter, there are multiple pages dedicated to a particular spirit with facts about its history and tasting notes that describe how it tastes when combined with different ingredients.
Jam-packed with so much information, it is a perfect book for beginners, intermediates, and experts.
Regan has written too many books about cocktails, and mixology, to even begin a list here. You will be able to make basically anything, and everything, if you read them all.
Written by: Julia Bainbridge
Published: October 6th, 2020
Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When Not Drinking is a great cookbook that features non-alcoholic recipes. These drink recipes are perfect for those who love to entertain and have various people over but don't want their guests drinking alcohol.
Alternatively, this book would be great if you're looking to cut back on your alcohol intake or stop drinking altogether. The book includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages so everyone can enjoy themselves at the party!
Jill and I love to have friends over and celebrate whenever possible, and this book has come in handy many times over. One of the reasons we think it is so important is that several of our friends don't drink alcohol or are designated drivers, and they can still feel as if they are included in the party.
Note that most of the ingredients are easy to find at your local store. However, some might be a bit more difficult, but don't let that stop you.
Written by: Martin and Rebecca Cate
Published: June 7th, 2016
Cocktail culture has exploded in recent years, and the bar industry is booming. Martin Cate's Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki take readers back to when tiki bars were all the rage. The book contains more than eighty recipes for classic tiki cocktails like Mai Tais and Zombies, along with modern drinks inspired by them (such as the Painkiller).
The first part of the book features detailed histories of each drink recipe, including how it was created and where you can find it today. Then there are illustrated step-by-step instructions on everything from muddling fruit to making your own syrups—the history of this drink, the culture around it, and everything else.
We must admit that we love visiting Cate's Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco and suggest you do the same. Trust us, and you'll never forget it. The fun of this book is that it is part recipe, part history, and all hilarious.
Written by: Cassandra Reeder
Published: April 14th, 2020
Geeks and nerds alike will be excited to hear that they can now drink like their favorite characters from the big screen. Reeder has specifically made drinks with all of your favorite characters and games in mind.
With The Geeky Bartender's new book, you'll find recipes for some of your favorite drinks from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and more! It doesn't matter if you're looking for a non-alcoholic Butterbeer or something to make while binge-watching Stranger Things on Netflix; we've got you covered.
This list has something for everyone, whether it's a whiskey sour named after Arya Stark or a fireball shot inspired by Ron Weasley. And yes: there is an alcoholic version of butterbeer included in this guide!
I'm a Star Trek geek, so I personally love the Romulan Ale, and Jill likes the Sonic Screwdriver from Dr. Who. But you'll like what you want and so grab the ingredients and let the nerdy bartending begin!
Written by: Bridget Albert and Mary Barranco
Published: June 28th, 2008
Just in time for winter…or Spring…or Summer…or Fall…we’ve got the right cocktail for any season!
Every season has a flavor, and it is your job as a mixologist to capture that essence in a drink. The first step is knowing what ingredients are available during each of those seasons. It's easy to go with the basics: citrus fruits in spring, berries or melons in summer, apples, and cinnamon during fall.
In the winter months, you can bring out spices like peppermint or gingerbread flavors and all things chocolate. And, of course, you can choose your favorites too.
Once you have an idea of what's fresh, then create your perfect cocktail using market-fresh ingredients along with spirits that complement them perfectly! You'll be surprised at how much more interesting every sip will become when you use seasonal flavors for these five fun cocktails.
This book also gives ideas on being eco-friendly, using local ingredients from farmer's markets whenever possible, so that the drinks have even more flavor.
Written by: Katie Stryjewski
Published: March 16th, 2021
This book is nicknamed "Botany for Bartenders" for a good reason: It will teach you everything you need to know about building an herb garden, making cocktails, and then putting the perfect garnish on them.
Like most of the books on this list, you will get lots of recipes of classic and original drinks to make and enjoy. However, unlike most other books on this list, this one focuses primarily on the herbal and floral flavors that garnishes give to your cocktails.
And, for your friends that don't drink alcohol or are the designated driver, there are non-alcoholic versions too. This is a very innovative and fun cocktail book that will let you experiment with new ideas and scents.
Written by: America's Test Kitchen
Whether you're a professional mixologist or just looking to shaking things up at your next party, this book has everything you need to make delicious drinks everyone will enjoy. With 150 recipes that range from your most simple drinks, to the most complex, this is a great book.
We especially love that there are two chapters that teach you how to do everything to cocktail onions, liqueurs, and mores. And the you get the perfect food pairing chapter too. Not only is it fun to learn how to build drinks step-by-step, identify key ingredients, and find recipes for all your favorite cocktails, you get something to eat with them.
This book is your perfect guide to crafting great cocktails!
Written by: Jim Meehan and Chris Gall
One of the most gorgeous cocktail books out there, the illustrations make it worth the purchase. To get "into" the book you have to go in a telephone booth and follow the story. And, of course find the recipes as you enter the speakeasy. One of the fun parts of this book is that it makes you feel like you are back in the days of prohibition and breaking the law.
Jim Meehan is one of the most respect mixologist in the world, and he skills shine brightly here. He has over 300 recipes here, all with a dash of his secret styles, for you to enjoy. Instead of just doing that, however, he writes about the equipment, the bar design and more to make your own place!
This is one of the most fun deep dives into the way you should make drinks, look, and create a special atmosphere.
Written by: Noah Rothbaum and David Wondrich
Okay, try to stay with us on this book. Not only does it have recipes on pretty much every drink you think there is, you are wrong. This book comes in at a whopping 864 pages, so you know that isn't nearly enough to satisfy your thirst for knowledge. We mean for drinks. We mean both.
This book looks at the evolution of not just spirits and cocktails, but how they are attached to the changes in humanity from the first day we walked the Earth. Not content with just one nation, it looks worldwide. This book also goes into how the alcohol is made, aged, distilled and, again, everything we know about it starting from day one.
This book may sound crazy, but it is researched and could be called a recipe history of humankind text book that is hilarious and fun. Imagine that!?!