Best Cocktail Books

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Cocktail culture is thriving, and for both enthusiasts and those new to the art, owning a good cocktail book is a must. If you’re looking to perfect your cocktail-making skills or explore the tasty world of mixed drinks, we’ve got the very best publications in circulation coming up. From classic drinks like the Martini and the Old Fashioned to more modern creations like the Espresso Martini and the Aperol Spritz, the world of cocktails is vast and constantly evolving. Whether you’re a novice or an expert bartender, our selection of the best cocktail books has something for everyone to learn and grow from. 

Key Takeaways

Best Cocktail Books For Beginners/Classic Cocktails

Even though the following selection details the best cocktail books for beginners, all of the upcoming publications are sure to satisfy the needs of experienced mixologists as well. Nonetheless, each serves as a great entry point to the world of mixology. 

The Art of Mixology: Classic Cocktails and Curious Concoctions by Parragon Books

  • Total Recipes: 200+
  • Total Pages: 192
  • Recipes Preview: Firefly, BloodHound, Wedding Belle
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Cranberry Energizer
  • Affordability: High

The Art of Mixology: Classic Cocktails and Curious Concoctions by Parragon Books is a beautifully designed book that is packed with useful information for cocktail enthusiasts of all skill levels. Both experienced bartenders and novices will find endless value. Classic and modern cocktails are covered, with enough variety to suit any occasion or taste. Even non-alcohol cocktails are there. The reader is also taken through everything from garnishing to pre-drink prep. Out of all the books reviewed, one can expect to find some of the most detailed guidance concerning mixology around waiting between its pages. From technique to tried-and-tested recipes, it’ll leave you in awe. 

What makes The Art of Mixology special is just how clearly the entire guide is laid out and explained. From the inviting descriptions and easy instructions to the near-endless selection of tips that’ll help you forever onward, it’s a book that makes you want to make cocktails. All the quintessential classic drinks are there, with a massive selection of innovative and interesting creations that are sure to inspire new cocktails of your own too. For a complete, comprehensive discourse on drink making that you can’t go wrong with, regardless of skill, this is your book. 

About The Author: Parragon Books is a global publisher founded in 1988 with a wide variety of books in different categories, including cookbooks, children’s books, and reference books. The Bath, UK-based publishing leader, is renowned for high-quality design, gorgeous photography, and superb content.

How to Cocktail: Recipes and Techniques for Building the Best Drinks by America’s Test Kitchen

  • Total Recipes: 150
  • Total Pages: 272
  • Recipes Preview: French Kiss, Celery Gimlet, Asian Firecracker
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Sangria
  • Affordability: Moderate

How to Cocktail by America’s Test Kitchen is a fantastic guide to cocktail making with a distinct focus on technique. Detailed explanations of each step in the mixing process are provided, with tips for selecting the best ingredients and tools as well as a range of troubleshooting steps to address common issues. Complex drinks are broken down into precise instructions that make complex cocktail construction simple. Foolproof is the best way to describe the tasty selection of blends offered here. 

By the time you’re done reading through How to Cocktail by America’s Test Kitchen, you’ll know exactly how to stock your bar and assemble drinks in a cost-effective manner without any compromise on presentation or taste. The vast majority of recipes call for nothing more than fundamental ingredients, eliminating the need to source often-expensive, hard-to-find components. It’s easily one of the best starter books around for anyone interested in crafting their own delicious bar-quality creations at home. 

About The Author: America’s Test Kitchen is renowned for delivering no-nonsense information and technique-driven discourses concerning everything in the world of food and drink. ATK’s first cocktail book adopts the science-backed approach the establishment has become famous for, divulging everything readers could ever want to know about mixology. 

The Joy of Mixology, Revised and Updated Edition: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft by Gary Regan

  • Total Recipes: 200+
  • Total Pages: 352
  • Recipes Preview: Harvey Wallbanger, Nuclear Daiquiri, Corpse Reviver
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Jamaican Ten-Speed
  • Affordability: Low

The Joy of Mixology, Revised and Updated Edition: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft by Gary Regan is an essential reference book for any aspiring bartender. This revised edition includes updated info on the latest trends and techniques in the industry, as well as timeless advice and all the classic recipes anyone could hope for. The author supplies in-depth explanations of the history, ingredients, and techniques behind each cocktail, allowing readers to fully understand and appreciate the art of cocktail making. 

With a glossary of terms, a list of essential tools and ingredients, and tips for stocking a home bar, The Joy of Mixology is an invaluable resource for both home mixologists and professional bartenders to hone their craft. Many have described this excellent guidebook as a textbook to cocktails, and we cannot disagree. Learning how to make cocktails becomes far simpler when you’ve got something as comprehensive as this at hand. It’s one of those books that suits everyone from professionals to casual barflies taking an interest in mixed drinks. 

About The Author: Gary Regan, a celebrated bartender and writer boasts an extensive background in the mixology field. Although he passed away in 2019, Regan’s influential work continues to inspire countless bartenders and enthusiasts alike.

The Home Bartender, Second Edition: 175+ Cocktails Made with 4 Ingredients or Less (Cocktail Book, Easy Simple Recipes, Mixology, Bartending Tricks and Recipes) (The Art of Entertaining) by Shane Carley

  • Total Recipes: 175
  • Total Pages: 368
  • Recipes Preview: Tropical Storm, Martini Shooter, Long Island Express
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: End Of The Lime
  • Affordability: High

Every last cocktail in The Home Bartender, Second Edition, is a pleasure to make. Most are surprisingly affordable, too, given the simplistic construction. Yet, the results are second to none. The classic cocktails are cookie-cutter models to rely on, while interesting twists are added throughout to enliven old favorites. Its instructions are crystal clear thanks to the tasteful photography accompanying it and the humorous narrative guiding one through. All of the fabulous recipes are grouped by a handy index sorting according to liquor type, which makes finding new cocktails suited to your personal taste a breeze. 

Each section begins with an overview of the history and production of the spirit, as well as tips on how to select and store it properly. The Home Bartender is one of the most gorgeous cocktail books around and a publication that leaves no room for ambiguity. Every page lists an easy cocktail followed by a massive image of what to expect, with just enough detail to answer the reader’s questions and keep them enticed. 

About The Author: Shane Carley, an accomplished cocktail writer and mixologist demonstrates his expertise in crafting simple yet delicious drinks through every page of his brilliantly written books. Currently, the Granite State author is a content specialist for Matter Communications, a renowned brand elevation agency. 

The Bartender’s Bible: 1001 Mixed Drinks and Everything You Need to Know to Set Up Your Bar by Gary Regan

  • Total Recipes: 1001
  • Total Pages: 400
  • Recipes Preview: Dixie Dew, Narragansett, Metropolitan
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Black Pagoda
  • Affordability: Very High

The Bartender’s Bible: 1001 Mixed Drinks and Everything You Need to Know to Set Up Your Bar is an immense guide to cocktails and bartending that covers everything from the basics to advanced techniques. The book is divided into several sections, including an introduction to bartending, an overview of ingredients and equipment, and an extensive collection of cocktail recipes. It is incredibly comprehensive, spanning everything from the history of cocktails to the latest trends in bartending. 

With a glossary of cocktail terminology and a list of recommended bars and bartenders, it’s a go-to resource for anyone currently involved in the industry and home mixologists alike. Yet, despite the plethora of indispensable information concerning technique and setup, it’s the shot-by-shot recipes to over 1000 cocktails that’ll blow most readers away. Whether you’re looking for interesting new picks for any occasion or definitive classic recipes, The Bartender’s Bible is perfect. 

About The Author: Gary Regan, an esteemed bartender, and writer, left a lasting legacy in the mixology world with his invaluable insights and techniques. Though he passed away in 2019, his work remains influential, continuing to shape the bartender community from his home base in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York.

Best Contemporary/Modern Cocktail Books

The cocktail scene is constantly evolving, and modern cocktail books are a reflection of this change. With recipes that incorporate new ingredients and techniques, these books offer a fresh perspective on classic drinks, as well as new mixed drinks that are sure to impress.

The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

  • Total Recipes: 50+
  • Total Pages: 400
  • Recipes Preview: The Bay Rum, Dombey’s Last Word, Blushing Mary
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Dancing With The Green Fairy
  • Affordability: Moderate

The Drunken Botanist is more than just a recipe book – it’s a guide to the history, science, and culture of drinking. This entertaining and informative one-of-a-kind book explores the relationship between plants and alcohol. It is divided into three main sections. The first discusses the botanical origins of booze. The second looks at the specific plants used in cocktail making. Finally, the third provides a comprehensive list of botanical ingredients and their uses in drinks. There aren’t as many cocktail recipes as in other books, but each is a true step above what one would expect. 

Each and every gardener with an interest in cocktails simply has to have The Drunken Botanist at their disposal. It will change the way you plant and grow, as well as the manner in which you create cocktail components and blend drinks. Those completely new to botany and mixology may find this book a little daunting, but it is nonetheless a complete discourse on every connection that plants have to cocktails. Growing information, fermentation, and core cocktail fundamentals are wonderfully explained with endless insight awaiting advanced users. 

About The Author: Amy Stewart, an acclaimed New York Times bestselling author, and gardener, skillfully intertwines her love for plants and spirits. Stewart currently resides in Eureka, California, where she continues to write, educate, and inspire others through her captivating books and talks.

Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan & Nick Fauchald

  • Total Recipes: 500+
  • Total Pages: 320
  • Recipes Preview: Morning Buzz, Pink Lady, Sentimental Journey
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Night Owl
  • Affordability: Low

Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails is a beautifully designed cocktail book that is a must-have for any serious mixologist. It details everything from classic cocktails to innovative, fresh, ultra-modern creations, with foolproof instructions explaining how to create the perfect drink every time. What makes this book a true treasure is the cutting-edge approach to cocktail making combined with gorgeous photography. Few other mixology handbooks can compare to the sheer brilliance of each recipe’s construction and presentation, or the efficiency of the methodology. 

One can easily consider Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails to be the definitive bible of modern cocktails. Readers will be introduced to all new techniques, ingredients, and mixed drinks, broadening their know-how and insight into potential flavor combinations. Even if you have a well-stocked bar, expect to have to hunt down a few new exotic ingredients. However, the effort and expenditure to produce fresh cocktails of this quality are well worth it. 

About The Author: David Kaplan and Nick Fauchald, co-authors and innovative mixologists, have left an indelible mark on the cocktail scene. Both authors currently contribute to the growth of the ever-popular Death & Co brand, with locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Denver, where they continue to redefine modern mixology.

Tequila Mockingbird (10th Anniversary Expanded Edition): Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federie & Lauren Mortimer

  • Total Recipes: 70
  • Total Pages: 168
  • Recipes Preview: A Brave New Swirled, Moby-Drink, Drankenstein
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Rye And Prejudice
  • Affordability: Moderate

Tequila Mockingbird is a cocktail recipe book and one of the most entertaining homages to classic literature written. The clever puns and references to beloved books make for a delightful read, even if you never mix a single drink. Each and every recipe is inspired by a literary classic and comes with a tale that entices the reader to try it out. The 10th anniversary expanded edition of the book includes additional recipes that are sure to become timeless, as well as a new section dedicated to alcohol-free mocktails, raising the value of a collection already considered gold considerably.

Even though other spirits are covered, this is a book that leans heavily on tequila-based cocktails. Yet, the insight offered imbues the reader with tips that they’ll carry across to all cocktail-making to come even if it’s not mezcal or tequila. Tequila Mockingbird is easily one of the most amusing cocktail books any reader will find. It lists both classic drinks and bar snacks, with easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations accompanying each creation. The drink names and anecdotes will make you cry out with laughter, but it’s the superlative flavor of each that’ll keep you coming back to try more. 

About The Author: Tim Federle, an accomplished writer and cocktail enthusiast, teamed up with illustrator Lauren Mortimer to create unique literary-inspired concoctions. Federle currently resides in New York City, where he continues to delight readers with his wit and creativity.

Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki by Martin Cate & Rebecca Cate

  • Total Recipes: 100+
  • Total Pages: 352
  • Recipes Preview: Golden Gun, Merciless Virgin, Jet Pilot
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Scorpion
  • Affordability: Moderate

Smuggler’s Cove is an intriguing dive into the world of tiki culture and rum-based cocktails. Readers can look forward to a good balance of history and practical information, with sections dedicated to tiki culture’s evolution and the development of rum, as well as recipes for both modern and classic cocktails. Every last page, illustration, and photograph captures the essence of tiki to perfection. You’ll have to look long and hard to find an exploration of rum that’s as exhaustive. 

The curated rum cocktails are true gems, while all the world’s most famous concoctions are also waiting. There’s also rum-making and an in-depth look at rum-based flavor profiles. Smuggler’s Cove excels in the realm of Tiki history and rum knowledge, but the practical advice on creating an immersive Tiki experience is where it shines. Readers are presented not just cocktails but rather how to design a home Tiki bar, guidance on hosting Tiki-themed parties, and even instructions for crafting homemade Tiki mugs. 

About The Authors: Experts in the world of exotic cocktails and tiki culture, Martin and Rebecca Cate co-founded the acclaimed San Francisco bar, Smuggler’s Cove. The Cates continue to share their passion for rum and tiki while officiating countless rum & cocktail competitions across the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.

Imbibe! Updated and Revised Edition: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar by David Wondrich

  • Total Recipes: 100+
  • Total Pages: 384
  • Recipes Preview: Kansas City Star, Mai Thai, Sunrise Tequila
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Weeper’s Joy
  • Affordability: Moderate

Imbibe! Updated and Revised Edition pays homage to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, a pioneer in the American bar scene. This well-researched and comprehensive book transports readers back to the 19th-century world of cocktails, recounting the stories and experiences of the influential bartender. The author expertly blends historical facts with an engaging narrative, providing readers with an immersive and entertaining journey into the past. Its primary focus is the presentation and adaptation of Thomas’s original cocktail recipes, but the essence of early mixology is clearly conveyed.

Imbibe! meticulously breaks down each recipe, providing modern ingredient substitutions and insights into Thomas’s methods. In addition to its focus on recipes, this exceptional historical cookbook explores the broader context of 19th-century cocktail culture, delving into the bartender’s role within society and the impact of the American bar on social interactions. Between the insightful analysis and colorful commentary, all new life is breathed into the fascinating world of early American mixology, making this a must-have for any serious mixologist looking for context and a fundamental backing of understanding to the craft. 

About The Author: An esteemed mixologist and historian, David Wondrich is known for his extensive research on the history of American cocktails. Wondrich, a James Beard Award-winning author and former Professor of Shakespeare, currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, where he continues to enlighten readers.

Best Advanced Cocktail Books

Whether you’re a professional bartender or a home mixologist looking to up your game, advanced cocktail books provide endless inspiration and knowledge to perfect your craft. Here are the very best cocktail books in circulation for those with a definite degree of experience in mixology. 

Meehan’s Bartender Manual: [A Cocktail Reference and Recipe Book] by Jim Meehan

  • Total Recipes: 100+
  • Total Pages: 488
  • Recipes Preview: Bar High Five, Blood, And Sand, Five Island Flamingo
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Le Syndicat
  • Affordability: High

Meehan’s Bartender Manual is a comprehensive guide that goes beyond the realm of basic cocktail recipes and simple mixology. This exceptional resource delves into the intricacies of bartending as a profession and art form, providing readers with valuable insights and expert advice. It is divided into two main sections. First, it covers the theoretical aspects of bartending, such as bar design, equipment, spirits, and mixology techniques. The author also delves into the lesser-known facets of running a successful bar, like menu creation, staff management, and financial planning. There are even bar blueprints for aspiring or existing owners. 

The holistic approach distinguishes Meehan’s Bartender Manual from other cocktail books in circulation. No aspect of bartending is left out. The second section presents an extensive array of cocktail recipes, encompassing classic and modern creations. Personal twists on traditional recipes showcase the author’s skill as a mixologist while serving as fantastic models for building new creations upon. If you want to elevate your cocktail-making and bar game, this is most definitely the book for you. 

About The Author: Jim Meehan, a renowned bartender and author has gained recognition for his profound knowledge of mixology. Now based in Portland, Oregon, Meehan continues to inspire and educate through his work as a partner in Banks Rum and Mixography Inc. while also serving as a consulting bartender for firms across the country.

Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold

  • Total Recipes: 120+
  • Total Pages: 416
  • Recipes Preview: Blackthorn, Bee’s Knees, Kentucky Kernel
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Lemon Pepper Fizz
  • Affordability: Low

Liquid Intelligence is an enthralling exploration of the art and science behind creating flawless, stunning cocktails. This groundbreaking book offers a fresh perspective on mixology, marrying scientific principles with innovative techniques. The author delves into lesser-known aspects of cocktail-making, such as the significance of temperature control, the influence of acidity, and the importance of texture. He also shares inventive techniques, including the use of specialized equipment like centrifuges and immersion circulators to achieve unparalleled results. This scientific approach provides readers with a solid foundation to refine their mixology skills.

Complete with captivating visuals and insightful explanations, Liquid Intelligence is an invaluable resource for those passionate about the world of cocktails and eager to learn more about the science and artistry behind them. Each recipe is accompanied by explanations that are among the most practical and easy to understand, as well as stunning visuals. The classics are infallible, while its array of avant-garde concoctions is sure to impress too. Whether you’re a professional or an enthusiast, this is one book you’re sure to fall in love with. 

About The Author: As an impressively innovative mixologist and educator, Dave Arnold excels at blending the worlds of science and mixology. Arnold, the founder of New York City’s famed Booker and Dax bar, pushes the boundaries of cocktail creation while continually imparting his knowledge through local workshops and seminars.

Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions [A Cocktail Recipe Book] by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald & David Kaplan

  • Total Recipes: 500
  • Total Pages: 320
  • Recipes Preview: Exit Strategy, Stinger, Jack Rose
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Root Beer-Infused Cocchi Americano
  • Affordability: Moderate

Cocktail Codex, authored by the masterminds behind the esteemed Death & Co. bar, is a groundbreaking work that has come to be accepted as one of the best cocktail books ever created. The book’s unique approach to mixology focuses on the six fundamental cocktails—Old-Fashioned, Martini, Daiquiri, Sidecar, Whiskey Highball, and Flip. These basic mixed drinks serve as the foundation for all other cocktail creations. This practical approach empowers readers to grasp the underlying principles of mixology, enabling them to create an endless array of customized drinks easily. 

The authors delve deep into the history and techniques of each foundational cocktail, revealing uncommon facts and invaluable tips to perfect the art of mixology. In addition to the core recipes, they present numerous variations and evolutions, demonstrating how a basic formula can be adapted to suit different tastes and occasions. Cocktail Codex also supplies practical guidance on selecting the right tools, ingredients, and glassware, as well as advice on constructing a well-stocked home bar from scratch. Between the stunning photography and elegant design, it is a pleasure to read, while it’s clear, concise explanations ensure that even beginners can master the art of cocktail making.

About The Authors: Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, esteemed mixologists and authors, are the creative minds behind the acclaimed Death & Co brand. The trio continues to shape the modern cocktail scene through their trendy New York, Los Angeles, and Denver establishments, breathing new life into the art of mixology.

The Bartender’s Manifesto: How to Think, Drink, and Create Cocktails Like a Pro by Toby Maloney & Emma Janzen

  • Total Recipes: Unspecified
  • Total Pages: 320
  • Recipes Preview: Eeyore’s Requiem, Daywalker, Root Of All Evil
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Goodbye Now Ta Ta Then
  • Affordability: High

The Bartender’s Manifesto sets itself apart from other cocktail books with its innovative approach to teaching the art of mixology. By focusing on the creative thought processes and techniques employed by professional bartenders instead of linear methodology alone, this exceptional guide goes beyond the usual recipe collections, offering a deeper understanding of cocktail creation. It is filled with wisdom and expertise that’ll elevate the cocktail-making abilities of even the most skilled bartenders. 

Even hospitality in a home and professional setting is covered in extreme detail. There are few books that can compare to the practical know-how that The Bartender’s Manifesto puts forth across all avenues of mixology. Cocktail making is taught in such a way that a complete beginner will be confident in starting, but everything from the basics to advanced techniques is put forth in such a way that the reader understands the composition in its totality while sincerely growing passion for the craft as they learn. 

About The Authors: Renowned mixologist Toby Maloney and award-winning spirits writer Emma Janzen join forces to share their expertise in the world of cocktails. Beverage director at Mother’s Ruin and Loverboy in New York and head mixologist of The Violet Hour, Maloney, has been an acclaimed leader in the industry for over 25 years while Janzen is one of Austin’s most renowned columnists and a James Beard-award-winning cookbook author. 

The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique (Cocktail Book with Cocktail Recipes, Mixology Book for Bartending): Elements of Cocktail Technique by Jeffrey Morgenthaler & Alanna Hale

  • Total Recipes: 60+
  • Total Pages: 288
  • Recipes Preview: Japanese Cocktail, Thyme-Infused Cointreau, Vesper
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Blue Blazer
  • Affordability: Low

Unlike many other cocktail guides that focus solely on recipes, The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique goes a step further by exploring the core techniques and skills needed to craft truly amazing beverages. It is filled with tricks of the trade, although a couple has been criticized for a lack of scientific explanations. Still, the author’s knowledge is unquestionable, for the most part. Even though this book is suited to beginners, a great deal of knowledge is assumed, which means a little extra research may be needed. With this being said, it is also one of the few books that cover creating your own ingredients for cocktails at home in extreme detail. 

If you’re on the hunt for a cocktail guide that dives deep into technique, The Bar Book is perfect for you. From the seemingly simplest steps that often go wrong, such as how to shake a cocktail and the different types of shakers available, to the nuances of flavor combinations, rimming glasses, and the like, this book has it all. It’s all the advanced information a devoted mixologist could ever hope for and more. 

About The Author: Jeffrey Morgenthaler, a prominent bartender, and author, teams up with photographer Alanna Hale to elevate the art of cocktail creation. Morgenthaler continues to inspire as Bar Manager at Portland’s Clyde Common and Pépé Le Moko, while San Francisco-based Hale captures the essence of food and drink through her lens.

Best Themed & Celebrity Cocktail Books

The world of cocktails has always been closely linked to the world of literature, with many famous writers, artists, and celebrities creating their own signature drinks. Here are the very best themed and celebrity cocktail books available to those looking for innovation and creativity themed to their tastes. 

The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem: The Story of John Morrissey and the World’s Best Cocktail Menu by Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry & Jillian Vose

  • Total Recipes: 90
  • Total Pages: 288
  • Recipes Preview: Eidolon, Lucky Break, Tinderbox
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Gadabout
  • Affordability: Low

The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem is an extraordinary cocktail book designed as a graphic novel that shares not only an extensive collection of world-class recipes but also the captivating story of John Morrissey, an Irish immigrant turned legendary bare-knuckle boxer. As readers explore the book, they are immersed in the tale of Morrissey’s life, which is artfully intertwined with a plethora of remarkable cocktail concoctions. All the world-renowned New York City bar’s best creations are there, with tips that’ll leave you wondering how you ever went without them. 

Although many of the recipes in The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem call for a well-stocked bar, there are no ingredients that are overly exotic and difficult to source. The storytelling alone that portrays each cocktail as a charismatic hero or villain makes this book a must-have for all cocktail aficionados and bar fans alike. Clever, creative, and endlessly inspiring, this is one comic book that every adult who appreciates alcohol will want to own.

About The Authors: Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry, and Jillian Vose, the talented team behind the award-winning Dead Rabbit Bar in New York City, share their passion for mixology and storytelling. As industry leaders operating one of the best Irish pubs in the world, the trio continually pushes the boundaries of cocktail innovation. 

Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music and Mixed Drinks by Andre Darlington & Tenaya Darlington

  • Total Recipes: 70
  • Total Pages: 224
  • Recipes Preview: Velvet Hammer, Matador, Hanky Panky
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: The Peter Piper
  • Affordability: Moderate

Audiophiles and cocktail enthusiasts will find immense value in Booze & Vinyl. This extraordinary guide takes readers on a journey through the worlds of great music and mixed drinks. The authors pair classic albums with delicious cocktails. Each pairing includes an iconic record, an exploration of its cultural significance, and thoughtfully curated cocktail recipes inspired by the album. Pairings are organized into four base categories, namely rock, dance, chill and seduce, with ample music and drink combinations to suit every taste and mood. 

Music spanning the 1950s to the 2000s is showcased, and the mixes are nothing short of inspiring. Not only does each cocktail taste great, but it truly suits the mood and style of each record it’s paired to. Booze & Vinyl is a one-of-a-kind cocktail book that’s sure to be a hit at any party. Every recipe is a no-fail gem explained simplistically, with results that are sure to wow even the most jaded mixologist. Those taken by this brilliant book simply cannot miss the second edition either. 

About The Authors: Sibling duo Andre Darlington and Tenaya Darlington combine their love for music and cocktails, creating a unique experience for readers. Tenaya, an associate professor of English, and Andrew, who grew up with vinyl center stage in his home, present the quintessential guide to cocktails relative to musical preferences. To get a better idea of what to expect, be sure to check out their blog, Madame Fromage

Trejo’s Cantina: Cocktails, Snacks & Amazing Non-Alcoholic Drinks from the Heart of Hollywood by Danny Trejo & Hugh Garvey

  • Total Recipes: 100
  • Total Pages: 224
  • Recipes Preview: Agua Fresca, Tamarind Fizz, Cacao Chili Smoothie
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Oaxacan Moscow Mule
  • Affordability: Moderate

Trejo’s Cantina takes readers on a delightful culinary adventure through the heart of Hollywood, showcasing the diverse flavors and enticing beverage offerings from Danny Trejo’s popular Los Angeles-based cantina. This cookbook presents a collection of unique cocktails, scrumptious snacks, and delectable non-alcoholic drinks, providing an authentic taste of the ever-popular actor’s renowned establishment. Every recipe is a prime example of the food and drinks enjoyed by countless Angelenos every day at its best.

Roughly half of Trejo’s Cantina is dedicated to cocktails, whereas the rest covers culinary creations and snacks. Expect to find cantina fare that’s a step-above common cuisine and cocktails showcasing a distinctly Mexican flare. It is also one of the few books that caters to gluten-free living and vegans, as well as those who do not consume alcohol. For a family-friendly cocktail book that doesn’t disappoint, look no further. 

About The Authors: Iconic actor and restaurateur Danny Trejo joins forces with food writer Hugh Garvey to share the flavors of Hollywood’s Trejo’s Cantina. Both Trejo and Garvey delight fans with their inventive cocktails, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks that celebrate the spirit of Los Angeles and the personal tastes of the iconic movie star.

Can I Mix You a Drink?: A Cocktail Book of 50 Drink Recipes Inspired by T-Pain’s Music by T-PAIN & Maxwell Britten

  • Total Recipes: 50
  • Total Pages: 144
  • Recipes Preview: Shawty, 1 Up, 5 O’Clock
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: The Cyclone
  • Affordability: Moderate

Can I Mix You a Drink? transports readers into a world of high-end cocktails and captivating music, expertly combining T-Pain’s celebrated artistry with the co-creator of The Liquor Cabinet alcohol encyclopedia app and award-winning bartender Maxwell Britten’s mixology prowess. Fans of the iconic hip-hop artist will find the most value from this innovative cookbook, but between the stunning drink photography and inspiringly fresh cocktail composition, there’s tons of info and guidance for those unfamiliar with the star’s music too.

If it’s upscale alcoholic beverages you’re looking for, Can I Mix You a Drink? offers the synergy of artistry and technique that’ll keep you coming back. The book itself, in print, is a striking publication, sporting elegant touches like glossy black pages, a faux leather hardcover, gold foil lacing, and embossed monograms. Yet, even the digital edition is a beauty to behold too. Expect elevated classic cocktails of equal caliber to the superlative publishing showcased, with recipe composition that’s sure to conjure up endless new ideas of the reader’s own creation. 

About The Authors: Grammy-winning artist T-PAIN collaborates with esteemed bartender Maxwell Britten to create a spirited collection of cocktail recipes inspired by music. The hip-hop superstar and host of the hit MTV show Most Expensivest delivers a range of fine cocktails that exemplify luxury to the extreme.  

Düngeonmeister: 75 Epic RPG Cocktail Recipes to Shake Up Your Campaign (Ultimate Role Playing Game Series) by Jef Aldrich & Jon Taylor

  • Total Recipes: 75
  • Total Pages: 160
  • Recipes Preview: Three Halflings In A Trench Coat, Dark Elf, Gnomish Gnightcap
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Potion Of Glibness
  • Affordability: Moderate

Düngeonmeister: 75 Epic RPG Cocktail Recipes to Shake Up Your Campaign intertwines mixology and fantasy in a delightful and immersive way that’s sure to appeal to tabletop gamers and fantasy fans alike. With inventive recipes designed to complement any role-playing game (RPG) session, this fun cocktail book provides an array of tantalizing mixed drinks that are as quirky in their naming, description, and composition as they are tasty. Adventure and refreshment unite in this exceptional guide, making it a must-have addition to any RPG enthusiast’s collection.

Inspired by beloved games and their distinctive worlds and mythos, this authentically tabletop-themed cookbook masterfully weaves creative cocktail concepts with the enchanting essence of fantasy realms. All of the recipes are excellent aids to any gamer’s campaign but are equally as inventive and flavorful when considered as regular cocktails. Between the wit, engaging anecdotes, and clever approach to craft cocktails, Düngeonmeister may be aimed at Dungeons & Dragons fans, but it’s good enough to satisfy the cravings of any connoisseur. 

About The Authors: Jef Aldrich and Jon Taylor, the imaginative duo behind Düngeonmeister, ingeniously blend the worlds of cocktails and role-playing games. The professional ever-popular podcasters from San Diego convey years of experience in gaming and drink mixing to create one of the most entertaining mixology books around.

Best Cocktail Recipe Encyclopedias

The best cocktail recipe encyclopedias provide detailed instructions and ingredient lists for classic and contemporary cocktails, making it easy to create a wide range of drinks. They also offer a wealth of information on the history of cocktails, the different types of spirits and liqueurs, and the tools and techniques of the trade. From the novice home bartender to the experienced mixologist, these books are an invaluable resource for anyone looking to expand their cocktail repertoire. 

The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails (Cocktail Book, Bartender Book, Mixology Book, Mixed Drinks Recipe Book) by Mittie Hellmich

  • Total Recipes: 1000+
  • Total Pages: 476
  • Recipes Preview: Kentucky Champagne Cocktail, Japanese Fizz, Moonshot
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Orange Sake Mimosa
  • Affordability: High

The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails is an indispensable resource for anyone who loves mixing drinks, hosting events, or is simply seeking to refine their mixology skills. Boasting an impressive collection of recipes, this guide offers an exhaustive exploration covering the full scope of modern mixology. From timeless classics to innovative concoctions, there’s no style of drink that you won’t find. You’ll learn exactly how to make each of the cocktails beyond a shadow of a doubt without needing to delve into intricacies if you don’t want to, thanks to the clarity of the base recipes. Experienced readers will be happy to know that ample advanced tips are waiting too. , 

While the gigantic selection of recipes is undeniably impressive, The Ultimate Bar Book goes above and beyond in its pursuit to educate readers on the art and science of mixology. Comprehensive chapters on techniques, tools, and ingredients ensure that readers are well-versed in the essentials of cocktail creation. The illustrations depicting every last part of making the mouthwatering cocktails featured are pure gold to newcomers and experienced mixologists alike, while each recipe could easily be considered the best in its class. 

About The Author: Mittie Hellmich, a celebrated mixologist, and author, has garnered acclaim for her comprehensive approach to the world of cocktails. Based in Oregon, Hellmich continues to inspire budding bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts, sealing her title as the mistress of mixology forever more. 

The New Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Think Like a Master Mixologist, with 500 Recipes by Dale DeGroff

  • Total Recipes: 500
  • Total Pages: 256
  • Recipes Preview: Green Destiny, Golden Dawn, Paradise Cocktail
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Honeymoon Cocktail
  • Affordability: Moderate

The New Craft of the Cocktail is largely considered to be one of the most influential cocktail books ever published. Well over three-quarters of its pages are filled with cocktail recipes, whereas the rest cover cocktail history and bar management briefly. The rich history of mixology is woven throughout. Brief but intriguing stories explaining each drink give the reader a deeper appreciation for the art of mixology. It’s a book that assumes a storytelling approach without losing the reader in rhetoric and anecdotes, making it an extremely comfortable and captivating read.  

As a cocktail encyclopedia, you can’t go wrong with The New Craft of the Cocktail, but instead of delivering recipes alone, the passion behind cocktail making is clearly conveyed as well. While the recipe selection will draw most in, all the fundamental techniques behind modern mixology are concisely detailed too. Whether you’re looking for insight, inspiration, or recipes alone, this is one discourse that over-delivers. 

About The Author: Dale DeGroff, known as the King of Cocktails, elevates the craft of mixology with his unparalleled expertise. DeGroff, largely accepted to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on cocktails, rose to acclaim as the chief bartender of the Rainbow Room at New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Today, the author and Beverage Alcohol Resource group partner serves as the founder and president of the Museum of the American Cocktail based in New Orleans. 

The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails by David Wondrich & Noah Rothbaum

  • Total Recipes: +-1150
  • Total Pages: 864
  • Recipes Preview: Manhattan, Sloe Gin, Martini
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Negroni
  • Affordability: Low

The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails offers readers an expansive and well-researched encyclopedia that details every last aspect of the world of spirits and mixed drinks. A standout feature of this tome is its thorough exploration of the histories and stories surrounding spirits and cocktails, in addition to the fundamental recipes. There are few books that delve into all connected facets of cocktail making as deeply as this well-structured gem. Navigating the encyclopedia is a pleasure, and readers will seldom ever encounter any difficulties finding the recipes and/or information they seek. 

Readers are taken through the total evolution of spirits and cocktails, with development traced down to its roots. The inclusion of rare and obscure spirits and lesser-known anecdotes concerning cocktails make this a superb guidebook to the art in its entirety. The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails’ structure and design contribute significantly to its appeal. It is organized in such a manner that it allows readers to easily navigate its content and find guidance or recipes in a flash, while the visually pleasing design creates a reading experience that’s second to none. It’s about as close to a must-have as you get for anyone serious about expanding their knowledge of spirits and cocktails. 

About The Authors: Esteemed cocktail historians David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum combine their knowledge to create a definitive guide for spirits and cocktails. Wondrich, the senior drinks columnist for American news site The Daily Beast, and Rothbaum, former editor-in-chief for, together have created a cocktail book that leaves no stone unturned. 

Best No And Low-Alcohol Cocktail Books

The rise of the no and low-alcohol cocktail trend has been rapidly gaining momentum in recent years, and it’s no surprise that more and more cocktail books are being published to cater to this market. These books not only appeal to those who want to reduce their alcohol intake but also to those who want to try something new and exciting of equal caliber to anything alcoholic. Here are the best mocktail cocktail books available. If you enjoy non-boozy cocktails, give our refreshing watermelon mocktail a try. You won’t be disappointed. 

Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason by Julia Bainbridge

  • Total Recipes: Unspecified
  • Total Pages: 176
  • Recipes Preview: Blackberry Cold Brew Colada, Dollar Slice, Buckwheat Champagne
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Shimeji Mushroom Elixir
  • Affordability: High

Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason is an exceptional resource for those seeking intriguing and complex alcohol-free drink options. The author skillfully demonstrates the vast possibilities of non-alcoholic ingredients, delving into unique flavor combinations and techniques that transform ordinary drinks into sophisticated creations of equal and greater caliber to traditional booze-based drinks.

There are zero-proof cocktails for every occasion and mealtime featured. From digestive aperitifs to alcohol-free recreations of all the classics and most modern drinks, Good Drinks over-delivers in terms of variety and quality. Keep in mind almost all of the non-alcoholic cocktails featured are rather complex and will take some planning ahead. However, the effort and expenditure will prove itself well worth it over and over again. Not everything is easy to source, but the end results are exemplary. 

About The Author: Julia Bainbridge, an accomplished writer, and editor who has famously worked at Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Yahoo Food, and Atlanta magazine, expertly delves into the world of alcohol-free drinks. Bainbridge’s work has been recognized with a James Beard Award nomination, and she continues to influence the industry from her hometown of Atlanta.

Mocktails by Caroline Hwang

  • Total Recipes: 80+
  • Total Pages: 192
  • Recipes Preview: Lychee-tini, Hibiscus Lime Slush, Coconut-Turmeric Rejuvenator
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Sumac Sour
  • Affordability: Low

Mocktails is a zero-alcohol cocktail book that emphasizes the importance of fresh, high-quality ingredients and unique flavor combinations. With clear instructions and incredible photography depicting what results to aim for, readers will be blown away by just how much information concerning creating stunning mocktails is covered. Alongside the recipes, the author thoughtfully includes tips for garnishing, glassware selection, and presentation, fully expounding the art of crafting mocktails. Its array of drinks caters to a wide range of palates, ensuring that everyone will find a recipe that resonates with them or the occasion being enjoyed.

Opt for Mocktails if you’re looking for a collection of alcohol-free drinks that takes the art to a whole new level. They’re definitely not the easiest to construct, and very specific ingredients are needed, but every last recipe is an inspired creation that will wow both conventional cocktail drinkers and sober individuals alike. It pushes the boundaries of traditional zero-proof recipes by incorporating ingredients like herbs, spices, and fruit to create refreshing, well-balanced drinks that few would think of making out of their own.

About The Author: As a skilled food stylist and recipe developer, Caroline Hwang brings her famous culinary talents to the realm of non-alcoholic beverages. The Los Angeles writer, previously featured in publications like Glamour, Redbook, American Health, and Good Housekeeping, continues to inspire with a fresh approach to contemporary no-alcohol mixology.  

Mocktail Party: 75 Plant-Based, Non-Alcoholic Mocktail Recipes for Every Occasion by Diana Licalzi RD CDCES & Kerry Benson

  • Total Recipes: 75
  • Total Pages: 176
  • Recipes Preview: Basic Mock-Jito, Zero-Proof Sparkling Wine, Bee Sting Mock-A-Rita
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Summer Jam Fresca
  • Affordability: Moderate

Mocktail Party redefines the mocktail experience with its focus on plant-based ingredients and healthy ingredient choices, offering readers a delightful and sophisticated alternative to traditional non-alcoholic beverages. The authors have combined their expertise in nutrition and mixology to create a uniquely informative guide focused on healthy drinks. Unlike many other sans-alcohol cocktail books, these recipes are low in sugar and free from processed sodas and similarly artificial components. 

Not only does Mocktail Party provide an extensive array of delicious mocktails, but it also thoughtfully integrates advice on healthy living, healthy drink construction, and the benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle. Every recipe is simple enough for beginners to pull off without needing exotic ingredients or advanced insight and equipment. There are several classic cocktails that you won’t find listed, but it’s this brilliant book’s countless new drinks that you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with and keep coming back to. 

About The Authors: Diana Licalzi, RD CDCES, and Kerry Benson are registered dietitians passionate about crafting healthy, plant-based mocktails. Benson, a qualified neuroscientist, and Benson are together known as The Sober Dieticians, and both publish and blog about some of the best sans-alcohol cocktails ever seen. 

Best Print-Only Cocktail Books

In the digital age, where everything is available online, print-only cocktail books are a rarity that should be cherished. These books offer a nostalgic charm and a wealth of knowledge that cannot be found anywhere else. Each is a joy to behold and a treasure to have on hand, with both publication quality and the sheer quality of information standing a step above the rest. 

Regarding Cocktails (From Legendary Bartender, Sasha Petraske) by Sasha Petraske & Georgette Moger-Petraske

  • Total Recipes: 85
  • Total Pages: 256
  • Recipes Preview: Pisco Sour, Faker Face, The Seaplane
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: The Gold Rush
  • Affordability: Low

Regarding Cocktails is a thoughtful tribute to the late Sasha Patraske’s legendary bartending career. The intimate personal stories shared by the author offer a glimpse into the life of a visionary mixologist. There’s a distinct focus on cocktail craftsmanship and the artistry behind creating stunning, delicious drinks. It is a book that details the craft so well that even complete beginners will understand completely how to put together bar-quality drinks with enough insight instilled for them to create their own completely new recipes.

Although the cocktail recipes are second-to-none, it is the way that the author focuses on the history and philosophy of mixology that makes this book so intriguing. The tips and tricks for creating the perfect cocktail, such as the proper use of ice and the importance of balancing sweet and sour flavors, are among the best found anywhere. Storytelling, while sincere and motivating, is kept concise, with attention given to the process and construction of each stunning cocktail instead. Out of the many classics out there, Regarding Cocktails is one iconic edition that every serious cocktail enthusiast simply has to have in print. 

About The Authors: The late Sasha Petraske, legendary bartender and founder of Milk & Honey, profoundly influenced the cocktail world. Georgette Moger-Petraske, his widow, continues his legacy by writing and celebrating the art of mixology.

The Aviary Cocktail Book by Nick Kokonas, Allen Hemberger, Achatz Grant

  • Total Recipes: 115+
  • Total Pages: 440
  • Recipes Preview: Corpse Survivor, Remember The Maine, Green Thumb
  • The Best Recipe We Want To Try: Branding Iron
  • Affordability: Very Low

The Aviary Cocktail Book is a visual masterpiece that takes the cocktail experience to a whole new level. Expect not just a collection of recipes but rather a journey into the world of creativity and imagination fueling the art of mixology itself. The stunning photography and detailed descriptions of each cocktail provide insight into the unique ingredients and techniques used to create true masterpieces, and every last recipe’s composition is pure gold. Modern cocktail-making doesn’t get better than this. 

Potential readers will be happy to know that The Aviary Cocktail Book is also one of the few guides to molecular gastronomy available to home bartenders and mixologists. To harness its insight to the fullest, specialized equipment and ingredients will be needed, but there is no more complete nor compelling set of guidelines available in print. If you already have a background in drink mixing, alcoholic or otherwise, this is the opus that you need to open up all new avenues of goodness and greatness in cocktail making. 

About The Authors: Co-founder of Alinea, Next, and The Aviary, Nick Kokonas, collaborates with Grant Achatz, a visionary chef, and Allen Hemberger, a talented multimedia artist, to revolutionize modern mixology. The trio continues to push culinary boundaries from their Chicago base.


Best Cocktail Books – Frequently Asked Questions

Have you been left wondering anything about cocktails and mixology? We may have the answers you’re looking for here. 

What Is The World’s Best Cocktail?

The best cocktail in the world is a largely subjective matter. However, the classic Margarita is the planet’s most-ordered cocktail. The Margarita is a timeless mixed drink that has been around for almost a century. It is a simple yet elegant drink made with just tequila, lime juice, and triple sec or Cointreau. Its sweet and sour combination with the distinct kick of tequila makes it a refreshing and satisfying drink that appeals to a variety of tastes and settings. Endlessly customizable, the Margarita has been with us since the late 1940s and continues to remain a leading favorite. All who favor the flavor of this ever-popular drink simply have to check out our overview of the best Italian margaritas

What Are The 6 Key Cocktails?

The six key cocktails are considered to be the foundation of classic cocktail making and are essential for any aspiring bartender or home mixologist to master. These cocktails include the Daiquiri, the Margarita, the Old Fashioned, the Martini, the Manhattan, and the Whiskey Sour. The Daiquiri, made with rum, lime juice, and sugar, is a simple and refreshing drink. The Margarita, with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec, is the most popular cocktail in the world. The Old Fashioned made with whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a twist of citrus, is a classic drink that has stood the test of time. The Martini, with gin or vodka and vermouth, is a sophisticated and elegant creation. The Manhattan, with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, is a bold and flavorful drink. The Whiskey Sour, made with whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar, is a tangy and sweet drink that is perfect for any occasion and most palates.

What Are The Basic Cocktails Every Bartender Should Know?

Essentially, every bartender needs to know how to make the six key cocktails accepted to be fundamental to mixology, namely the Daiquiri, the Margarita, the Old Fashioned, the Martini, the Manhattan, and the Whiskey Sour. However, there are also several other drinks considered to be essential. A top pick globally is the Negroni which is a simple but sophisticated blend of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. The Sidecar, made with brandy, lemon juice, and triple sec, is another classic that’s always in demand. The Sazerac, an iconic New Orleans cocktail made with rye whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters, sugar, and absinthe, is also a staple. Other indispensable mixed drinks include the Moscow Mule, made with vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer, and the French 75, a champagne cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, and sugar. For even more timeless favorites commonly ordered, learn the Tom Collins, Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitan, Mojito, and Mai Thai as well.

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