The Best Cocktail Books to Read in 2021

8th January 2024

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Its been a strange old year, but while the world came to a standstill, furloughed bartenders were spending their time creating new cocktail recipes and perfecting the classics. Here are some of the very best cocktail books on the market, so that you can do the same.

The Joy of Mixology, Gary Regan

A great starter book for beginners to the craft, the Joy of Mixology has been written by expert cocktail creator, Gary Regan. The book begins with a little bit of history, before getting to the recipes. All the cocktails have been grouped into different categories, making it easier to remember the key ingredients. The book also includes some useful tips and tricks so that you are able to become a pro in no time!

Meehans Bartender Manual, Jim Meehan

One for the most serious of mixologists, this book leaves no cocktail stone unturned! A fantastically comprehensive guide to classic and modern drinks, you will delve deep into the backgrounds of some of the most important cocktail ingredients, while even the most experienced of bartenders will be sure to pick up some tips. Written by the founder of PDT in New York, Jim Meehan, this book takes knowledge from some of the most well-known bartenders in the trade.

Craft Cocktails at Home, Kevin Liu

A light-hearted look at some of the easiest beverages to recreate at home, this is a great book for those that need a good visual. Jam-packed with bright, inviting graphics, this book takes a good look at the individual parts of each cocktail. learn how to preserve garnishes and make the very best tasting water and get up-close-and-personal with each and every drink. This book would make a lovely gift for any aspiring bartender.

Liquid Intelligence, Dave Arnold

Learn the science behind cocktail creating with this beautiful beverage book. Encouraging you to get a bit experimental with your ingredients, this book gives you the knowledge and know-how to make your own signature drinks. Breaking down modern cocktail techniques and considering the theory behind some of the popular ingredient combinations, this book will change the way you look at your drinks.

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The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff

Considered to be one of the most important cocktail books for anyone serious about creating the finest cocktails, you will come back to the Craft of the Cocktail every time you have a drink-based question. It is written by one of the most notorious names in the industry, Dale DeGroff, who is widely credited for training some of the very best bartenders in the world. His knowledge is unparalleled, which is why any book he writes should be regarded with the respect it deserves!

Every mixologist should have an arsenal of cocktail books at their disposal to help them discover new flavour profiles and useful tips and tricks. These are some of the very best books for both amateurs and professionals, so start building your bartending library today!

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Bartender's top tip

Serving your cocktail in a chilled glass can greatly enhance its enjoyment, keeping it at the optimal temperature for longer. Simply fill the glass with ice and water to chill it while you prepare your drink, and then dump it out just before straining your cocktail into the glass. This is especially important for stirred, spirit-forward drinks like Martinis or Manhattans.

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