The 5 Best Cocktail Books of 2023

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8th January 2024

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Looking to update your cocktail library? There are some classic cocktail books that you absolutely must have on your bookcase and some brand-new ones that will spice up your cocktail-making game. Bartending is all about balancing those classic cocktails with fancy new creations, so it makes sense to have a variety of books to get your inspiration. Check out our pick of the best books in the business.

The Difford’s Guide to Cocktails, Simon Difford

There are two books that every professional bartender worth their shaker reaches for on a
regular basis. The first is the Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock. The
second is The Difford’s Guide to Cocktails. If there is ever a question about
how to make a cocktail, or the measurements needed to get it right, Difford’s
is the ultimate rule. If Difford’s says you’ve got it wrong, you’d best amend
that recipe right away!

The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart

If gin is your poison, you need this book in your life. This takes you deeper than the
recipe itself, giving you tips on pairing botanicals and even how to grow your
own sloes to create sloe gin. Stun your guests at your next gin cocktail party
by imparting the wisdom you’ll gain in this book and showing yourself to be the
true master of botanicals.

The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff

Want 500 recipes in one book? This is the one for you! Dale DeGroff is a well-known name
in the cocktail business, often credited for bringing back the craft cocktail
trend. If professional mixologists are paying attention, then you should be too
– this guy knows what he’s talking about. And his cocktail wisdom will help you
make some super tasty drinks!

The 12 Bottle Bar, David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

Beginner mixologists will love this book, which provides over 200 recipes based on just
12 bottles. You don’t need to start with 12 – they’re not used in every recipe,
but this will help you build up a solid base of ingredients, so you’ll always
be able to create tasty drinks for your guests. The ideal reference book, it is
also full of tips to help hone your craft.

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Make Me A Cocktail Top 50 Home Bar Cocktails, Nicholas Wilkins and Astrid Bowser

Of course, we couldn’t have a list of cocktail books without including our own offering!
We might be biased, but we think this is the best cocktail book for fans of our
website. Over the past 13 years, we’ve gotten to know you all pretty well, so
we know exactly what you want from a cocktail book. We’ve put together a great
combination of classic, easy, and more challenging drinks, so you can take your
bartending game to the next level!

Got any other suggestions for cocktail books that you couldn’t live without? Let us know! Your cocktail library can never be too full in our opinion!

More to explore

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Cocktails Created from the History Books

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Bartender's top tip

Like cooking, making cocktails is a culinary art that benefits from tasting and adjusting. Before serving, taste your cocktail with a straw or spoon and adjust if necessary. Maybe it needs a touch more sweetness, a bit more acidity to brighten it up, or a dilution adjustment. Personalize each drink to your liking, and don't be afraid to stray from the recipe to create something that suits your taste perfectly.

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