Over the past decade there has been a huge cocktail renaissance. With this mixology reawakening, we now have a surplus of information in the form of books, blogs and websites.
In the beginning of this resurgence the information was still a little limited and resources were scant. The cocktail world went from 0-60 on the ‘access to information’ scale. This rapid ramp up has its ups and downs. On one hand, you now have access to a lot of very specific information about techniques, equipment, famous bartenders and bars, both vintage and contemporary cocktails, spirit specific drinks, historical chronicles and so on. On the other hand, all this information can be overwhelming and have you wondering ‘what is the BEST information?’ and ‘how do I choose?’.
I recently visited a local bookstore and the section on cocktails was HUGE! I usually peruse and then decide what I want to purchase now and/or later. Within minutes I found myself juggling at least four new books I was interested in; a book all about Shrubs, another on bitters and an Amari guide, one about cocktails with a literary twist and another about infusing… I wanted them all! So I jot down my list and ask friends and family if they’ve read any and look at reviews. My advice to you is to go with your gut. You are the only person who truly knows what you like and what you really enjoy. Reading is a subjective experience after all!
However, if you are interested in some reviews and/or recommendations, I am happy to share a few of my (recent) favorites.
Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails
By Ted Haigh
This book is great for planning parties!
Favorite things about this book:
The Drunken Botanist
By Amy Stewart
This book is for learning and creating!
I really enjoyed this book because:
By David Wondrich
A book from a master to increase your knowledge and be the life of the cocktail party!
In homage to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, pioneer of the American bar, this book delves into the little-known history of the great classic American cocktails.
What I love about this book:
Tea Cocktails: A Mixologist’s Guide to Legendary Tea-Infused Cocktails
By Abigail R. Gehring
A book for entertaining on porches and patios!
I loved this book last year and just took it off the shelf and dusted it off in preparation of ‘porch weather’!
This book I loved because:
The only complaint I have about this book is that it is very heavy on the Teatulia Organic Teas and tea flavors and terms info. However, it is produced by them with the author so despite all the additional (and for me unnecessary information) I made some amazing tea cocktails last summer and am looking forward to making many more this year!
What’s on my wishlist?
Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times
A book all about the vintage drink mixer - Shrubs.
In fact I think I’ll visit my local bookstore right after I post this blog!
Co-founder of Murray's Fools Distilling Co. | Altona, NY