If anyone demanded an end to the tide of great cocktail books being published, 2019 didn’t hear them. Because this year has seen another bumper crop, ranging from a biography of the Martini to a holiday-oriented tome from the folks behind The Aviary.
Whether you’re giving, receiving, or just reading, you should find a few picks worthy of your bookshelf from the line-up below. With so many worthy candidates, we couldn’t choose just 10. So here are 11.
Last year saw the release of the Aviary Cocktail Book, and 2019 witnessed the debut of its holiday-oriented sequel. They don’t mean “holiday” in just the yuletide sense—the 30+ cocktails this tome includes span celebrations from Halloween to the Superbowl. And, because this is an Aviary book, you can expect many large and pretty pictures.
This book is for anyone who’s ever found themselves making drinks a la carte during a crowded party or family gathering; being the on-duty bartender at your off-duty event gets old fast. The solution may be this volume by Maggie Hoffman, which includes recipes for 65 cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks that can be prepared ahead of time, broken down into groupings like herbal, boozy, bitter, fruity, and tart.
The latest book from whiskey godfather Robin Robinson doesn’t have chapters, it has “classes.” Ranging from an introductory “How to Taste Whiskey” chapter to those focused on “American Whiskey,” “Scotch Whisky,” “World Whisky,” and beyond, The Complete Whisky Course lives up to its name by serving up history alongside deep dives into distilling and the tasting experience while offering practical recommendations on what to drink now.
After 26 years in business, the recipe wonks behind America’s Test Kitchen have finally turned their close attention to the cocktail business. How to Cocktail brings ATK’s signature trial-by-experimentation approach to cocktail recipes, resulting in fine-tuned classics and original creations. You’ll also find a substantial DIY section prescribing methods for at-home vermouths, liqueurs, and more, plus gear recommendations and recipes for party snacks.
Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time by Brad Thomas Parsons
It’s hard to believe that someone hadn’t written a book asking noted bartenders what their final dram in life would be, but Bitters and Amaro author Brad Thomas Parsons has finally filled that gap. Last Call features brief interviews and essays on the subject alongside recipes for 40 cocktails that hopefully won’t be your last drink.
It seems fitting that a new book on that simplest, cleanest, and arguably most American of cocktails has such a concise title. In The Martini Cocktail, Robert Simonson traces the history of the drink from its first published recipe in 1888 to its ascent to cocktail immortality, profiling the versions served by famous institutions and providing 50 recipes along the way.
Minimalist Tiki: A Cocktail Wonk Look at Classic Libations and the Modern Tiki Vanguard by Matt Pietrek and Carrie Smith
The phrase “Minimalist Tiki” may sound like an oxymoron, but Bevvy’s very own Matt Pietrek, aka the Cocktail Wonk, has authored this handsome new entry to showcase a practical approach to more than 30 classic Tiki cocktails and close to 100 originals. Fittingly, the book also features a deep-dive into that most essential of Tiki ingredients: rum.
The NoMad Cocktail Book is a standalone title that features the drink recipes from the earlier published NoMad Cookbook, plus one hundred additional recipes for good measure, bringing the full count to a whopping 300. Among that count you’ll find large-format cocktails, drinks prepared with rare spirits, and other wonders dreamt up by the NoMad crew.
Just when you think the connection between 007 and cocktails has been exhausted comes a new book under the curious authorship of Sir Ian Fleming himself, who has only been dead for 55 years. Allow us to explain: Shaken juxtaposes cocktail recipes new and old alongside relevant excerpts from Fleming’s writing that either feature the given drink or serve as its inspiration.
Cocktail history is American history. That’s the thesis posited by Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters, which follows the genesis and evolution of the cocktail through historical milestones ranging from the Whiskey Rebellion to Hawaiian Statehood, alongside profiles of the people past and present that left their mark on the tradition. And, of course, there are recipes.
Shannon Mustipher of Glady’s Caribbean is breaking the resurgent genre down for home bartenders in this colorful volume. Mustipher demystifies the sub-genre through recipes that explain its flavors, components, and history, all while making the case that Tiki is the most culinary of cocktail disciplines, one that engages all of our senses from taste to sight.