Unless you’re imbibing at happy hour or drowning your sorrows at the local dive, finding a cocktail for less than a Hamilton has become a virtual unicorn. Then, of course, there’s the exorbitant moustache wax and suspenders tax that’s levied for the privilege of being jammed into a so-trendy-it-hurts “speakeasy.” A hangover is painful enough; there’s no need to further the suffering by waking up to an empty wallet. Well, here’s a simple remedy: Mix things up at home. Thanks to the help of these trusty cocktail guides, you can learn the skills to prepare high quality libations without having to leave the house.
Whether you’re a cocktail newbie or experienced mixologist, Jim Meehan’s James Beard Award winning guide to all things booze is a must-own, covering everything from recipes, types of glassware, and assorted tricks of the trade. “Meehan’s Bartender’s Manual” offers a glimpse into the mind of the celebrated Gramercy Tavern and Pegu Club vet along with additional insight into what it takes to be your best behind the bar from over 50 of his colleagues.Buy Now
“The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails” by Mittie Hellmich, $12.94 on Amazon
A veritable Encyclopedia Bar-tanica, “The Ultimate Bar Book” certainly lives up to its name. Whether you’re in need in of a recipe for a cocktail classic or a deep cut libation, Millie Hellmich’s essential compendium has got you covered. There’s even a section for hangover remedies which are sure to come in handy if you plan to take full advantage of this expansive guide.Buy Now
If you’re planning on hosting a get-together, be it a boozy brunch, casual shindig, or an Ina Garten-approved Hamptons soiree, this book will be a life saver. “Batch Cocktails” includes 65 recipes for large-format, make-ahead mixed drinks (including non-alcoholic options) that are sure to satisfy your guests and, more importantly, save you plenty of time behind the bar.Buy Now
Related Reading: How to Stock a Low- and No-Alcohol Bar Cart
Rum expert Shannon Mustipher is helping usher in a new generation of Traders and Beachcombers with his refreshing take on tiki drinks. Moving beyond popular classics like the Zombie and Pain Killer, Mustipher offers an easy-to-follow guide to preparing unfamiliar—though instantly unforgettable—tropical libations with an emphasis on high quality ingredients.Buy Now
Dave Arnold, the maverick mixologist behind New York City bar sensations Existing Conditions and Booker & Dax, breaks down the components of the “perfect cocktail,” examining not just what is used but why. Arnold’s culinary expertise comes in handy as he delves into the complexities of something as seemingly basic as ice along with the science of some of the more advanced techniques utilized in new wave cocktail preparation.Buy Now
Old-timey cocktails continue to be all the rage and this collection of recipes culled from the archives of New York’s famed Waldorf Astoria hotel hearkens back to those legendary pre-Prohibition days. From swizzles and shrubs, absinthe cocktails to whiskey and tansy (prepared with the leaves of the toxic flower), “The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book” takes readers on a nostalgic trip back a century, shining a light on throwback adult beverages that go beyond the martini and Manhattan.Buy Now
Chronicling the utterly fascinating and equally bizarre life of trailblazing 19th century bartender Jerry Thomas, David Wondrich offers the perfect blend of cocktail history and recipes. If you have a thirst for knowledge when it comes to the roots of our modern cocktail culture “Imbibe!” offers a thorough education.Buy Now
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