Michael (my husband) and I were given A.J. Rathbun’s cocktail book for our wedding, and I’ve spent hours flipping through it since (as well as making the Perfect Manhattan, a Ramos Gin Fizz, and the Eden from its pages). I love the photos and the little intro paragraphs: “There’s beauty in the basics (I say, philosophically, in my best greeting card voice): a roof over one’s head, a loyal dog to chase away pesky rodents … and an endless supply of Champagne Cocktails.” It’s fun armchair reading, and you don’t need a cocktail in hand to enjoy it.

Good Spirits: Recipes, Revelations, Refreshments, and Romance, Shaken and Served with a Twist, $29.95

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