by: David Wondrich


David Wondrich artfully blends a historical retrospective of the life and times of Jerry Thomas with recipes and insights into the cocktails of the day, to create one of the best historical cocktail references to date.

The Joy of Mixology
by: Gary Regan

Clarkson Potter

A truly unique guide to the art of the cocktail, one that spends more time investigating the structure of a well made drink then simply regurgitating yet another recipe for one.

Wolf in Chef's Clothing
by: Robert H. Loeb

Surrey Books

In this modern reprint, you'll find a unique approach to a cookbook. Originally published back in 1950, and recently offered as a reprint by Surrey Books, this humorous look at cooking and drink mixing uses easy to follow pictures to provide simple instructions that even a guy can follow.
In addition to a number of classic cocktail recipes, it also provides some great recipes for things such as Welsh Rabbit, Steak Dinah, Crepes Suzette, and several others.

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktail
by: Ted Haigh


Look through the cocktail books in your library, if you have more then just two or three, chances are good that you've got books that simply repeat, rehash, or contradict each other on how the drinks they include should be made. If you think about it, it really isn't terribly creative to simply reprint the same recipes over and over again. What if somebody was really passionate about cocktails, and carefully located recipes that were exciting, creative, and perhaps just a little bit uncommon. Well, then you'd be Ted Haigh, author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.

Haigh has been collecting rare and unusual spirits/liqueurs for several years, and because of that has at his disposal the ingredients for making many cocktails that haven't seen the light of day for decades.

Within this well researched volume you will find a collection of recipes that are rare, unusual, as well as representative of the carefully crafted drinks of old. But don't be afraid that these drinks will be impossible to make. Ted has specifically chosen drinks which may use unusual products, but not ones that are impossible to find or substitute for.

The recipes aren't the only things that are amazing within this book. Throughout, you will find wonderful historic insights, from one of the few people truly capable of providing them, that will open your eyes to what the cocktail once was, and with luck could eventually become again. There are also beautiful pictures, of not only the cocktails themselves, but also of historically significant books, bottles, and other related miscellanea.

If you are a bartender who takes pride in your craft, then this book will provide you with a wealth of new recipes that you can use to expand your repertoire. If you are a home mixologist, then this book will open up a whole new landscape for you to discover. The secret adventure, awaits.

Straight Up or On The Rocks
by: William Grimes

North Point Press

Originally published in 1993, this new reprint, by a new publisher is a very welcome entry since the previous edition is very difficult to find.
If you ever had an interest in the historical evolution of the cocktail, then this book is definately one that you want to add to your library. Mr. Grimes has done an amazing amount of research in preparing this book, and it shows in every chapter. Not only is there an amazing amount of detailed information, but it is also presented in a wonderfully readable fashion.

At the end of the book he also includes a section of 103 different cocktail recipes which he feels represents many of the best cocktails that have come through history.

Mixologist: Journal of the American Cocktail (Vol. 1)
by: Anistatia Miller, Robert Hess


The Mixologist is a personal project that I, and other members of The Museum of the American Cocktail have undertaken in order to try to create what we refer to as the "Scientific American" for bartenders.
In this first edition, we've gathered essays from various notable mixologists and cocktail experts in order to provide indepth details on such topics as Punch, the Martini, the Gimlet, the Singapore Sling, the Bellini, the Piña Colada, Peychaud's bitters, Gin, Simple Syrup, modern-classic cocktails, and the art of cocktail research.

I don't mean to toot my own horn on this project, but I think it represents a collection of extremely exciting and facinating information that will be a boon to bartenders the world over.

The Martini Companion
by: Gary Regan and Mardee Haidin Regan

Running Press Book Publishers

Another great book by Gary and Mardee Regan.

This book represents a great deal of research on their part in order to provide us with some exciting information about the Martini. It includes one of the best, and most complete, writeups on the history of the Martini, as well as good solid background information about the importance and production of Gin, Vermouth, and Vodka.

In the back of the book, they include recipes for 52 variations on the Martini, some classic, some original, and many gathered from famous restaurants across the country.

Be prepared to sit down and read this book from front to back. With of course a nice cold pitcher of Martini's at your side.

Beachbum Berry's Grog Log
by: Jeff Berry

SLG Publishing

While the name of this small volume of Tiki Cocktails might not appear to elicit much respect, the amount of work that went into bringing this compilation about should. It was through extensive research and perseverance that Jeff Berry brings to us the truly classic recipe of some of the favorite cocktails from the Tiki craze that is just now coming back into mainstream fashion.

The Book of Bourbon
by: Gary Regan and Mardee Haiden Regan

Houghton Mifflin

Unlike some of the other compendiums of Bourbon tasting notes available, Gary and Mardee provide a view of this spirit that is not only educational, but highly entertaining as well. They bring a lot of their own personal spirit into this volume, with a wry sense of humor that allows you to enjoy your reading every time you pick this book up. The result is what feels like actually joining the Regans as they travel through Bourbon country, not only tasting the spirit, but learning about the history and culture of this classic American product as well.
I was pleased to see that in addition to providing the requisite tasting notes for each of the brands discussed, they also included an entire chapter which describes how the reader can approach the tasting process for their own personal edification and participation.

In the back of the book, they include a wealth of recipes that make good use of the whiskey's they have just introduced you to. In their section on cocktails, they not only include very good recipes for such classics as the Mint Julep, Old Fashioned, and the Sazerac, but they also include a recipe for homemade Orange Bitters, a classic ingredient in many cocktails but almost impossible to find now days. In addition to cocktails, they also list a very enticing handfull of cookery recipes that use bourbon in various ways.

I do however wish that they had made a point of including pictures of the individual bottles or at least labels of the whiskeys being discussed, after all, when you are looking at a crowded shelf in the liquor store, it can often be difficult to carefully read every label.

Beachbum Berry's Intoxica!
by: Jeff Berry


In his second collection of Tiki-inspired libations, Jeff Berry continues to provide us with great recipes which have been carefully selected to reflect the "Exotic Drinks" which were once commonly found across America.

Sippin Safari
by: Jeff berry


Having already stunned us with several great collection of Tiki-inspired recipes, Jeff Berry now takes the gloves off an provides us with the historical background which leads us through how Don "The Beachcomber" Beach built up a culinary legacy and not only gave us the often duplicated "Tiki" restaurant, but also re-introduced Hawai'ians to their own past.

Bartender's Guide
by: Trader Vic


By his own admission "There's nothing very original about this volume." It does however provide a great way to see not only a glimpse of the cocktails where were popularly being served throughout the 1940's, but also how these drinks may have been promoted directly by Victor Bergeron, founder and owner of the Trader Vic chain of restaurants.

The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks
by: David Embury

Mud Puddle

This highly valueable examnation of how to properly make a cocktail has long been out of print, with volumes often exceeding $400 on auction sites. Thankfully it has now been reprinted, and can once again inspire bartenders and home mixologists.

Bartender's Guide
by: Jerry Thomas

Mud Puddle

The first bartender's guide was published in 1862, and included over 200 drink recipes provide by Jerry Thomas. There have been a number of reprints of this book over the years, the most recent, and perhaps the most impressive, is this one produced by Mud Puddle books in 2008, including a new introduction by famed historian David Wonrich.

How's Your Drink
by: Eric Felten

Agate Surrey

Presenting a compendium of his articles from the Wall Street Journal, Eric Felten provides a well rounded examination of many of the countries best cocktails. He wraps around these recipes an entertaining glimpse of historical details and personal insights.

Bartender's Guide
by: Jerry Thomas

Dick & Fitzgerald

Following up on the 1862 edition, this book presents an updated collection of recipes. The number of cocktails presented in this book have doubled, from 10, to 20.

Famous New Orleans Drinks and how to mix'em
by: Stanley Clisby Arthur


Since it's initial publication in 1937, this book of New Orleans drinking culture and recipes has proven so popular as to be regularly reprinted. While some of the history it contains has to be taken with a grain of salt (for example, the Sazerac is NOT the drink that originated the term "Cocktail"), it is still an excellent snapshot of the drinks that were being served in New Orleans soon after Prohibition.

Beachbum Berry's Taboo Table
by: Jeff Berry

SLG Publishing

Following up on his successful "Tiki" cocktail guides (Grog Log, Intoxica), Jeff Berry this time presents an array of food recipes from many of the nations best known Tiki restaurants. He also of course includes a collection of drink recipes as well.

Hawai'i Tropical Rum Drinks & Cuisine by Don the Beachcomber
by: Arnold Bitner, Phoebe Beach

Mutual Publishing

Don the Beachcomber was the originator of the famous "Tiki" restaurnat craze which spread across the nation in the middle of the 1900's. This book contains a variety of food & drink recipes which Don Beach featured in many of his restaurants. Arnold and Phoebe also provide a variety of interesting historical insights and observations about who Don Beach was, and how his ideas sparked a culinary phenomenon.

The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails
by: David Wondrich, Noah Rothbaum

Oxford University Press

An extremely important encyclopedic compendium of information on virtually everything related to cocktails and spirits.