There is no better gift to give this season that an amazing cocktail book. These books are perfect for your favorite or not so favorite person. And, the best thing is that these books keep on giving! By teaching a person how to unleash their inner mixologist, these books benefit everyone in their life. Really, who doesn’t like to be served a kick-ass cocktail when going to a friend’s barbeque or a co-worker’s cocktail party or your Mom’s Christmas dinner. Help your friend become the most popular guy in town by giving him the tools to master cocktail basics!
Lucky for us, there has been an incredible array of great cocktail books released in the last few years. And, if you have time to dig, there are some really cool old cocktail books out there that are just waiting to be snapped up! Here is a list of some of our favorites – they have been put out by famous bars, celebrity mixologists and masters of the the genre. These books can turn anyone into a heck of a bartender! And by gifting a great cocktail book now, you are allowing just enough time to master a few of them by New Years!
Stuff one of these great books into a stocking this year:
- DIY Cocktails — This great book is from the folks at drinkoftheweek.com. It gives you the 10 basic ratios that will allow you to conquer almost any drink plus a number of great recipes.
- The Craft of the Cocktail — If there is a modern master of the cocktail, it is the author of The Craft of the Cocktail – Dale DeGroff. Dale put cocktails on the map as the head barkeep at the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center! Dale makes a mean cocktail but also keeps it simple enough to allow you to as well!
- The PDT Cocktail Book – PDT helped put the speakeasy back on the map (but given Jim Meehan Wisconsin heritage, I have to wonder if he was inspired by Milwaukee’s Safe House, which has been in business since 1966). But, seriously, these guys know how to make amazing drinks and this book can help its lucky recipient make them too!
- Speakeasy: The Employee’s Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimangined – Another amazing bar. We were lucky enough to attend a spirit dinner with these guys at Tales of the Cocktail this year and we can’t say enough. In their book, they have broken the cocktail down and help you construct from the bottom up.
- Trader Vic. We love Tiki. I will repeat again, we love Tiki! Trader Vic was one of the original masters of Tiki and his drinks are legendary. We were lucky enough to pick up originals of all of his books over ten years ago but some of them still are reasonably priced. If you have a friend or family member that loves Tiki, then a Trader Vic book is the only way to go!
- Jerry Thomas’s Bon Vivants — This man was the original master of the cocktail. He helped make it an American icon. Thanks to the irrepressible Dave Wondrich (and his book Imbibe), Jerry Thomas is back. If you ever wonder why so many kick-ass bartenders are dressed like its the 1800’s, now you know – they are imitating the master. Luckily, his books have been reprinted and are ready and available for gifting this holiday season.