4 Favorite Cocktail Books of 2017

The number of cocktail books that came out in 2017 will make your head spin faster than 3 shots of cheap tequila. Here are my 4 favorites along with the reasons why. Overall, I wasn’t looking for simply another recipe book. I wanted something different or a unique approach. I’ve enjoyed simple classic cocktails lately, and as much as I enjoy making infusions and syrups,  it’s nice to effortlessly mix a cocktail after a long day.

Cooking with Cocktails: 100 Spirited Recipes – Kristy Gardner
Finally, a booze-centric book that’s more than just cocktails. Kristy Gardner did a great job of creating a recipe book that covers all the bases. Chapters are broken down into recipe categories like “Cocktails”, “Appetizers and Bar Snacks”, “Staples and Sauces”, etc.. There are even chapters for main courses broken down by meats and vegetables. My personal favorite recipe is still the mushroom thyme sherry soup.
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3-Ingredient Cocktails: An Opinionated Guide to the Most Enduring Drinks in the Cocktail Canon – Robert Simonson
This may be my new favorite book by Robert Simonson. If you’re not familiar with Simonson, he’s most known for writing for the New York Times’ cocktail and drinks section. His previous book, A Proper Drink, is an extensive history of cocktails and cocktail bars. While that book served  more as a recorded history of the cocktail renaissance, his latest is much more approachable. 3-Ingredient Cocktails is as it states, cocktails that have only 3 ingredients. The book features 61 recipes, all broken down into drink style – sours, highballs, old fashioneds, etc.. Each recipe notes the author, year, a brief description, and features a photo.
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Meehan’s Bartender Manual – Jim Meehan
Truthfully, I just purchased this one last week. However, I’m really looking forward to digging into this one. As I thumb through the pages it’s clear that it’s a thick manual (477 pages), as opposed to a casual read like the other books in this list. Meehan spells out everything from defining spirits and how they’re made, to recipes, bar layouts, and menu designs. This book is for the extreme cocktail geek and/or people interested in opening and operating a bar. If you enjoyed Liquid Intelligence, you’ll enjoy Meehan’s Manual too.
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Shake. Stir. Sip.: More than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts – Kara Newman
This might be my favorite of the bunch. This book features over 50 cocktails, all made in equal parts. The intro of the book features some tips on stocking your home bar, suggested tools, and technique. What makes this book clever is that each chapter contains cocktails with that many ingredients. For example, chapter 3 features cocktails (like the negroni) that are 3 ingredients in equal parts. Chapter 5 features 5-ingredient cocktails with equal part recipes. This allows you to choose based on the level of complexity you’re desiring.
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Did I miss any good cocktail books? Let me know in the comments.

Amazon Links to the Featured Books

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