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Our Favorite Cocktail Books

December 12, 2014

You know how some people are obsessed with stamp collections or fantasy football teams? Well, we're obsessed with cookbooks. Here, in Books We Love, we'll talk about our favorites.

Today: Your 2015 resolution should be to drink better -- these books will show you how.

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If you’re not comfortable with your shaking and stirring skills, now’s the time to change that: Knowing how to make a great cocktail or three will make any holiday party you throw -- or attend -- easier, and more fun. 

The other upshot to learning more about cocktails is the wealth of beautiful, smart, and often brilliantly old-school cocktail books on the market. (One of our editors is particularly jazzed about her recently purchased copy of The Playboy Bar Book, for example.) We polled our favorite cocktail enthusiasts for their favorite cocktail books -- so that maybe your 2015 resolution can be to drink better:

Kenzi Wilbur, our Managing Editor and unofficial Drinks Editor: 

Andrew Knowlton, Restaurant + Drinks Editor, Bon Appétit:

  • Potions of the Caribbean. Nobody knows more about tiki cocktails than Jeff "Beachbum" Berry. It is not only a recipe book, but also a history of tiki cocktails and not in an annoying or bad Hawaiian shirt kinda way.
  • The South American Gentleman’s Companion. Charles H. Baker was the original cocktail Bon Vivant. He went to South America and basically hung out in old ex-patriot bars and came back with all these new cocktails. In the last ten years he has really been getting his due for how much he did to discover cocktails and to introduce new cocktails from South America. And he’s an amazing writer.


Talia Baiocchi, Editor-in-Chief of PUNCH and author of Sherry

Leslie Pariseau, Deputy Editor of PUNCH:


Michael Hoffman, Food52's Product Manager and cocktail enthusiast:

Our next cookbook roundup is all about Italyso tell us in the comments: What's your favorite Italian cookbook?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull


1 Comment

nerdling December 12, 2014
No votes for "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails"? The original pressing led the charge into the cocktail renaissance—the book that launched a thousand cocktail shakers.