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.
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:
- Death and Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan, "by a million"
- The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks by Dale DeGroff
- The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
- A classic book for reference, rather than recipes: Bartender's Guide: How to Mix Drinks by Jerry Thomas
- 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:
- The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock
- The Flowing Bowl by Ross Brown
- Cocktails: How to Mix Them by Robert Vermeire
- Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks by Ross Brown
- For general information: Imbibe! by David Wondrich
- For anecdotal ridiculousness: The Gentleman’s Companion by Charles H. Baker
- And when it comes to newer, single subject books: Talia's Sherry and Brad Parsons' Bitters
Michael Hoffman, Food52's Product Manager and cocktail enthusiast:
Our next cookbook roundup is all about Italy, so tell us in the comments: What's your favorite Italian cookbook?