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Jul 17, 2006 07:17 PM

Best Cocktail Book?

Hey guys,
Can anyone recommend a good book for someone without a lot of cocktail making experience? I cook a lot and I would like a book with some trendy ideas but that also covers the basics as well. Thanks so much in advance for your help.


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  1. "The Craft of the Cocktail" by Dale DeGroff fits what you're looking for. A beautiful book, with nice pictures, cocktail history, classic cocktails as well some more trendy ones.

    "The Joy of Mixology" by Gary Regan is more hardcore, but definitive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Alcachofa

      I have both of them, they are absolutely wonderful.

    2. Esquire Drinks is another thorough introduction to cocktails and how to make them. It has plenty of new cocktail recipes while at the same time avoiding the juvenile abominations being passed off as adult beverages today.

      1. I really enjoyed Grady Spears "Cowboy Cocktails".

        Lots of interesting versions of standards, cool garnish ideas, munchie recipes and some great non-alcoholic drinks too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bogie

          From my experience of cowboys (mostly from movies), the most popular cocktail would be whiskey, straight up (my favorite cocktail too!). What else did they drink?

        2. I *strongly* recommend:
          Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century, by Paul Harrington and Laura Moorhead

          Yeah, the one that used to be on

          By far my favorite, and I either own or have read all the others listed here. It doesn't even attempt to be a complete list of every possible concoction you could dream up; very selective in the recipes featured. However, I think this really gives a good understanding of what makes a good cocktail. DeGroff's book is far more comprehensive, but I find Harrington/Moorhead's book to be more entertaining and probably a better choice for a newer mixologist since you don't have to sort through lots of extraneous recipes (oh no i didnt!) to get at the "true classics".

          Sadly, it's out of print and can be tough to find. I ordered one "used" through amazon a while back to give as a wedding gift to a friend, and it turned out it was the author selling signed copies. Maybe he's still got a few...?


          1. It's old, but The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury is one of the seminal texts on mixology.