You may think the only book a bartender needs is a big volume of classic cocktail recipes, but if you want to go above and beyond at your home bar, you’ll want to read up on the art of bartending itself. There’s a rich history here and a whole lot of innovation changing the bartending landscape even today.
Here are some great books on bartending to further your mixing prowess. Each contains recipes, but also a whole lot of color into the fascinating world of cocktail mixology. They’ll surely make you a better bartender.
The Curious Bartender: The Artistry and Alchemy of Creating the Perfect Cocktail
A good cocktail can be as easy as mixing what tastes good together, but the attentive bartender knows that there’s a unique science behind the perfect cocktail.
Author Tristan Stephenson outlines the history of mixing and discusses the modern twists of mixology and food sciences in this elegant book. Not only does he provide recipes and ingredient lists, he breaks them down step by step to illustrate just what makes your favorite cocktail so delicious. And the interesting facts about classic drinks will keep your guests entertained at the bar.
Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails
Best friends and entrepreneurs Eric Prum and Josh Williams realized that the best cocktails are not ones served at fancy bars, but ones mixed and served at home with friends. These Brooklyn boys developed a cocktail workshop from their home and eventually invented the Mason Shaker, a new cocktail shaker made from a Mason jar. They cover the basics and move into drinks with more flair, providing any cocktail enthusiast with new ideas to try.
This beautiful, sleek book, filled with colorful photos and great recipes, is a must-have for any aspiring at-home bartender, and it will look great on the bar for guests to take a look at.
Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them
This gorgeous volume is a surefire crowd-pleaser to have around the bar, complete with full-color photos, fun anecdotes, historical facts, and over 80 recipes for vintage cocktails. Ted Haigh, or “Dr. Cocktail,” outlines recipes that have fallen to the wayside over the past several years, bringing old favorites back to life.
This is an attractive book to have on your shelf, but it is also practical with spiral-bound pages and glossy stock for the bar. You’ll definitely find something new to try in this book.