These best wine and cocktail recipe books are great for learning and growing in your home bartending skills and for gifting! The list has been updated for 2020, and you can find all of these books on Amazon.
There are a lot of wine and cocktail recipe books out there! I chose to focus on ones that are comprehensive, easy to learn from and/or fun!
Best Wine & Cocktail Recipe Books on Amazon
Gone With the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist
Best for movie lovers
Highly rated on Amazon
Gone with the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist is one of the most fun cocktail recipe books for movie lovers. It pairs film-inspired drinks with pun-filled commentary, drinking games, movie-themed munchies, and illustrations.
Learn tools, techniques and terms, then dive into a “Ti-tonic,” “Bloody Mary Poppins,” or a “White Russian Christmas” for the holidays. There are drinks for every genre, which you can pair with treats like “The Breakfast Cereal Club.”
This book is great for a movie night at home!
How to Cocktail: Recipes and Techniques for Building the Best Drinks
Best for foodies
Highly rated on Amazon
How to Cocktail is the brain-child of America’s Test Kitchen, bringing their rigorous kitchen-tested approach to the making of 150 cocktails. Get the ideal ingredient proportions and best mixing technique for each drink with this no-fail book.
Additionally, learn extras like how to make homemade sweet vermouth and cocktail cherries for your Manhattan or Sriracha rim salt for your margarita.
The final chapter includes 12 of their test cooks’ favorite bar snacks.
And, they solve practical problems, like mixing for a crowd and how to make an array of cocktails without having to buy lots of expensive bottles.
This book is for the cocktail aficionado looking to craft the perfect cocktail.
Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined
Best for fans of classic cocktails
Highly rated on Amazon
Speakeasy is a beautiful, American history-inspired coffee table (or bar cart?!) book, paying homage to the era of Prohibition when alcohol was illegal and speakeasies were prevalent.
This era blessed us with classic cocktails like the New York Sour and the Sidecar. This book provides historical cocktail lessons along with 80 modern iterations on classic cocktails like these and more, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and herbs, as well as homemade syrups (which really do add to the complexity of a craft cocktail).
This book is the perfect showpiece for a classic American home bar and/or those with a refined cocktail palate.
Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist
Best for book lovers
- #1 Bestseller on Amazon
- Goodreads Choice Award (Food & Cookbooks)
- Entertainment Weekly Great Gifts for Book Lovers
Tequila Mockingbird is one of the most fun cocktail recipe books for book lovers (after all, this is a book blog!). It takes a tongue-in-cheek look at literature and cocktails with pun-filled recipes like “Romeo and Julep,” “Gin Eyre,” and “One Hundred Beers of Solitude.” The recipes also contain literary descriptions and bookish illustrations for thirsty bookworms.
And there are even some bar bites, like “The Deviled Egg Wears Prada.”
For beginners, there’s a good amount of description on terminology and glassware.
I own this book and love it! It’s great for book pairings, which are the theme of my blog. It’s simply perfect for bookworms.
There’s also a sequel: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margarita
The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails
Best for bartenders
James Beard nominee for Best Wine and Spirit Book
The Ultimate Bar Book is exactly what it sounds like — the master encyclopedia for the amateur and professional bartender. It’s undoubtedly one of the best cocktail recipe books, with 1,000 recipes.
This book is the ultimate guide to barware, tools, and mixing tips, as well as 1,000 classic cocktails and new drinks. It’s also immensely instructive, in that illustrations show precisely what type of glass should be used for each drink.
It’s an all-inclusive must have for amateur and professional bartenders.
Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine
Best for wine lovers
#1 Bestseller on Amazon
Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine is my favorite book about wine. Why? Because it’s approachable. This book and its follow-up, Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide, take the guesswork out of the wine world in a way that’s as digestible as the wine itself.
Everything is broken down in a purely visual format with illustrations, charts, infographics, maps, and more. Topics include taste profiles, wine regions, wine pairings, and practical tips and tricks.
A friend of mine in the wine industry even uses it for teaching!
You will never be overwhelmed by wine again with these books. I have both of them and make quick references to them all the time.
Those are my personal picks for the best wine and cocktail recipe books.
And, since there are a lot more great wine and cocktail recipe books out there, I wanted to offer you a few more to browse. I tried to include specific ones that may strike you as “just right” for yourself or a particular person.
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