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Best cocktail or bartending books?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Alter, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Alter

    Alter Distinguished Member

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    I am looking to buy a book with recipes, and preferably pictures, to make classic cocktails. Any recommendations?
     

  2. chorse123

    chorse123 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I like Degroff's The Craft of the Cocktail. Not sure if it's the best out there, but it seems leagues ahead of most of the books on the subject.
     

  3. RedLantern

    RedLantern Distinguished Member

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    Just ask Huntsman... he even takes swell pictures.
     

  4. Alter

    Alter Distinguished Member

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    Just ask Huntsman... he even takes swell pictures.

    If Huntsman put out a book then I would certainly buy that!
     

  5. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Distinguished Member

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    MR. Boston is THE classic.
     

  6. Girardian

    Girardian Distinguished Member

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    The green hard / spiral bound "Bartender's Bible" is a good reference book to have on hand.

    Lately, I've enjoyed a few older school books, such as Imbibe! which is functionally an updated edition of the first widely publicized cocktail book in America by Jerry Thomas.

    For something truly special, I am also enjoying the book recently published by the former barkeep at Cyrus.

    I have other books but you can't go wrong with some experimentation, the Bartender's Bible and an old school book with classic cocktails like Imbibe!
     

  7. Huntsman

    Huntsman Distinguished Member

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    I've read or had most of the new "old school" coctail books: Degroff, Regan, Felton, Wondrich et al. They are all good books, but all seem, to me, to be handicapped by a particular pet love or peeve of the authors, such as Degroff's dislike of egg white (that a properly-made sour is just as good without it. No, not really). And the old books -- Embury, Craddock, &c, are hard to translate into today.

    So they are all worthwhile and all fall short to be a bible of the classics.

    My suggestion is the incredible niche in the blogosphere devoted to cocktails -- just go somewhere like drinkdogma.com, spiritsandcocktails (alter, Jamie Boudreau at this blog has great photos), or artofdrink and read them as well as checking out their links page -- these are the guys on the forefront of the revival of classic cocktails or the reinvention of the concept (molecular mixology). The only thing I have not seen is a site devoted to hard-core classic and nothing but. Rare and precious is the cocktail bar that does so.

    I'd love to write a book, btw, but don't know nearly enough.

    Oh, and google "small screen network" to view the cocktail making videos that Robert Hess is putting together. Pretty solid stuff.

    ~ H
     

  8. happy hooligan

    happy hooligan Senior Member

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    I love the Mr. Boston, the earlier edition the better...

    I also have a wonderful book from 1951 called Bottoms Up which is really great...
     

  9. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I've read or had most of the new "old school" coctail books: Degroff, Regan, Felton, Wondrich et al. They are all good books, but all seem, to me, to be handicapped by a particular pet love or peeve of the authors, such as Degroff's dislike of egg white (that a properly-made sour is just as good without it. No, not really). And the old books -- Embury, Craddock, &c, are hard to translate into today.

    So they are all worthwhile and all fall short to be a bible of the classics.

    My suggestion is the incredible niche in the blogosphere devoted to cocktails -- just go somewhere like drinkdogma.com, spiritsandcocktails (alter, Jamie Boudreau at this blog has great photos), or artofdrink and read them as well as checking out their links page -- these are the guys on the forefront of the revival of classic cocktails or the reinvention of the concept (molecular mixology). The only thing I have not seen is a site devoted to hard-core classic and nothing but. Rare and precious is the cocktail bar that does so.

    I'd love to write a book, btw, but don't know nearly enough.

    Oh, and google "small screen network" to view the cocktail making videos that Robert Hess is putting together. Pretty solid stuff.

    ~ H


    This. [​IMG] Small Screen Network
     

  10. Cashmoney

    Cashmoney Well-Known Member

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    Check out the Savoy Cocktail Book. The 1930 classic.
     

  11. A.K.A.

    A.K.A. Senior Member

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    I like the Ultimate A-Z Bar Guide. It describes in distinct detail every type of distilled spirit, as well as having over 1,000 drink recipes and 600 coctail related definitions.

    The Mrs. gave it to me a few years ago and it has truly expanded our cocktail repertoire.

    Only drawback is it is a paperback, but it easily fits in our liquor cabinet.
     

  12. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    I've a rather fetching book from the '60s called The Standard Bartender's Guide, co-authored by heavyweights, James Gavin Duffy and James A.Beard.
     

  13. Faded501s

    Faded501s Distinguished Member

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    The green hard / spiral bound "Bartender's Bible" is a good reference book to have on hand.

    Mr Boston's is the classic and the one I ended up buying when I got a job bartending. Another bartender showed me her "Bartender's Bible" and I definitely preferred it to Mr Boston's, FWIW.
     

  14. Kas

    Kas Distinguished Member

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    I liked The New York Bartender's Guide. It just features recipes (more than I've ever seen in any other guide), couple pictures here and there. Except for the fact that it's a little difficult to make it stick to a certain page - perfect.
     

  15. Huntsman

    Huntsman Distinguished Member

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    I might add, if a book calls for sour mix, or for citrus juice and not also a sugar of some sort, don't buy it.

    ~ H
     

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