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One of my pre-pandemic joys was sitting at a cocktail bar reading a book. I was allowed to enjoy the atmosphere of the bar, a delicious cocktail and a wonderful book. Even better if it’s outside on a slightly too warm night …

Between the pandemic and my pregnancy in 2020, cocktails were off the table. Now I’ve started making them at home, starting with my favorite cocktail, the Pisco Sour. This is why cocktail books are golden for trying to recreate my favorite cocktails or for finding new and exciting flavors at home. It’s also a great way to deepen my knowledge of the history of mixology. Here is a list of five current cocktail books to add to your palette.

The Alchemist Cocktail Book: Master the Dark Arts of Mixology by The Alchemist (9/1/21)

I am very excited about this cocktail book because it comes from my favorite cocktail bar in the world: The Alchemist in London, England. Imagine the best parts of molecular gastronomy applied to beverages, but in a much cheaper and accessible way. They love to create exciting and delicious drinks using the many chemistry tools in their arsenal to make the drinks fun. My personal favorite is a bunsen burner, smoke and two tea cups. I am curious what you will share in the book. There’s going to be a chapter on chemistry and theater, so that’s exciting. Maybe I don’t use blowtorches at home, but it will be fun to see what we can do!


The Japanese Art of the Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido (06/01/21)

Award-winning Urushido shares his incredible knowledge of Japanese cocktails in his first cocktail book. He was behind Katana Kitten, a Japanese cocktail bar in NYC that was recognized for its work. This book contains 80 recipes that showcase Japan’s incredible cocktails. There are also discussions about techniques for making drinks and beautiful photography.


Gotham City Cocktails: Official handcrafted food and drink from the world of Batman by André Darlington and Ted Thomas

Some people want to be Batman while others like him want to drink. Or rather drink, as if we were in the world of Gotham too. This is the first official and just-out cocktail book with 70 recipes based on the characters in Batman’s world, including Commissioner Gordon. I didn’t know I wanted Poison Ivy’s Rose Mojito or The Batman. Enjoy your love for the DC world with these delicious cocktails.

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Tiki: Modern tropical cocktails from Shannon Mustipher

This award-winning book is for all of the Tiki lovers out there. It’s a combination of drink recipes, gorgeous photos, tech advice, and even the mood. Mustipher said in a Liquor interview, “The main focus of the book is to demystify Tiki by focusing on ingredients and flavors. I want the reader to have confidence in their knowledge of the ingredients and their use in a cocktail. “Mustipher was the drinks manager at the now closed Gladys. It is also touted as “the first cocktail recipe book written by a working African American bartender and published by a major publisher for over 100 years” by the LA Times in 2019.

Spirits, sugar, water, bitters: how the cocktail conquered the world

Spirits, sugar, water, bitters: How the cocktail conquered the world by Derek Brown and Robert Yule

The book takes its name from Harry Coswell, editor of several federal newspapers: “So cock tail is a stimulating alcohol that consists of spirits of all kinds, sugar, water and bitter substances” in 1806. If you can’t tell, this book turns up a lot likes to enter the history of cocktails and goes back to the Paleolithic to the present day. Most chapters end with a time-specific cocktail such as Fish House Punch, a popular drink used by President George Washington and his contemporaries. Full Disclosure: Derek Brown is the teacher of my Atlas Obscura class and it was great fun. As a historian, I appreciate taking a lesson in the history of cocktails in America.

Do you want more cocktail books? Here’s a list of the best books for finding summer drinks and 10 books for booze-loving nerds.