Whether you’re looking to find the single perfect drink or build an entire home bar, here are the latest books worth keeping on the shelf. 

By Dan Q. Dao
July 19, 2019
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If your New Year’s resolutions included saving money, picking up a new skill, or doing more home-entertaining, consider learning how to shake and stir your own cocktails. While there’s no shortage of resources online, good, old-fashioned books can help narrow down an overwhelming amount of information to the most essential topics and best recipes. From gorgeously-photographed odes to drinking culture to simple recipe books and guides to tips on how to build a home bar, here are 10 new cocktail books to crack open today. Read on for the full descriptions of our picks.

  • Cocktail Codex by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan
  • Be Your Own Bartender by Carey Jones and John McCarthy
  • Aperitif by Kate Hawkings 
  • The Joy of Mixology, Revised and Updated Edition by Gary Regan 
  • I’m Just Here for the Drinks by Sother Teague 
  • The Home Bar by Henry Jeffreys 
  • Drinking Like Ladies by Kirsten Amann and Misty Kalkofen
  • Nightcap by Kara Newman
  • The New Rum by Bryce T. Bauer 
  • Cocktails Across America by Diane Lapis and Anne Peck-Davis 

Cocktail Codex


The trio of star-tenders behind New York City’s pioneering Death & Co. have released this gorgeous and geeky cocktail tome that doubles as an excellent coffee table conversation piece. The book identifies six 'root' cocktails—the old-fashioned, martini, daiquiri, sidecar, whiskey highball, and flip—offering variations for those who want to expand on their drink vocabularies. For seasoned bartenders, recipes are interspersed with musings on more advanced techniques like smoking—with wood or with tea leaves?—and rapid-pressurized infusing (get your centrifuge handy!). 

Bookmark this: The six “family tree” diagrams that can help you find a new drink when you want to try something similar to an old-fashioned (p. 27), martini (p. 85), or sidecar (p. 187). Also, the ultimate guide to common citrus fruits and how to use them in drinks is on page 117. 

Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, $27 (originally $40) at .com

Be Your Own Bartender


The brainchild of our own mkgalleryamp; Wine Liquor Cabinet Roulette recipe gurus, this playful, user-friendly guide ensures that even the most indecisive drinker can land on the perfect cocktail for any vibe, desired flavor profile, or occasion. The illustrations, flowcharts, and various shortcuts are ideal for navigating options, with recipes ranging from beginner to advanced. 

Bookmark this: One of the book’s many, super-handy flowcharts designed to help you choose the right recipe for the right occasion, whether you’re throwing a party (p. 16), hosting a brunch (p. 40), or just need a hot drink for a cold night (p. 142). 

Be Your Own Bartender: A Surefire Guide to Finding (and Making) Your Perfect Cocktail by Carey Jones and John McCarthy, $16 (originally $25) at .com