For the season ahead, publishers have cast a broader net than usual. Among a handful of big bartender names (Ivy Mix, John deBary) and subject-matter experts, social media personalities and ’grammable graphics rule this spring’s cocktail book list. Colorful illustrations and photos abound, as do humor and an emphasis on accessibility and “easy” drinks. New volumes dedicated to distilleries in Canada, as well as drinking traditions in Latin America and France, are sure to please armchair travelers.
“Beautiful Booze: Stylish Cocktails to Make at Home”
Natalie Migliarini and James Stevenson (Countryman Press, $28)
With a blog and social media presence under the “Beautiful Booze” brand, this book’s authors focus on “gorgeous cocktails,” particularly takes on classics that “taste as good as they look.”
“The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries: The Portable Expert to Over 200 Distilleries and the Spirits they Make (from Absinthe to Whisky, and Everything in Between)”
Davin de Kergommeaux and Blair Phillips (Appetite by Random House; $25)
Penned by Canadian spirits expert Davin de Kergommeaux, this promises to be a comprehensive guide to the growth of Canada’s distillery scene.
“Disco Cube Cocktails: 100+ Innovative Recipes for Artful Ice and Drinks”
Leslie Kirchhoff (Chronicle Books, $19)
You don’t see many books that put ice front and center. This one, from Los Angeles photographer-slash-DJ-slash-“ice cube artist” Leslie Kirchhoff, reflects the same moody orange-tinted aesthetic found on her Instagram account, @discocubes.
“Drinking French: The Iconic Cocktails, Apéritifs, and Café Traditions of France, with 160 Recipes”
David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press, $28)
David Lebovitz is best known for his writing about baking and desserts, particularly in his adopted homeland of France. This book documents the places, people and drinks of France, accompanied by plenty of photographs from Ed Anderson.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
“Drink What You Want: The Subjective Guide to Making Objectively Delicious Cocktails”
John deBary (Clarkson Potter, $25)
A former bartender at PDT and Momofuku, cocktail expert John deBary offers an illustrated guide to archetypal drink recipes, along with cheeky suggestions for riffing on those standards.
“Drinking with Chickens: Free-Range Cocktails for the Happiest Hour”
Kate E. Richards (Running Press, $20)
This quirky, delightful book focuses on produce-forward cocktails, inspired by the Instagram account of the same name. Yes, there are chickens in every photo. That’s kind of the point.
“Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes”
Chloe Frechette (Ten Speed Press, $19)
Tiki drinks are having a moment, yet they’re notoriously ornate and often difficult to make. This book seeks to simplify the genre for home bartenders.
“Spirits of Latin America: A Celebration of Culture & Cocktails, with 100 Recipes from Leyenda & Beyond”
Ivy Mix (Ten Speed Press, $25)
The debut book from the owner of Brooklyn bar Leyenda blends cocktail recipes, travelogue and guide to the spirits and culture of Latin America. It sheds light on a broad range of spirits made in the region, including many that don’t get much attention (we’re looking at you, raicilla).Continue to 9 of 11 below.
“Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: Prohibition Centennial Edition”
Ted Haigh (Quarry Books, $25)
When the first edition of this book was released in 2004, it was a groundbreaking resource for cocktail geeks and bartenders. Though it has been updated previously, this spiral-bound version has been expanded even further, with Prohibition-era photos added for this edition and its publication timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the so-called Noble Experiment.
“Which Fork Do I Use with My Bourbon?: Setting the Table for Tastings, Food Pairings, Dinners and Cocktail Parties”
Peggy Noe Stevens and Susan Reigler (South Limestone, $30)
Peggy Noe Stevens—a master bourbon taster and founder of the Bourbon Women Association, as well as a cousin of legendary Jim Beam distillers Booker Noe and Fred Noe—and Susan Reigler, a former restaurant critic for the Louisville Courier-Journal, offer tips and tricks for hosting bourbon-centered cocktail parties and other gatherings.
“Whiskey Master Class: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Scotch, Bourbon, Rye and More”
Lew Bryson (Harvard Common Press, $27)
This compact volume acts as a guide to how whiskey is made, with a focus on the spirit’s various producers. In Bryson’s own words, “It’s about how whiskey makers go about creating, building and integrating flavor.”