The weather’s turning colder, and the days are growing shorter, which mean it’s time to hunker down with a good book. Luckily for cocktail and spirits lovers, this autumn brings a surplus of great page-turners ideal for inspiring your next drinking adventure. These are the 10 new tomes to add to your boozy bookshelf.
For fans of minimalist recipes, every drink in the book requires no more than three ingredients (give or take, at times, a barspoon of this or a splash of that). It’s perfect for beginners and busy folks seeking streamlined classics and pared-down bartender recipes.
This book traces San Francisco bartender Thad Vogler’s adventures through Cognac, France; Cuba; and other spirits-producing regions. It’s part autobiography, part travelogue and part manifesto (Vogler favors small/artisan producers over larger conglomerates). He’s an entertaining, curmudgeonly guide.
This is a fun illustrated guide to the felines who populate distilleries across the country. Even those who aren’t drinking will enjoy this slim, light-hearted book, because it’s really all about the cats.
Fans of “The PDT Cocktail Book” (Sterling, $24.95) will want to pick up this trade-focused look at how to build a bar, written by the proprietor of NYC bar PDT. Professional bartenders will find value in this book, densely packed with interviews with a who’s who of the industry and useful techniques for making drinks. Home bartenders will want to fast-forward directly to the alluring, accessible cocktail recipes.
This inside look at Portland’s Distillery Row and beyond includes useful tips for getting the most out of a visit (i.e. which distilleries serve cocktails or have outdoor space for a post-tasting sprawl).
This lush hardcover comes from London cocktail consultant Matt Whiley, aka The Talented Mr. Fox. Most of the recipes are complicated, requiring various infusions or equipment like rotary evaporators. Though some ingredients, such as black pudding vodka made with pig’s blood, will be challenging to American readers, there’s no denying the beauty and impact of the photography, making this perfect for aspirational armchair reading.
Part of a series of books drilling down on the cocktail scenes in various cities (see New Orleans Cocktails here), this book spotlights NYC’s classic and of-the-moment drinks and bartenders, with plenty of enticing recipes and photos.
Photographer and Mexico native Joel Salcido captures the tequila-making process, as well as the region’s culture and traditions. Ideal as a coffee-table book, this stunning hardcover makes for a great gift, along with a bottle of tequila.
A lively look at spirits producers past and present (and despite the title, not just whiskey), this is a dense, deeply researched book tracing 60-plus years of distillation history in America.
Mixing your cocktail