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Cocktail Copy: The 5 Best Books to Up Your Mixology Game

* Why aren’t you mixing fabulous cocktails at home?
* History of cocktails, recipes, and tips from top mixologists 
* Great gift ideas for the mixologist in your life

It’s been a decade or more – two depending on who you’re talking to – since the craft cocktail revolution that began in NYC, took the world by storm. Gone were the days of drab drinks made from mixers that could easily be mistaken for radioactive waste.

These days, you can hardly find a bar or restaurant without a well-manicured cocktail list. As ubiquitous as it’s become to easily find a delicious cocktail, most of us aren’t imbibing on the classics at home, despite how easy it’s become to do so. Each of our five picks will help you change that.

1. The Drunken Botanist

Amy Stewart’s The Drunken Botanist dives into the history of how humans concocted alcohol from herbs, fruits, trees and the like. If you’re looking to geek out, then this is the book for you. And yes, it includes recipes as well.


2. The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft

Whether you’re thinking of ditching it all and becoming a master mixologist or simply want to know more about what it takes to become a bartender, Gary Regan’s The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to Bartender’s Craft is a must read. More importantly, Regan breaks down and categorizes drinks, so that anyone can easily remember and concoct cocktails of their own.

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3. The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks

One could easily argue that Dale DeGroff single-handedly started the cocktail revival. Either way, DeGroff did reintroduce classic cocktails to the bar scene, while bartending at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan during the late 80s.

He also introduced a few new ones from scratch, and in The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks, DeGroff  selected 100 essential drinks to feature, with 100 variations. Not only will you learn how to make some of DeGroff’s signature cocktails, but you’ll also learn a bit of the history behind them.


4. Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail

From the owner of New York’s “high-tech cocktail bar” Booker & Dax, comes the 120 recipe book Liquid Intelligence: The Art & Science of the Perfect Cocktail. You’ll learn how to make crystal-clear ice, as well as  more advanced techniques, like nitro-muddling basil to prevent it from going brown. If you’ve never been to Dave Arnold’s bar/lab, this is a great introduction.


5. Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails

Though it didn’t start the modern cocktail renaissance, Death & Co. has influenced both drinkers and bartenders alike since opening its doors in NYC’s East Village over ten years ago. You’ll find everything you need to know about the 500 cocktails featured in this book, from step-by-step instructions, to the “theory and philosophy” behind drink-making. If there’s one cocktail book you absolutely need, it’s this one.