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Best Bartending Guides

Books filled with great recipes and tips


A good bartending guide is essential to both the seasoned professional and the amateur mixologist. Whether you need to know how to make a particular cocktail or you need tips on garnishing with lemon peels, having a bartending guide handy will answer most of your questions in a pinch. These are some of the best books available and are filled with recipes and tips to guide everyone along the path to the perfect cocktail. 

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The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender

Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff
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When researching a cocktail or some other bartending fact I will often turn to my copy of The Craft of the Cocktail, it is an essential bartending guide in my collection. Dale DeGroff's 2002 book is an amazing reference that will stand up to years of use. The 500 cockatils include many of the most popular and numerous classics that you should be familiar with. He also includes many of his own cocktail creations that have quickly become classics of modern mixology. Learning from one of the best in the business is always a good thing and this book is timeless and valuable.

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The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks

The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks by Dale DeGroff
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Dale DeGroff (aka King of Cocktails) is back in another essential hardcover that should be in every cocktail enthusiasts' library. DeGroff is one of the masters of modern mixology and his last book, The Craft of the Cocktail was spectacular, but the new book has a twist. In The Essential Cocktail DeGroff dissects 100 cocktails, showing us how to make them perfectly, then throws in a variation of each with an equal amount of valuable mixing advice. Add this to your wish list because it is the best individual books released this year.

The Joy of Mixology

The Joy of Mixology
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Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology leads with a wonderful history of cocktails and mixed drinks. The book also offers advice to emerging bartenders and explains the tools and techniques that have worked best in his own career. The recipe section focuses on the different families of cocktails and includes an informative table of the drinks within each family and the main ingredients used for each. It is a great read and necessary for anyone interested in bartending and cocktails.

901 Very Good Cocktails: A Practical Guide

901 Very Good Cocktails: A Practical Guide by Stew Ellington
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Stew Ellington's first book is one of the most useful and, appropriately, practical bartending guide you will find. It is simple, filled with 901 very easy to read cocktail recipes and includes a great collection of lists that categorizes the recipes to fit almost any style or occasion you are looking for. This book is meant to be used in the bar and is a binder style with large pages that can take a few splashes while you are mixing.

Craft Cocktails at Home

Craft Cocktails at Home by Kevin Liu
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Get ready to geek out with Kevin Liu's book, Craft Cocktails at Home. In it, Liu takes on a scientific journey through the world of mixing drinks, explaining why things work the way they do, how we taste, and giving us fun graphics, diagrams, formulas, and charts to explore. The home and the pro bartender are going to love this in-depth analysis of cocktails

Good Spirits

Good Spirits Bartending Guide by A.J. Rathburn
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A.J. Rathbun's Good Spirits is nothing less than an entertaining and informative bartending guide. The book includes 450 recipes divided 12 chapters with titles such as A Multitude of Martinis, Pacifying a Crowd (punches), Fresh Faces (newer creations) and Shooting the Moon. But this book isn't just a list of cocktails. For every recipe Rathbun illuminates on the story of the drink and, if it doesn't have a known story, some other enlightening, humorous or otherwise relevant commentary. Throughout the book the author also includes sidebars like Six Bad-Boy Bachelor Party Beverages, Four Corners, Four Bars and Obscure Facts to Bring Up at the Bar.

The Bartender's Bible

The Bartender's Bible by Gary Regan - Bartending Guide Book
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The ultimate home bartending guide. "The Bartender's Bible: 1001 Mixed Drinks and Everything You Need to Know to Set Up Your Bar" is the second edition of this popular book written by Gary Regan. Besides the large alphabetized index of cocktail recipes, this book is a great source of information for setting up a home bar and will have you "Mixing Like a Pro" in no time.
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The Modern Mixologist

The Modern Mixologist Book by Tony Abou-Ganim
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Tony Abou-Ganim is one of the great modern mixologists and after years behind the bar he has turned more frequently to educating bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts. In his first book Abou-Ganim shares 60 of his original cocktails with commentary, tips, background, and very sound advice for the modern mixologist. Many of the drinks are simple, ones that you can make using the average bar and this is a great beginners book or addition to the home bartenders library. Pros will also find valuable, practical tips for making drinks better everyday.

The Everything Bartender's Book

Everything Bartender's Book by Cheryl Charming
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Cheryl Charming has updated one of the most popular bartending guides, The Everything Bartender's Book: 3rd Edition. It now contains 1,000 drink recipes spanning the range of classics, martinis, shots and mocktails. Cocktail recipes are organized by the main liquor involved, so all your vodka, tequila and rum drinks will be with each other, making it easy to use what you have in your bar. Snippets of facts, history and trivia are scattered throughout, keeping you reading through the recipes, and her bartending advice, tips and techniques are, as always, invaluable.

The Bartender's Black Book

Bartender's Black Book 8th Edition by Stephen Kittredge Cunningham - Bartending Guide Book
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Stephen Kittredge Cunningham brings us over 2800 cocktail recipes (500 of which are martinis) in the Bartender's Black Book. Of course you will find many of the classic cocktail recipes in this bartending guide, but you will also find a lot of "new" cocktails which have gained popularity in the revival of the cocktail culture. If you have no idea what a Mo Jo, Sand in Your Butt, or F.E.D.X. are, you need to check out this book. The Bartender's Black Book is updated on a regular basis, each edition adding the newest cocktail recipes found in bars throughout the world. This is a great easy reference book to hide behind the bar for those times you need to look up the obscure drink a customer has ordered.

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