Many people are happy to relax with a beer or an easy rum and Coke, but sometimes they want to show off for their friends a little. If you’re not a bartender, coming up with some creative and tasty drinks can prove to be much easier said that done. Luckily, there are plenty of books out there for schmucks like us that tend to get a little heavy-handed with the liquor pouring, and aren’t experts on what to add to make it actually taste good.
Here are a few home bartending books that are widely considered to be great resources for wannabe mixologists.
The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails by Mittie Hellmich
If you’re looking for a drink recipe, you’re going to find it in this book. From the basic classics to newer, more complicated drinks, you will never run out of cocktails to make. This book is also great because it’s not just recipes – they provide all sorts of recommendations about creating your own home bar, what you need, and ways to properly entertain.
The Professional Bartender’s Handbook: A Recipe for Every Drink Known – Including Tricks and Games to Impress Your Guests by Valerie Mellema
This book is a small step up from The Ultimate Bar Book in the way of level of experience required to understand the content, but it’s still quite easy. It’s probably best for someone who is thinking about becoming a bartender or just started and wants to learn more. In addition to recipes, you’ll also find suggested glassware, bar terminology, measurements, famous toasts and much more.
Complete Home Bartender’s Guide: 780 Recipes for the Perfect Drink
by Salvatore Calabrese
This book is awesome because it has spiral binding, making it easy to flip to a drink recipe and keep it on the page while you make the cocktail. It’s divided up into easy categories like brandy, rum, vodka, wine, punches, and non-alcoholic. There are also really good pictures, including ones of techniques like shaking, floating, layering and muddling.