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#FoylesFive: Cocktail books

29th December 2016 - George Hamilton-Jones

#FoylesFive: Cocktail Books


George, from our flagship shop on Charing Cross Road, recommends five books on cocktails to get us in the party spirit ready for New Year's Eve!


The past few years have seen a steady stream of high quality books on spirits and cocktails. It’s been particularly enjoyable to see the books category grow in a way that respects the history while seeking to fill in gaps in knowledge and showcase creativity. Here are five books perfect for professional bar tenders and home mixologists alike.


Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs by Brad Thomas Parsons

This is the follow-up from the award winning author of Bitters. Italian bitter liqueurs are a growing presence behind bars around the world and so this product guide, cocktail book and love letter is most welcome. Amaro is an excellent choice for lovers of Campari and Aperol looking to branch out into more adventurous territory. There are even recipes for DIY amari and bitter desserts.


Cocktails: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks by Klaus St Rainer

This beautifully photographed and produced collection of recipes would be useful to anyone looking to incorporate a cuisine style into their drinks making. It will be particularly interesting to those with access to chef’s tools like dehydrators, sous vide preparation and whipping syphons. In addition to the exciting written contents, I really like the photographs of the Goldene Bar.


Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske with Georgette Moger-Petraske

This book is quite different from most books we keep in the category. Packed with signature recipes from the renowned Milk & Honey in New York City, it also serves as a poignant memoir of the bar’s founder, Sasha. This book has the beautiful production also found in Phaidon’s Cookery list.


Rum: The Manual by Dave Broom

The latest in prolific spirits writer Dave Broom’s Manual series, Rum fills a gap in the category that was in place for the entirety of my bookselling career. This is a well compiled and produced product directory that educates about origins, methods and flavour and includes cocktail recipes. It might be ideal for a budding Tiki enthusiast.


Shake. Stir. Sip. by Kara Newman

This is a cocktail book bound together by a unique conceit: equal parts recipes. Covering classics and contemporary drinks, with a broad array of ingredients, this little collection has a good range of easy to remember recipes.




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