A round-up of new drinks and bartending books published in time for Christmas
The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in New York City has made a huge impact on the world’s bar scene since it opened only two years ago. Its founders Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry from Northern Ireland have teamed up with author Ben Schaffer to write The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual about the cocktails that have earned them accolades such as world’s best cocktail menu in the Spirited Awards. But the subtitle, Secret Recipes and Barroom Tales from Two Belfast Boys Who Conquered the Cocktail World, highlights that, alongside the inventive recipes, it also tells the bartenders’ inspiring rags-to-riches story. Like the bar’s décor, the drinks are a nod to the “Gangs of New York” era, ranging from fizzes to cobblers to toddies, each with its own historical inspiration. The book also provides recipes for communal punches plus a whole chapter on absinthe. With photographs of the bar, this is a stylish and handsome book that is bound to be a must-have for any professional bartender.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardback. £14
Ryan Chetiyawardana – also known as “Mr Lyan” – has proven himself to be one of the world’s most innovative bartenders, creating unique cocktails using ingredients and techniques that suggest mixology really should be seen as a science. He has drawn on his experience at bars in the UK and overseas, including his own ventures White Lyan and Dandelyan in London, for his book, Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends. Despite his highly technical and scientific approach to drinks, he aims to show that cocktails are easy to make and accessible. It features 60 innovative recipes, alongside beautiful photography, from classics such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan to new intriguing combinations and ingredients.
Frances Lincoln. Hardback. £20.
Romée de Goriainoff, Pierre-Charles Cros and Olivier Bon made a huge impact on the Paris bar scene when they opened Experimental Cocktail Club in 2007. Since then, they have gone on to open bars in London, New York City and Ibiza with fourth partner Xavier Padovani. They have brought together 85 cocktail recipes that have been hits at their bars around the world (although it was written before they opened Joyeux Bordel in east London). Taking inspiration from classic American and French cocktails, recipes include Stockholm Syndrome, made with Ketel One vodka infused with cumin and dill, Linie aquavit, lemon juice, simple syrup, pink Himalayan salt and Peychaud’s Bitters. Alongside these creative drinks served with ECC flair, there are also classic cocktails such as the Negroni, Margarita, Moscow Mule and Strawberry Daiquiri – all illustrated with beautiful photography.
Mitchell Beazley. Hardback. £20.
It is remarkably 18 years since Salvatore “The Maestro” Calabrese saw the first edition of his book, Classic Cocktails, published. Now heading Salvatore’s Bar at Playboy Club London in Mayfair, he has expanded and updated the content for a new edition, covering the latest trends, tastes and techniques. Fifty new recipes include long-forgotten classics such as the Absinthe Suissesse from turn-of-the-century New Orleans and the Prohibition-era The Angel’s Tit, alongside new-found facts about cocktail history and twists such as a barrel-aged Blood and Sand. There are also seasonal ideas includinga Blue Blazer and a Hot Buttered Toddy as well as popular treats such as an Espresso Martini and a Chocolate Cocktail. The book also explains how to make your own cocktail ingredients such as velvet falernum, flavoured syrups and shrubs. Aimed at consumers, it is just as much a must-have for bartenders because, after all, this is from the Maestro.
Sterling. Hardback. £14.99.
Emma Stokes is best known as gin expert and blogger Gin Monkey and sometime bartender at Casita in London. But, by day, she has another identity, working in the world of science with a background in pharmacology. She has brought together these two worlds in a book, The Periodic Table of Cocktails, which presents 106 classic cocktails arranged following the logical ordering of the periodic table of elements. So instead of hydrogen or helium, you will find a Mojito and a Martini. The theory is that once you’ve found your favourite cocktail in the table, you should like all the other cocktails in the same column and also the mixes to the left or right because they all share characteristics such as flavours and styles.
Ebury Press. Hardback. £8.99.
Geraldine Coates has written several books on gin over the past 15 years alongside her website Gintime.com but, with a steady stream of new products every month, there is always something new to write. Her latest book Gin: A Toast to the Most Aromatic of Spirits covers the well-trodden but always fascinating history of the spirit and how it is made plus classic serves. At its heart is a useful list of brands from around the world from Aviation to Zuidam, including big names and bartender favourites alongside lesser-known brands such as Burnett’s White Satin, Cadenhead’s Old Raj, Cork Dry Gin and Xoriguer Gin de Mahon. The compact hardback has been released in the same series as Vodka: A Toast to the Purest of Spirits by leading drinks writer Dave Broom.
Prion. Hardback. £10.99.
The revival of the classic Negroni has given it a cult status that is celebrated over more than 300 pages in a lavish new book, The Life Negroni. It delves into the drink’s history and its ingredients – including the debate about its origins – and puts it in the context of avant-garde art, contemporary design, modernist architecture and Italian fashion. Alongside archive images, vintage ads, original artwork, and contemporary photographs, it includes first-hand interviews with experts and aficionados such as distillers Desmond Payne and Tom Nichol, bartenders Tony Conigliaro, Salvatore Calabrese, Colin Field and Ago Perrone, and drinks historians Jared Brown and Gaz Regan (who has himself written two books on the cocktail). It is written and edited by branding experts Leigh and Nargess Banks.
Spinach Publishing. Hardback. £20.
Acclaimed drinks writer Dave Broom saw his book Whisky: The Manual named best new spirits book in the Spirited Awards at the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans this summer. His follow-up is Gin: The Manual, which aims to capture what is happening in a category that continues to grow and diversify. He goes back to gin’s roots, literally, by looking at botanicals and how they impact a gin’s flavour through to how to drink it to “maximise your pleasure”. The body of the book covers 120 gins which Dave has tested four ways – with tonic, with lemonade, in a Negroni and in a Martini – and then scored.
Mitchell Beazley. Hardback. £14.99.
Three leading New York City bartenders have teamed up on new book Cuban Cocktails, celebrating the country’s rich cocktail history and culture. It features 100 recipes, ranging from classics such as a Cuba Libre, El Floridita Daiquiri and a Mojito through to modern concoctions with names such as the Cienfuegos Shake. It also explores Cuba’s legendary bars, clubs and bartenders. The authors include Ravi DeRossi who has been involved in running many of Manhattan’s best bars such as Death & Co, The Bourgeois Pig, Mayahuel and Cienfuegos. He has collaborated with Jane Danger who has worked at bars such as Death & Co, PDT and Cienfuegos, and Alla Lapushchik whose résumé includes many of the same bars as well as Post Office and OTB in Brooklyn.
Sterling Epicure. Hardback. £17.99
The rise of craft gin has inspired a comprehensive and beautiful new book from Aaron Knoll, the US-based gin blogger and author. Gin: The Art and Craft of the Artisan Revival explores the latest styles and trends in gin as well as looking back at its history. With stunning photography and illustrations, he presents 300 of the world’s best gins alongside profiles of many of the key players. While some readers may miss their favourite brand, it is a bold attempt to select from the ever-growing number of gins from the UK, the rest of Europe, the US, Australia and many other countries. He also names his favourite bars in the UK and around the world for enjoying gin. Aaron explains how gin is made, including an in-depth look at botanicals, and provides advice on how to taste and appreciate gin. There are 50 gin-based cocktail recipes and a section on the gin and tonic – including tonics themselves. Everything there is to say about gin is in this book which has something for both connoisseurs and those exploring the category for the first time.
Jacqui Small Publishing. Hardback. £25.
Jerry Thomas’s 1862 book, The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks, or the Bon-Vivant’s Companion, and its subsequent editions, has become a bible for modern bartenders. Many classic and forgotten cocktails feature in its pages from the Spread Eagle Punch to the Mint Julep and Champagne Cup so Amberley Publishing has brought out a version of the 1887 edition with a useful index and glossary. As Bacardi Global Brands’ head of advocacy, Giuseppe Gallo, points out in his foreword, Jerry wrote more than just a list of recipes but a book that is “enlightening and entertaining for the author was, above all, a storyteller”. But, for deeper insights into Jerry Thomas’s drinks and legacy, you need David Wondrich’s book Imbibe!.
Amberley Publishing. Hardback. £9.99.