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Bar Books We Recommend For Every Aspiring Bartender

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15/12/2021 Books that will not only increase your cocktails knowledge but also help you understand what’s required to be the best in the bar and know your bartending in and out.

Being a bartender is not just about making fancy cocktails but also about knowing what goes in the cocktail, how to work at the bar, the design of the bar, and a lot more. It’s about having the right bar knowledge. A bartending book will help you learn about the industry’s expertise and set your foundations right.

We curated a list of some of the best bartending books, in no particular order, by the industry pros and some of the incredibly talented bartenders. Any book can give you ample knowledge, but a book written by an industry veteran and someone who has been behind the bar will help you connect with the book and help you understand the industry better.

The Craft of the Cocktail - Dale Degroff

Price: $35
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This book is everything for a person who wants to learn all about the bar. Also known as the cocktail bible, it is written by one of the renowned mixologists Dale Degroff. The book explains everything from the right ingredients to the cocktail culture and all the tips and tricks that can help a bartender to work at the bar. The book is a must-read for aspiring bartenders looking forward to learning from scratch. It gives an interesting overview of the history of spirits, some tried and tested techniques in the bar, rich stories about the industry, vintage recipes, and a lot more.


The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft - Gary Regan

Price: $20
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Written by the most-read cocktail expert, Gary Regan, this book is a classic and provides fascinating knowledge about cocktails. It gives Gary’s insights on the cocktail revolution. The book categorizes the cocktails into different families which not only helps the bartenders in remembering all the recipes but also guides them to invent recipes by themselves. It is an encyclopedia of cocktails and helps the bartender in mastering a dozen of recipes.


Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions - Alex Day, Nick Fauchald & David Kaplan

Price: $24
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An award-winning book by the authors of Death & Co., it is essential for a home bar as well as for someone who is learning about drinks and cocktails from scratch. The book compiles together the recipes of the 6 mother cocktails that include Martini, Sidecar, Old Fashioned, Daiquiri, Whisky Highball, and Flip. These root recipes provide a template and a roadmap to build all the other cocktails. Packed with a wide variety of techniques, flavour pairings, and vast knowledge of spirits, it comes with easy-to-read infographics and charts. The numerous tips and anecdotes add to the tools that help to understand, execute and improvise classic and original cocktails.


The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique - Jeffrey Morgenthaler & Martha Holmberg

Price: $9
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Written by an outstanding bartender and cocktail blogger, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, this book is an easy-to-understand guide to bartending. It talks about the basics of bartending in a more easy and simplified way. It lists the techniques and the best practices for learning the fundamentals of bartending like stirring, shaking, garnishing, and a lot more. Refining the various aspects of bartending by describing which tools to use and why and at the same time portraying the method of making cocktails through pictures and making it easier to remember. At any point of time in your bartending career, this book comes as a reference to your foundations. 


Five Points in Magic - Juan Tamariz

Price: $38
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A book not specific to bartending is the Five Points in Magic written based on the highly regarded study done by Juan Tamariz. The book explains the psychological and physical elements of serving a guest in any kind of setting. It teaches the body language required inside and outside the bar. It is essential to learn how to portray your personality in front of the guest including your hand movement, positions of your shoulders, or even the way you stand inside the bar. A guide to your presence in the bar, this book is a must-read for any aspiring hospitality professionals.


How to Cocktail: Recipes and Techniques for Building the Best Drinks - America’s Test Kitchen

Price: $14
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A guide to making cocktails with the ideal proportion of ingredients and best mixing techniques, this book is America’s Test Kitchen's first cocktail book which is solely written after their tests and experiments. Every cocktail recipe in this book explains the importance and relevance of every ingredient used in it. It helps you to make your tonic, vermouths, bitters, liqueurs, and a lot more at home with their DIY recipes. Thus, it is a complete guide to preparing an array of cocktails without buying any expensive bottles or products. 


Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails - David Kaplan & Nick Fauchald

Price: $33
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From the authors of Cocktail Codex and the very famous namesake bar Death & Co, this is a go-to cocktail book with 500 of the most innovative and sought-after recipes from their bar. It is a must-visit destination for serious drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts and is based out of Los Angeles, Denver and NYC. The book provides compelling information on the theory and philosophy of making drinks. A guide to buying and using the right spirits, it also explains step-by-step instructions to master the bartending techniques.


Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail - Dave Arnold

Price: $14
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Winner of the 2015 James Beard Award for Best Beverage Book, Liquid Intelligence offers a revolutionary approach to making better-looking and better-tasting cocktails. From the shape of the ice cube to the sugar and acid in the ingredients, Dave Arnold describes why everything should be measured while making a cocktail. The book emphasizes the temperature, the acidity of the liquid, sugar concentration, and other aspects that can enhance the classic cocktails and help in inventing new ones. It reveals some fascinating observations and creative techniques for making cocktails by explaining how to make crystal clear ice cubes, how to clarify cloudy lime juice, and a lot more


The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails - Mittie Hellmich

Price: $8
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Nominated for the James Beard Award for the Best Wine and Spirits book, this book lists all the essential know-how and how-tos for bartending by Mittie Hellmich. It specifies the appropriate barware for making drinks, the method of mixing drinks properly, and everything necessary to know while working in the bar. It is a solid and all-around book on bartending with high-quality illustrations making it more engaging. Revealing all the secrets of classic cocktails, it also offers an essential selection of hangover remedies that are essential for a bartender to remember.


Meehan’s Bartender Manual - Jim Meehan

Price: $22
Buy here

A James Beard Award-Winning book, this is the bible for the bartending community. It provides an intimate look at the world of bartending through the eyes of a veteran, Jim Meehan. It explains the modern bar industry in and out and provides insights by bartenders from across the globe. From cocktail history, bar design, hospitality principles, menu development to bartending lingos, it has everything. Overall, it is the perfect book for professionals looking to enter this career or an enthusiastic amateur. The Bartender Manual provides in-depth knowledge about spirits and insightful conversations with distillers and producers.


Article by - Shreya Kohli, Beverage Trade Network

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