Cocktails are delicious and fun, but it's even more entertaining to make them yourself. Whether you're planning a tiki party or just looking to recreate your bar favourites at home, a cocktail recipe book is just what you need. There's something to suit everyone's tastes, including mocktail books and those highlighting whisky or gin-based drinks.
We've put together a guide to help you select a suitable title and ranked the ten best cocktail books in the UK for beginners and budding mixologists alike. We've included some popular reads like The Cocktail Bible, Tequila Mockingbird and The Savoy Cocktail Book and linked where to buy them from Amazon and eBay. There's even something for Potterheads!
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Table of Contents
Whether you're a mixology expert or making cocktails for the first time, there are a few things you should consider when buying a cocktail book. If you follow our tips, you're sure to find the best recipe collection for your needs.
Do you have a favourite type of alcohol? Some recipe books focus on specific spirits like gin, whisky or Prosecco. You can experiment by making lots of drinks containing different fruits and herbs, all with the familiarity of your favourite tipple. These books are a great way to discover new drinks you're almost guaranteed to enjoy.
Alternatively, you could stick to a classic book containing recipes with all sorts of spirits as their bases. Branch out and try one of these books if you're up for trying anything. They're also great for parties, where you might want to cater to a range of different tastes.
You can get the whole family involved in the cocktail making experience if you choose a book that contains non-alcoholic recipes. The kids won't feel left out as they'll be able to make fancy mocktails that look just as good as the real thing.
If you're planning a cocktail party, you should consider one of these books. Some guests may be driving or tee-total, and it's always good to have refreshments that everyone can enjoy. Plus, these books are great for occasional drinkers. When you're not in the mood for something alcoholic but want an exciting drink, you can try out a mocktail recipe.
Cocktail books with recipes for themed drinks make great gifts. If you know someone who likes reading, you could buy them a title featuring drinks that have a literary twist. Some other popular cocktail book themes include Harry Potter, fantasy and vintage.
These books are also essential for special occasions and parties. If you've planned a costume party, themed drinks add to the atmosphere and help guests immerse themselves in the experience. Harry Potter and fantasy books are particularly good for Halloween dinners and parties.
Don't worry, not every book is themed as some contain straightforward recipes. These books will teach you how to make familiar bar drinks at home. Perfect for people who aren't after anything too flashy!
Most cocktail books contain an introduction alongside recipes, with a few tips and some information on specific types of alcohol. If you've never made cocktails before or are looking to master the art of mixology, you'll need something that goes more in-depth.
Look for books with a teaching guide that contains separate sections with pointers for making the best cocktails. These guides often have useful information about techniques and methods, like dry shaking and straining. Some even teach you how to present the drinks, with key information on glassware and decoration.
Teaching guides are all well and good, but the main thing you want to get from a cocktail book is recipes. How many a book contains can vary greatly, from 50 all the way up to 750! Books with fewer recipes are ideal for occasional drinkers, whereas you'll want more if you experiment with cocktails often.
You should also bear in mind that books with more recipes tend to go into less detail. They are better for more advanced users, as they normally only contain a list of ingredients with very brief (if any) instructions. Beginners might prefer instructions written in more detail.
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The Essential Cocktail Book
Classic and Modern Cocktail Recipes for Every Day
The Only Cocktail Guide You’ll Need
A Clever and Witty Read That's Won an Award
Fizzy Drinks With Your Favourite Bubbly
The Geeky Bartender Drinks
TV Show, Film, Book and Game-Themed Drinks
The Cocktail Bible
Learn the Skilled Art of Mixology
The Virgin Cocktail Garden
Ideal for Anyone Cutting Back on Alcohol
Lance J. Mayhew
Whisky Made Me Do It
Learn Everything You Need to Know About Whisky
Dog 'n' Bone Books
Gin the Mood
A Gin Lover's Dream With Informative Instructions
The Savoy Hotel
The Savoy Cocktail Book
Vintage Recipes With Art Deco Illustrations
The Harry Potter Cocktail Cookbook
Fun Drinks Fit for Witches and Wizards
This book has earned our number one spot as it's the most informative read on our list. It contains information on bartending techniques, making your own ingredients, choosing cocktail shakers and much more! It even includes the nutritional information for each recipe so you can drink responsibly.
In addition, vegans can enjoy making drinks from this guide as suitable recipes are highlighted. As a winning cocktail book should, there are recipes for both much-loved traditional favourites and exciting, modern varieties, catering to all tastes and occasions.
If you're a firm fan of literary classics like Moby-Dick and Huckleberry Finn, you'll love this book. Not only is the book named cleverly, but the title of each drink is turned into a fun pun. It even contains a wry commentary on the books the drinks are named after to keep you entertained as you make cocktails!
There's no doubt that this book is a fun find, as it's brimming with humour. It has the official seal of approval because it has won a Goodreads Choice Award previously. To top it off, there are tips and information on technique to help cocktail-making beginners.
Learn how to create cocktails that include everyone's favourite party drink, Prosecco. You can't beat a bit of bubbly, after all! All the instructions are well-explained, so even a beginner should be able to whip up some impressive concoctions.
It would make a great gift, as the book is laid out beautifully. There are even little notes to help you refine the drink and avoid common mistakes. You are sure to make excellent tasting drinks if you follow the instructions.
Are you a self-proclaimed geek? If you are, you need to give this book a read. It contains a variety of recipes themed around popular games, TV, films and books. There's even a Legend of Zelda cocktail and a Final Fantasy one!
The whole family can enjoy it, too, as there's a section of non-alcoholic recipes younger fans can enjoy. This book is a great find with key tips listed in the introduction to help you to make the drinks correctly. There are also instructions for decorating drinks if you're hosting a dinner party.
If you're new to cocktail making and want to learn the art of mixology, you should pick this book. It has information on different techniques like churning and double straining. With lots of information and 200 recipes, this tome should keep you entertained for a while.
You have the option to receive it in flexibound format, which is a hybrid between hardcover and paperback and perfect for taking on the go. It's also a breeze to handle as it's small and lies flat when open, making it easy to see the recipes.
Are you looking to improve your health and cut back on alcohol? These refreshing non-alcoholic recipes are healthy and made with fruit and herbal infusions. Many recipes even contain superfoods like papaya and pomegranate to keep your body in tip-top condition.
If you'd like a treat now and again, there are also instructions for how you can adapt them to contain alcohol. Furthermore, it's easy to find what you're looking for, as the recipes are organised according to the ingredient, unlike some other books.
If you love a glass of bourbon or Scotch, this is the perfect book for you. It contains 60 recipes for whisky-based cocktails, including the famous Old Fashioned and Manhattans. There's a guide with information on how whisky is made too, for those who are looking to learn more about their favourite spirit.
The illustrations are lovely, but the book could benefit from photographs of the finished drinks so you have an idea of how they're supposed to look. On a positive note, you have the option to choose between a hardcover as a gift or an eBook for yourself.
Here's a book that's ideal for anyone who loves gin! It features 50 cocktails using the ever-popular spirit and is very informative with recipes that go into a lot of detail. It even contains information on the glassware and garnishes you should use for each drink, so you can get it looking right!
A couple of buyers have noted that the layout is a little askew, but that's an aesthetic issue that won't affect your ability to read the recipes. Overall, it's easy to understand and it contains colour pictures of each drink so you can see what it looks like once made.
The Savoy Cocktail Book was originally published in 1930, so it has a unique vintage feel. It features Art Deco illustrations to capture the glamour of that time and contains over 750 recipes, all of which were popularised by the famous London hotel, The Savoy.
The fact that there is no index can make the book slightly harder to navigate. However, it's a great book for themed parties that's available in three different formats, and there's an updated introduction with a few new recipes added.
The world of Harry Potter is filled with unique and interesting drinks and potions, like pumpkin juice and butterbeer. Well, now you turn these fan-favourites into cocktails using this Harry Potter cookbook. There are even variation tips for mixing up the recipe or making the drinks stronger.
Disappointingly, the pictures are all black and white, and there are no mocktail recipes to get the kids involved in the fun. Despite this, it's a great book, and it includes the nutritional information for the drinks as a bonus.
Before you make your drinks, you need to buy the right ingredients and tools. For starters, you're going to need a shaker to make sure your drink is mixed correctly. You also need to choose the alcoholic base for your beverage! Check out our guides to help you pick.
Once you purchase your new guide, you'll be enjoying cocktails at home for years to come. We hope you've found our advice helpful and enjoyed looking through our recommendations of the best cocktail books. Let's get the party started!
Author: Rosa Fairfield
No. 1：The Essential Cocktail Book｜Classic and Modern Cocktail Recipes for Every Day
No. 2：Tim Federle｜Tequila Mockingbird
No. 3：Laura Gladwin｜Prosecco Cocktails
No. 4：Cassandra Reeder｜The Geeky Bartender Drinks
No. 5：Bounty Books｜The Cocktail Bible
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