3 of the best cocktail books

Yes, yes, I know, I’m a woman obsessed. But who can blame me? I have two kids and a new bar trolley (read my steps to styling one here) and I live near the owners of The Cambridge Distillery, the world’s first gin tailor who make bespoke botanical blends for customers, big companies and world-renowned restaurants like Nobu and Noma. Suffice to say alcohol and I are having a moment, so, it made sense to merge my two interests: booze and books!

Here are, in my humble opinion,the 3 coolest cocktail books that will, hopefully, help me find my inner Coyote Ugly girl whilst serving from my bar trolley this summer. Altogether now: ‘Hell, no H2O!’

Good things to drink, by Mr Lyan and friends, £20 – BUY!

A friend of my husband’s, we’ve watched the rise of Ryan Chetiyawardana aka ‘Mr Lyan’ from humble head bar-tender to International bar-tender of the year before becoming the multi award-winning innovative bar owner of White Lyan and also Dandelyan at the Mondrian Sea Containers, London with great pride. With a focus on modern botany, this book is the perfect companion for the more adventurous cocktail-maker who wants to make crowd-pleasing cocktails at home with minimum fuss. My favourite? The Nuked Negroni, made with 1 grapefruit, 300ml gin, 300ml sweet vermouth, 300 ml campari, 6 blackberries and 1 sprig of rosemary all mixed and then blitzed in a microwave. Delicious!


Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle, £7.49 – BUY!

The title! You’ve gotta love the title! A true ‘cocktail classic’ this recipe book takes inspiration from literary classics so is an instant win for me. Great for barflies and book club nights alike, you can try your hand at mixing a ‘Romeo and Julep’, ‘A Rum of One’s Own’ and, my favourite ‘Are you there God, it’s me, Margarita!’ Fun, fizzy, fruity: there’s something for everyone.

Gin: Shake, Muddle, Stir, £9.99 – BUY!

This bartender’s guide to mixing gin cocktails is the perfect gift for those partial to a glass of Mother Geneva, more commonly known now as ‘Mother’s Ruin’ (no idea why, ahem.) Taking inspiration from its music-pun title it’s divided into chapters including:  classic chords, citrus notes, exotic rhythms and heady beats (get it?) There are lots of great gin cocktail concoctions in here (who wouldn’t want a Sloe Screw?) – it’s already got pride of place on my bar trolley.

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