5 Cocktail Books To Have At Home

BarChick's Kinda Book Club

If there's one thing we learnt over the last few years of lockdowns, its the importance of having a book shelf filled with interesting and impressive books as your Zoom meeting background. These 5 epic recipe books from some of the best bars and people in the hospitality biz will not only impress the people on the other end of your camera, but they'll level up your home mixology tenfold.

An Anthology of 12 Classic Cocktails by Jake Burger

RRP: Free to anyone with Spotify or a screen.

Where to buy: Listen to on Spotify, or you can read the digital version here.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jake F Burger (@jakefburger)

Bartenders love to get geeky over drinks, but if you've ever had the pleasure of attending one of Jake Burger's spirits masterclasses, you'll know this guy is a whole other level of drinks nerd. What this man doesn't know about cocktails pretty much ain't worth knowing, but what he does know has been written down in his new book, written in collaboration with Hi Spirits, to bring you an education on 12 cocktails that shape the mixology world today.

This historic page-turner is a delicious mixture of historical facts, anecdotes, stories and recipes - a full-on deep dive into the roots and evolution of 11 "historical" cocktails and one a bit more contemporary, and in classic Jake Burger style, it's witty, informative and filled with origin stories more captivating than The Joker, Malificent and Wolverine put together. You'll find yourself with plenty of "fun facts" to bring out at your next cocktail party. Tbh if they had covered this sh*t in school, we might have paid more attention.

BarChick's favorite recipe/chapter: The Margarita chapter called out to us like a siren. 

The Alchemist Cocktail Book: Master The Dark Arts Of Mixology

RRP: £16.99

Where to buy: thealchemist.uk.com

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by TheAlchemistUK (@thealchemistuk)

Time to get all David Blane with your cocktail shaker. The molecular mixology wizards from The Alchemist are sharing the tricks behind their menus in their new glossy book of experimental cocktails. If your home cocktails have been lacking creativity recently then buckle in baby, cos that's about to change. 

The various chapters will help you tune into your drinking vibe, from Chemistry & Theatre, Twisted Classics and New Wave to Classics and Low & No Alcohol. Yeah, some of the recipes call for dry ice (what do you mean you don't have any in your freezer?) and some serves might need a couple of days prep before you get to drink 'em, but when you knock 'em up at your next dinner party it'll all be worth it. 

BarChicks favourite recipe: The Bananagroni (15ml Gin, 15ml Aperol & 30ml Banana Vermouth)

Schofield's Fine & Classic Cocktails; Celebrated Libations & Other Fancy Drinks By Daniel & Joe Schofield

RRP: £15.99

Where to buy: A quick google will find you the best price.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by DANIEL SCHOFIELD (@drschofield)

When it comes to beautifully bound hard-backed reference points for proper mixology, this book does the job, and then some. The Schofield Bros. have paired together clever, classic and creative recipes with beautiful imagery (so you know if your creating at least looks right), and there's even a wicked glossary to fill in the gaps not filled from a life not working behind a bar. With the help from some fellow legends in the hospitality biz who have leant their recipes to the glossy pages.

If your home bar is a few steps up from mixology novice, you'll probably already have most ingredients needed kicking about in your cupboards, making this the perfect accompaniment to those spur of the moment cocktail cravings, and if you don't, they'll be worth the investment cos you'll be making them over and over again once you've given them a try. Trust us.

BarChick's favourite recipe: We've been making the Army & Navy on repeat since we got our hands on this book (50ml Gin, 25ml Lemon Juice & 20ml Orgeat)

Doctor's Orders by Chris Edwards & Dave Tregenza

RRP: £10

Where to buy: FirstAidBox.com

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by First Aid Box (@firstaidbox2015)

We're not one to ignore the advice of any medical professionals, especially ones who prescribe making up fancy cocktails in your casa. Doctors Orders is the clever, colourful and imaginative recipe book from the guys at Brixton's The Shrub & Shutter + uts Herne Hill-based sister bar, First Aid Box. These guys are known for their fun garnishes, clever pun-filled names and theatrically decorated bars (we're talking taxidermy squirrels and hidden gin bars) so expect more of the same hidden within the pages.

They have a wicked glossary of ingredients at the front, and teach you everything you need to go about creating a wicked home bar set-up like a pro. You might struggle to make a few of the cocktails on a whim as a few of the ingredients are a little less common than others, but nothing is so outrageously niche that you'll be googling how to import it from the far-flung regions of Asia to make your cocktail!

BarChick's favourite recipe: Coconut Old Fashioned (50ml Aged Rum, 10ml Coconut Water Syrup Reduction, 3 Drops Angostura, Orange oil)

Claridge's - The Cocktail Book

RRP: £25

Where to buy: Direct from the hotel (or Amazon if you want it cheaper, and tomorrow!)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by CLARIDGE’S (@claridgeshotel)

This book when right to the top of our Christmas wish list when they announced its publication earlier this year. It includes recipes ranging from classic cocktails to original creations and modern libations from through the years at Claridge’s, dating all the way back to 1856. Hell yeah to all of that.

It's been created by Claridge’s Bars Manager Denis Broci and the newly appointed Director of Mixology Nathan McCarley-O’Neill who was previously found at some of the world’s best bars and institutions including NoMad and Dandelyan. He also happens to have held the title of the ‘World’s Most Experimental Bartender’ and ‘Bartender of the Year’, so expect this cocktail book to hold some real treasures.

BarChick's favourite recipe: The Flapper is one that caught our eye immediately: 15ml Briottet Crème de Cassis, 15ml Boiron strawberry purée, Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée NV Champagne, to top up and 1/2 a strawberry to garnish.