Right off the bat, this is the first book you should purchase. The grandfather of the modern craft cocktail movement, Dale DeGroff’s guide The Craft of the Cocktail takes you step by step through every aspect of setting up a home bar, and all the techniques you need to start making craft cocktails on your own. A wonderful reference manual for the beginner or the pro.
The Official Mixer’s Manual by Patrick Gavin Duffy is one of the ‘must-haves’ for any craft cocktail bar, home or otherwise. It is one of the most complete, comprehensive home or professional bartender’s guides obtainable. It contains over 1200 recipes for mixed drinks which have won public approval in the last 100 years.
Ted Haigh’s Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Spirits is a wonderful collection of vintage cocktails by one of the best contemporary cocktail historians and enthusiasts. Another ‘must-have’ for any bartender.
Hoffman House Bartender’s Guide, a reprint of the 1912 bartender’s manual from the classic Hoffman House Hotel in New York City, is now available from Cocktail Kingdom. You can’t go wrong collecting vintage bartender’s manuals, there are forgotten tasty recipes in every one.
David Wondrich, cocktail historian extraordinaire and official cocktail consultant to Esquire Magazine, has revised and updated his 2007 essential tome Imbibe! It’s packed with more fascinating information, entertaining tales and cocktail history than you can possibly absorb even in multiple readings, and is another ‘go-to’ guide for anyone interested in learning more about what they’re drinking.