I have been having the best time styling and re-styling my new bar cart! Who ever thought that a Christmas present could bring an adult the same type of joy and excitement a child expresses when they receive a new toy!?! While decorating this bar cart continues to be super fun, I have realized that when it comes to making an actual cocktail, I am but a novice. Now it's one thing to have a well decorated bar cart, but if you don't know how to properly use the tools you take so much pride in displaying, then what the heck is that?!?
Over the weekend, I visited my local Barnes and Noble (I still really enjoy going to bookstores) to see what literature was available with respect to cocktail crafting. After some extensive research, I have put together a list of the three books I have found to be the most helpful/informative for anyone looking to better understand the world of cocktail crafting.
Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails, by: Eric Prum & Josh Williams
Eric Prum and Josh Williams have made the art of cocktail making extremely user friendly with the creation of their book, Shake. From the simple yet beautiful visuals, to the easy to follow recipes, this book couldn't be a better starting point for getting your feet wet when it comes to learning how to craft a delicious cocktail. Their recipe for "A Mid-Winter Marg." is already on my menu for Super Bowl Sunday and their section on Cocktail Crafting 101 has been extremely helpful to reference while I have been working to put together a properly stocked bar and bar cart. For those of you looking for a high level overview of cocktail crafting and some delicious recipes, this book is for you!
The Craft Cocktail Party: Delicious Drinks for Every Occasion, by: Julie Reiner
I love this book not only because it contains cocktail recipes for every season, but also because the author, Julie Reiner, breaks down the basic formula for making a delicious cocktail. In addition, she shares various tips and tricks for how incorporate an array of cocktail making techniques into your drink recipe and use what you have on hand to create a flavorful beverage. If that weren't enough, I am totally in love with her cocktail presentations and I find her array of garnishes to be inspirational. Julie Reiner shares so many great ideas for how to create and serve a show-stopping cocktail for any occasion, which is why this book has quickly become a favorite of mine.
The Curious Bartender: The Artistry & Alchemy of Creating the Perfect Cocktail, by: Tristan Stephenson
I would have to say that of the three books selected for this post, this one speaks to my learning style the most. I am inquisitive by nature and love to learn as much as I can when diving into a new subject, so this book couldn't be more perfect for me. The Curious Bartender includes a history of every spirit, recipes for making delicious cocktails, a breakdown of how to stock your bar, lessons on various cocktail crafting techniques and a resource page detailing where to purchase all of those bar/bar cart accessories (like here). This book is a wealth of knowledge, a go-to reference for me and a fabulous addition to my bar cart!