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Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

Who needs bars when you have these amazing guides?

Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

Drinking an exquisitely made cocktail is one of life's greatest pleasures.

While your drinks trolley probably doesn't match up to a cocktail bar in terms of range of supplies, there's absolutely no reason you can't indulge that pleasure at home. And a cocktail recipe book will help.

Over the last few years, an increasing number of mixologists, bartenders and other experts have been sharing the secrets to their drinks in a series of books designed to help you make cocktails at home.

If the idea of diving straight in sounds a little daunting to you, there are currently plenty of social distancing cocktail masterclasses taking place online. With brilliant bartenders expertly guiding you through the cocktail making process, at home classes from the likes of Smith & Sinclair are sure to help you through.

Alternatively, if whisky is more your thing, Master of Malt's Pete Holland is guiding a live tasting session called Drinks by the Dram. All that's required is to purchase a set online for £24.25 and you'll be guided through some top quality whisky. The classes are also a great way to add a little human interaction to the learning process.

But whether you're a seasoned home bartender or your skills extend as far as a gin and tonic, these books will help, covering the basics you need to begin with and more complex techniques to take your drinks to the next level.

Don't forget to vote for your favourite – and let us know if we're missing anything essential.

Until then: bottoms up!

Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

1. Tequila Mockingbird

£7.60
Buy now from Amazon

If you love books, you'll love this. Literary themes abound in this pick, which has recipes based on Moby Dick, Dorian Grey, Romeo and Juliet and more. Great for expanding your cocktail repertoire and entertaining to boot – and great as a gift for any bookish pals, too.



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Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

2. The Periodic Table of Cocktails

£7.72
Buy now from Amazon

Know which flavours you like but have no idea how to start? Want to know how to mix flavours, styles and spirits together with ease?

The Periodic Table of Cocktails works this all out for you. Find a cocktail you know you like in the table, and you'll be directed to more flavour profiles you'll like. Drinks are sorted by characteristic, so it's easy to see what goes where – and you'll soon become an expert.

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Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

3. The Pikes Cocktail Book: Rock 'n' roll cocktails from one of the world's most iconic hotels

£16.99
Pre-order now from Amazon

Pikes Hotel in Ibiza has seen many, many famous faces sat at its bar: George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Grace Jones, Fatboy Slim, Irvine Welsh, Boy George, Kate Moss and Kylie to name but a few.

And while your living room probably doesn't have the same rock'n'roll vibes as that, you can at least recreate a slice of the hedonism with the hotel's new book. 65 recipes are split into three categories – Poolside Sunset, After Midnight and The Morning After – so there's something to suit every mood.

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Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

4. The Savoy Cocktail Book

£17.45
Buy now from Amazon

Want to know where it all started? The Savoy Cocktail Book, that's where.

First published in the 1930s, the cocktails in the book were pioneered at the posh Savoy Hotel in London and have now become firm fixtures in bars across the world. Written in the style of the times, you'll also get a lovely insight into the birth of many of your favourite drinks.

And you're not likely to run out of ideas, either – there are over 750 in this book.

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Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

5. Meehan's Bartender Manual

£20.25
Buy now from Amazon

If you want some history with your drinks, this is the book for you. Bartender Jim Meehan shares some of his best recipes, but also covers the history of bartending, explains how to develop a cocktail menu, and gives insight into spirits production, drink mixing technique and how to keep a well-stocked bar at home.

It's also stylishly designed, so will look great among your cookbooks.

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Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

6. Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions

£20.25
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The authors of this book – owners of cocktail bar Death & Co – claim there are "only six cocktails". Master them and you can create anything.

They describe how to make six "root" recipes – the old-fashioned, sidecar, whisky highball, flip, martini and daiquiri – and explain how each ingredient works with one another. Once you have these under your belt, you can start to improvise, knowing instinctively which cocktail mixes will work and which won't. Great for beginners and those who know what they're doing.

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Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

7. Cocktails Made Simple

£10.06
Buy now from Amazon

One for complete beginners, Cocktails Made Simple gives you 40 simple recipes – all iconic cocktails – to learn at home.

There's also some useful info included that will help you get started: what sort of glasses to use, how to build a home bar, and what you can use if you don't have all the ingredients. A great start for anyone.

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8. Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails

£16.99
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Many cocktail bars focus on being cutting edge – making sure they're giving you the most innovative, up-to-date drinks they can.

But that doesn't mean vintage classics should be forgotten. This book contains over 100 rare drinks – some of which will probably be more familiar than others – and gives insights into the cocktail world of the past.

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Cocktail making advice while stuck indoors

Given we are all stuck indoors right now, it's all well and good having a cocktail book but if you haven't got all the ingredients, for whatever reason, it's a little difficult to make the cocktail of your choice.

With that in mind, we have spoken to Award Winning Mixologist Tom Dyer. He's been working with Jose Cuervo on an Instagram series helping Britons in lockdown make bar-quality tequila cocktails using everyday kitchen ingredients.

He's created five delicious cocktail using everyday ingredients found in the back of cupboards and fridges. If you want to see how he's done it, head to @josecuervouk on Instagram for episodes of Ready Steady Cuervo.

Here's his cocktail tips...

Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

1. Use Jiff Lemon for lemon juice

You might struggle to find lemons in your local corner shop, I know I sometimes do. Why not try swapping Lemon juice with Jiff Lemon which millions of people will have left over from Pancake Day! It can be a little more tart, so you can mix with water to and a touch if sugar to dilute. Limes can also be used in place of lemons most of the time

2. Port is a GREAT Base

Sometimes the classic spirits is just too much and I want a low alcohol cocktail, so I go to the back of the cabinet and pull out the port. Don't use as much as your regular spirit but replace Rum for port in a Mojito for example and you might be surprise by the result

3. No cocktail shaker, no worries

There is plenty alternatives, some of which work better. A large pickle jar, a protein shaker or Tupperware container are all items you can try. Anything with a lid that closes will work. If you are doing multiple cocktails a large Tupperware container will do the job wonderfully

4. Use chickpea juice instead of egg white

Ever wondered how bartenders get the beautiful foamy texture on some of their cocktails. Normally they use an egg white, but if you're worried about using raw egg or want a vegan alternative, the juice from your chickpea can works great. Shake it Hard and you'll get that same foamy texture adding another dynamic to your drinks

5. Chocolate is a great replacement for sugar syrup

In our Cuervo Choclate Orange, we used chocolate orange instead of sugar syrup..it adds taste, sweetness and texture to a drink. Blended with the other ingredients you have the delightfully delicious 'Cuerco Chocolate Orange’.


How to make the perfect Patrón Margarita

Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

We also spoke to the folks at Patrón about how to make the perfect margarita and they revealed to us this recipe...

What you need...

  • 35ml Patrón Reposado tequila
  • 15ml Patrón Citrónge Orange liqueur
  • 20ml Lime juice

How to make...

  • Chill a coupe glass
  • Garnish glass with lime wedge and ½ salt rim
  • Add all ingredients and ice to a shaker
  • Shake and strain into glass

Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

Secret Sofa is back Friday 15 May with a screening of Baz Luhrmamn’s Romeo and Juliet. To celebrate the occasion Häagen-Dazs has collaborated with Piper-Heidsieck Champagne to create two ‘Rival House Serves’ using the luxurious Champagne and Häagen-Dazs Gelato Collection and they sound pretty tasty. Here's how to make them:

The Montague

Ingredients:
  • 75ml Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut
  • One 95ml mini cup of Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Drizzle Gelato
  • A sprig of mint (to garnish)
Method:
  • Pour Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage into a shot glass
  • Scoop the chocolate gelato into chosen coupé glass
  • Sprinkle with desire and raspberries

The Capulet

Ingredients:
  • 75ml Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut
  • One 95ml mini cup of Häagen-Dazs Caramel Swirl Gelato
  • A sprig of mint (to garnish)
Method:
  • Pour Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage into a shot glass
  • Scoop the chocolate gelato into chosen martini glass
  • Grab a sprig of mint leaves and garnish nobly

How to make a STARLINO Rosso Negroni

Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Starlino Rosso
  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part Old Fashoned
  • Garnish: orange peel and cherry

Method:

Add 25 ml Starlino Rosso, 25 ml Campari, 25 ml Gin to an Old Fashioned glass. Stir and serve with a twist of fresh orange peel and a maraschino cherry.

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How to make a STARLINO Rose Spritz

Best cocktail recipe books for budding home mixologists

Ingredients:

  • 1 Part Starlino Rosé
  • 3 Parts Prosecco
  • 1 Part Soda
  • Garnish: Slice of Grapefruit

Method:

Add ice to a long stem glass followed by 1 Part STARLINO Rosé. Top up with 3 Parts Prosecco and 1 Part Soda and garnish with a slice of grapefruit.

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