Naturally, I think that my book, DIY Cocktails, makes a great Christmas gift. But maybe you and all your friends and relatives already have my book and are looking for other cocktail-related books. Here are some that I recommend:
Seasonal Cocktail Companion, by Maggie Savarino ~ This book combines fun DIY projects like making your own bitters or liqueur with cocktail recipes–all based on seasonal ingredients. The flavor combinations are unique without being weird. It’s creative without being too challenging. This book is a good choice for people who want to get a little culinary with their drinks and are willing to spend a little time and effort on that. The focus is on projects, although there are quick and simple cocktail recipes mixed in as well.
Savoy Cocktail Book, by Harry Craddock ~ Anyone who is into classic cocktails will love this book. It’s a collection of Prohibition-era recipes from the period’s most famous bartender. But it goes way beyond the familiar recipes and even the biggest cocktail nerd will learn something new. These drinks are strong and dry, so this wouldn’t be the right choice for people who like their drinks on the fruity and sweet side. My only real complaint about the book is the organization: There’s no index, and the recipes are categorized and sequenced in a way that doesn’t always follow how most people look for drink recipes. But it’s worth flipping around to find new and exciting cocktails to try.
Luscious Liqueurs, by AJ Rathbone ~ The liqueur recipes in here are delicious, but they’re also easy. I often find that people over-complicate homemade liqueurs, so I was pleased that this book has a direct and practical approach. You can trust the methods and descriptions, which is saying a lot when it comes to liqueur projects. It’s not just for those with a sweet tooth–it also features amaro and herbal recipes.
Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, by Michelle Palm ~ This is definitely a specialty book, but it’s a lot of fun. The flavor profiles of the shots are good overall, so you don’t have to worry that it’s just a bunch of sugar bombs. There’s a lot of variety to the recipes, and it’s ideal for anyone who has a lot of parties. You do, however, have to be quite patient to get your home versions to look as cute.