Recent Additions to Professor Cocktail’s Library

spirits books

We’re in the midst of a golden age of books about cocktails and spirits. There are numerous interesting volumes being written and published by a lot of knowledgeable and talented writers.

It’s impossible for me to read all of them, but I try my best to at least keep up with what’s coming out. I may not read a book cover to cover, but I flip through them and use them for reference purposes all the time. As a result, the professor’s library is well-stocked, and well-thumbed.

Here are the latest additions:

Food & Wine Cocktails 2014
Greg Seider – Alchemy in a Glass: The Essential Guide to Handcrafted Cocktails
Philip Greene – To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion
Bryce T. Bauer – Gentlemen Bootleggers: The True Story of Templeton Rye, Prohibition, and a Small Town in Cahoots
Daniel Yaffe – Drink More Whiskey!: Everything You Need to Know About Your New Favorite Drink
Tristan Stephenson – The Curious Bartender: The Artistry and Alchemy of Creating the Perfect Cocktail
Jeffrey Morgenthaler – The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique
Dane Huckelbridge – Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit
Eric Asimov and Florence Fabricant – Wine With Food: Pairing Notes and Recipes from the New York Times

I better get to reading!


Book Deals of Interest (6/23/2014)

cocktail books

Torn from the pages of Publishers Marketplace, here are some book deals from the past few months that caught our eye.

June 20, 2014 – THE NOMAD COOKBOOK by Daniel Humm, Will Guidara and Leo Robitschek
From New York restaurants Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad, chef Daniel Humm, restaurateur Will Guidara, and bar director Leo Robitschek’s THE NOMAD COOKBOOK, a two-in-one cookbook featuring sweet and savory recipes as well as cocktails from The NoMad restaurant and the James Beard Award-winning NoMad Bar, with photography by Francesco Tonelli, to Aaron Wehner and Julie Bennett at Ten Speed Press, to be published in 2015, by David Black at the David Black Literary Agency.

June 17, 2014 – A VISUAL GUIDE TO DRINK by Patrick Mulligan and Ben Gibson
Former Gotham editor Patrick Mulligan and former Penguin designer Ben Gibson’s A VISUAL GUIDE TO DRINK from their design startup Pop Chart Lab, an infographic collection of charts, graphs, maps, and designed data on beer, wine, and spirits, to Lauren Marino at Gotham.

June 11, 2014 – VERMOUTH by Adam Ford
Founder of Atsby New York Vermouth Adam Ford’s VERMOUTH: The Revival of the Spirit that Created America’s Cocktail Culture, the first-ever look into the history and recent revival of this aromatized, fortified wine, including photos and cocktail recipes, to Ann Treistman at Countryman Press, by Jessica Regel at Foundry Literary + Media (NA).

May 22, 2014 – THE ULTIMATE BEER LOVER’S HAPPY HOUR by John Schlimm
The Beer Lover’s Cookbook author John Schlimm’s THE ULTIMATE BEER LOVER’S HAPPY HOUR, a party-in-a-book featuring 325 bar snacks and beer cocktails for the home cook with 1,000 craft/seasonal beer pairing suggestions from a member of one of the oldest brewing families in the U.S, to Stephanie Bowen at Sourcebooks, for publication in August 2014, by Steve Troha at Folio Literary Management (NA).

May 13, 2014 – I’LL DRINK TO THAT by Diane McMartin
Diane McMartin’s I’LL DRINK TO THAT: From Toasting Your Success to Drowning Your Sorrows, 200 Wine & Beer Pairings for Every Occasion, based on the author’s column on, to Samantha O’Brien to Workman, by Kate McKean at the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.

April 24, 2014 – SHAKE and INFUSE by Eric Prum and Josh Williams
Product innovators and creators of the Mason Shaker, Eric Prum and Josh Williams’s self-published SHAKE: A New Perspective on Cocktails, and INFUSE: Water, Spirit Oil, both targeted for a 20-something crowd that wants its cocktails to be simple, social and artisanal but still fun and easy to create at home, to Pam Krauss and Doris Cooper at Clarkson Potter, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, by Laura Nolan at Paradigm (World).


Upcoming Cocktail and Spirits Books

To go along with last week’s post on Book Deals of Interest, here are some books that you’ll be able to read a lot sooner. Get those pre-orders in — they’re coming soon to a store near you. (If I missed something good, drop me a note and I’ll add it to the next list.)

Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
Written by renowned bartender and cocktail blogger Jeffrey Morgenthaler, The Bar Book is the only technique-driven cocktail handbook out there. This indispensable guide breaks down bartending into essential techniques, and then applies them to building the best drinks. More than 60 recipes illustrate the concepts explored in the text, ranging from juicing, garnishing, carbonating, stirring, and shaking to choosing the correct ice for proper chilling and dilution of a drink. With how-to photography to provide inspiration and guidance, this book breaks new ground for the home cocktail enthusiast.
The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore by Robert Simonson
A complete history of one of the world’s most iconic cocktails–now the poster child of the modern cocktail revival–with fifty recipes for classic variations as well as contemporary updates.
Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times by Michael Dietsch
Raise your glass to a surprising new taste sensation for cocktails and sophisticated sodas: Shrubs. Not the kind that grow in the ground, but a vintage drink mixer that will knock your socks off. “Mixologists across the country are reaching back through the centuries to reclaim vinegar’s more palatable past . . . embracing it as ‘the other acid,’ an alternative to the same-old-same-old lemons and limes,” said the New York Times. The history of shrubs, as revealed here, is as fascinating as the drinks are refreshing. These sharp and tangy infusions are simple to make and use, as you’ll discover with these recipes.
Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails, with More than 500 Recipes by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald and Alex DayThe definitive guide to the contemporary craft cocktail movement, from one of the highest-profile, most critically lauded, and influential bars in the world.
Alchemy in a Glass: The Essential Guide to Handcrafted Cocktails by Greg Seider
Full of original, ingredient-driven recipes for cocktails, mixers, garnishes, and bitters, this book by a cocktail expert for master chefs shows readers how to transform spirits and flavors into inspiring, mouthwatering drinks. In bars and restaurants across America, drinkers are being exposed to the artistry of the modern cocktail. Alchemy in a Glass takes readers on a journey of the palette and teaches them the art of balancing flavors, mixers, and spirits with the expert guidance of cocktail craftsman Greg Seider.
Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit by Dane Huckelbridge
Popular history with a whiskey-soaked edge: Bourbon is Dane Huckelbridge’s artful and imaginative biography of our most well-liked, and at times controversial, spirit, that is also a witty and entertaining chronicle of the United States itself.
Whiskey Cocktails: Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks Using the World’s Most Popular Spirit by Warren Bobrow
Grab your bow tie and a rocks glass, because we’re talking all about one of the most classic – and classy – spirits. Whether you like bourbon, scotch or rye, whiskey’s diverse and complex taste will be your new go-to drink for parties, gatherings, or evenings in your study with a roaring fire. Whiskey can be an intimidating drink to the uninitiated. Most folks may not be able to drink it straight. We’ve got you covered. The Cocktail Whisperer, Warren Bobrow, author of Apothecary Cocktails (Fair Winds Press) incorporates some of the best whiskeys into hand-crafted cocktails that bring out the subtle notes and flavors of any good bourbon or scotch.
The 12 Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles. Hundreds of Cocktails. by David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
We’re living in the midst of a cocktail renaissance—artisanal cocktails, celebrity mixologists, drinks menus as important as the wine list—and here is a renaissance guide for the home bartender. An ingenious new approach to making cocktails, The 12 Bottle Bar begins with one irresistible idea—you need only these twelve bottles—and shows how, with this versatile but select liquor pantry, anyone can make over 200 delicious, classic, budget-friendly mixed drinks, including sours, slings, toddies, and highballs, plus the perfect Martini, the perfect Manhattan, the perfect Mint Julep, and more.

Book Deals of Interest

cocktail books

Torn from the pages of Publishers Marketplace, here are some book deals from the past few months that caught our eye.

March 3, 2014 – SMUGGLER’S COVE by Martin Cate
Exotic cocktail expert, rum scholar, high potentate of the Rumbustion Society and proprietor of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, Martin Cate’s SMUGGLER’S COVE: COCKTAILS, RUM AND THE CULT OF TIKI, a look at the world of tiki cocktails and culture, from its roots in 1930s Hollywood through its mid-century heyday to the craft tiki revival now in full swing, as well as a guide to the mysterious spirit that is rum, with recipes, full-color illustrations, entertaining tips and a primer on tiki style, to Emily Timberlake at Ten Speed Press, in a very nice deal, for publication in fall 2015, by Jonah Straus at Straus Literary (NA).

March 3, 2014 – SHAKESPEARE, NOT STIRRED by Caroline Bicks and Michelle Ephraim
Shakespeare scholars Caroline Bicks and Michelle Ephraim’s SHAKESPEARE, NOT STIRRED, a cocktail book with equal parts booze and Bard to serve up cocktails and munchies with a twist of irreverent Shakespearean wisdom, to Meg Leder at Perigee, in a very nice deal, at auction, by Adriann Ranta and Allison Devereux at Wolf Literary Services (NA).

February 28, 2014 – THE MODERN CLASSICS by Robert Simonson
NYT spirits and cocktail writer and author of THE OLD-FASHIONED Robert Simonson’s THE MODERN CLASSICS, the first book to chronicle the story of the craft cocktail renaissance, featuring 25 iconic, important libations, to Emily Timberlake at Ten Speed Press, by David Larabell at the David Black Literary Agency.

January 27, 2014 – DRUGSTORE WHISKEY, PHARMACY GIN by Matthew Rowley
Historian and author of MOONSHINE! Matthew Rowley’s DRUGSTORE WHISKEY, PHARMACY GIN: Making It and Faking It with 200 Secret Booze Recipes from the Height of Prohibition, using high-resolution images from a secret 1920’s manuscript, Rowley examines the traditions, ingredients, and cultural context of Prohibition bootlegging with extensive annotations and over 200 recipes, to Ann Treistman atCountryman Press, for publication in Fall 2015, by Lisa Ekus of Lisa Ekus Group.

January 14, 2014 – AMARO by Brad Thomas Parsons
James Beard Award and IACP Cookbook award-winning author Brad Thomas Parsons’s AMARO, a spirited exploration of the world of aperitifs, digestifs, and bitter liqueurs – ranging from familiar favorites like Campari and Fernet Branca, to more obscure potables – featuring more than 70 amaro-centric cocktail recipes and a dozen DIY amaro recipes, to Emily Timberlake at Ten Speed Press, for publication in Spring 2015, by David Black at the David Black Literary Agency (World).

January 7, 2014 – Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry and Ben Schaffer
Tales of the Cocktail multiple award-winning bartenders Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, of The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in New York and formerly of The Merchant Hotel in Belfast, and writer Ben Schaffer’ on untitled combination cocktail guide, history, and memoir revealing the recipes and relating the tales that made both their bars the cocktail cathedrals of our time, to Justin Schwartz of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in Spring 2015, by Marilyn Allen at the Allen O’Shea Literary Agency (World).


Recent Additions to Professor Cocktail’s Library

Cocktail and Spirits BooksThere is a rich tradition of fascinating and useful books about cocktail and spirits, dating back to at least the mid-19th century when “Professor” Jerry Thomas published the world’s first cocktail guide.

I’ve been steadily building my collection over the past few years, some of which I’ve reviewed here on the site, and more of which I’d like to. I’m also regularly adding new books to the library — and here is the latest batch.

Dave Stolte – Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics)
Harry McElhone – Barflies and Cocktails
Jamie Boudreau and Canon – The Pacific Northwest’s Gentleman’s Companion
Gary Regan – The Negroni: A gaz regan Notion
Warren Bobrow – Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today
David A. Embury – The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks
Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric – Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined
Tony Conigliaro – The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes
David Wondrich – Esquire Drinks: An Opinionated & Irreverent Guide to Drinking With 250 Drink Recipes
Jeff Berry – Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean
Stew Ellington – 901 Very Good Cocktails

Lots of good reading ahead!


Get Your Signed Copy of “Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde”

The print edition of Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde: Recipes for the World’s Most Lethal Drink has been available for a while now, and sales have been good. (Thanks to all of you!) But I know that at least a few of you were interested in getting a signed copy. Now you can.

I’ve opened up a store on StoreEnvy to sell Professor Cocktail merchandise. At this point, the only thing available is Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde, but that may change in the future. You can get the book signed, or even get it inscribed if you want. I’ll write basically anything as long as it’s at least somewhat tasteful. Or I can come up with a pithy comment of my own. (See the website for details.)

It’s still a couple bucks cheaper to buy it from Amazon. But if you’d like a signed or personalized copy, this is the only way to get one.

Zombie Horde Print Front   Zombie Horde Print Rear

Books Reviews

Book Review: Jason Wilson’s “Wine Cocktails (Planet of the Grapes)”

The use of wine in cocktails is a hot trend among today’s top bartenders. But as Jason Wilson’s excellent new book shows, this trend is actually ages old.

I grew up in Bakersfield, California, a community with a large Basque population. (Thus my fondness for the Picon Punch.) One of the most popular drinks with younger Basques is Calimocho, a combination of cheap red wine and Coke. It’s one of those things that sounds revolting, but turns out to be surprisingly good. It makes for a refreshing drink on a hot day — and also helps use up the old wine that doesn’t taste so great on its own.

The Calimocho is far from unique. As long as people have been drinking wine, they’ve been mixing it with other things. Wine and soda of various sorts has long been a staple, as has the ubiquitous Sangria, which is properly made with wine, brandy, fruit, and possibly a liqueur. Different types of Champagne cocktails — including the sly and potent French 75 — have also dominated the field.

But it’s not just the more common types of wine that have featured in mixed drinks. Sherry and port have a rich history of use in concoctions of various types, especially back in Colonial times, when cobblers and sangarees of all stripes were the hot items of the day.

Wine Cocktails explores some of the history and development of these cocktails, along with general background on the wines themselves. Wilson’s writing is as lively and entertaining as always, making this a useful read even if your mixology skills are lacking.

The best part of Wine Cocktails, naturally, is the recipes, and Wilson collects a wide variety both old and new, many of them from top mixologists, utilizing a varieties of wines, spirits, and flavors. These are the real deal, not like so many of the recipes you find on the Internet. You can make these drinks trusting that you’ll end up with a final product that is unique and delicious.

All told, this is an indispensable book for anyone looking to learn more about this fascinating — and very tasty! — trend.

Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather

Recipe by Jason Wilson, as published in "Wine Cocktails"


  • 1 1/2 oz. Dark or Aged Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. Shiraz or Cabernet-Shiraz Blend
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/4 oz. Agave Nectar
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters (optional)
  • Ginger Beer


  1. Shake all ingredients (except ginger beer) with ice, then strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Top off with ginger beer.


“Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks” – Free for a Limited Time

From now until December 20, 2013, Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More is free to download from Amazon. Think of it as my Christmas gift to you, as a thank you for being a loyal reader.

Stuffed full of 112 recipes for drinks of all kinds, Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks is your secret weapon for dazzling the taste buds of everyone you know by making professional-quality cocktails from the comfort of your home bar.

If you do download it, and like what you see, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. It helps other people find the book and would mean a lot to me.

Also available is my first book, Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde: Recipes for the World’s Most Lethal Drink, which is available as both as an ebook and a trade paperback. But that one you still have to pay for.

Spread the holiday cheer and tell a friend. Merry Christmas!

Professor Cocktails Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More


Sale on “Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde”

In celebration of the release of my latest ebook, Professor Cocktail’s Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More, I’m running a sale on my first ebook.

For the next 2 days (starting right now, Sunday 12/8/2013), Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde: Recipes for the World’s Most Lethal Drink is available for only 99¢. After that, the price goes up to $1.99 for 2 days, and then returns to full price. So don’t miss your chance! The reviews have been great and I think it’s a lot of fun.

If you prefer a print edition, there’s also one of those available for Zombie Horde. But it costs more.

For the complete descriptions and links to the various versions, visit Professor Cocktail’s books.

Professor Cocktail's Zombie HordeProfessor Cocktails Holiday Drinks: Recipes for Mixed Drinks and More


Book Deals of Interest

cocktail books

Torn from the pages of Publishers Marketplace, here are some book deals from the past year that caught my eye.

December 4, 2013
Bartender and journalist Jacob Grier’s COCKTAILS ON TAP: The Art of Mixing Spirits And Beer, featuring more than 50 recipes for mixed drinks featuring beer as an ingredient, to Laura Dozier at Stewart, Tabori & Chang, by Jud Laghi at Jud Laghi Agency (World).

November 1, 2013
Mixologist and alchemist Scott McCallum’s and editor for the Chatelaine Modern Classics Cookbook, food writer, recipe developer, blogger and food stylist Victoria Walsh’s CANADIAN COCKTAIL GUIDE, a celebration of this country’s unique cocktail culture and artistry by region, featuring 100 signature drinks from Canadian mixologists, updated classics, the authors’ own creations, local flavours, and on-trend ingredients in a variety of cocktail forms, including infused spirits and syrups, tonics, bitters, sodas, and more, to Robert McCullough at Appetite, by Judy Linden at Stonesong on behalf of Random House.

October 3, 2013
Ian Buxton’s 101 LEGENDARY WHISKIES YOU’RE DYING TO TRY BUT (PROBABLY) NEVER WILL, a must-have for whisky lovers and whisky voyeurs which introduces readers to the rarest, finest and most expensive whiskies on the planet, to Emma Tait at Headline, for publication in June 2014, by Judy Moir at Judy Moir Agency (World English).

September 24, 2013
Proprietor of the Clover Club in Brooklyn and the Flatiron Lounge in Manhattan, Julie Reiner’s THE CRAFT COCKTAIL PARTY, written with former editor at Tasting Table Kaitlyn Goalen, an approachable guide to the world of craft cocktails that will show how to make great drinks with a simple home bar and how to entertain without spending your entire party mixing cocktails, to Karen Murgolo at Grand Central Life & Style, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in Spring 2015, by Jonah Straus at Straus Literary (World English).

May 28, 2013
Partners in the Mercadito Hospitality Group and co-owners of The Tippler, the cocktail bar in Chelsea Market Tad Carducci and Paul Tanguay (aka The Tippling Bros.)’s SHAKING UP DAISIES, a cocktailbook that pays tribute to Tequila and Mezcal, with 50+ recipes, plus the Mexican travel stories that inspired them, with primers on the margarita and the agave plant, and a breakdown of various chilies, salts, and other indigenous cocktail ingredients, with photography, to Justin Schwartz at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, by Dan Kirschen at ICM (World).

April 2, 2013
Reid Mitenbuler’s BOURBON EMPIRE: Whiskey and the Story of America, an exploration of the nation’s most distinctive spirit, from John Winthrop’s “hot waters” to the cornerstone of cocktail culture that bourbon is today, to Liz Van Hoose at Viking, at auction, by Michelle Brower at Folio Literary Management.

February 11, 2013
Mark Will-Weber’s MINT JULEPS WITH TEDDY ROOSEVELT, a history of presidential drinking that highlights not only the personal habits of our presidents but also the surprising, quirky and sometimes violent role alcohol played in executive policy, history, and society, to Alex Novak at Regnery History, by The Schisgal Agency (NA).

February 6, 2013
Former wine/spirits editor for Eater and Wine Spectator columnist Talia Baiocchi’s SHERRY, a guide to the history, many styles, and top producers of the wine world’s hidden secret, with photographs and more than 40 cocktail recipes, to Aaron Wehner at Ten Speed Press, by Kim Witherspoon and Allison Hunter at Inkwell Management (World).

February 2, 2013
NYT “Drink” columnist and author of the memoir DRINKING WITH MEN Rosie Schaap’s THE WHISK(E)Y BOOK, an informative, opinionated whiskey guide, to Kylie Foxx McDonald at Workman, by Scott Waxman at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency (World).

January 7, 2013
Travel, wine and spirits journalist Chantal Martineau’s TEQUILA!: The Rise (and Rise!) of Mexico’s National Spirit, the definitive history of one of the only spirits than can truly be said to have terroir, tracing its evolution from frat-house firewater to luxury good, to Yuval Taylor at Chicago Review Press, by Becky Vinter at FinePrint Literary Management.