Making cocktails is one part creativity, one part knowledge of the classics. And there are a lot of fine tomes out there that detail the cocktail tradition. What books can teach us the most about drinks? We asked 16 bartenders for their favorite cocktail books. Here's what they had to say.
'Books' on Serious Eats
You've been into making cocktails for awhile now. You've stocked your bookshelves with all the modern classic cocktail manuals, and you're finally ready to dip your toes into the vintage book scene. Where to begin? (Or perhaps, because it's the holiday season, you're shopping for someone who'd love a vintage cocktail book or ten. This guide is for you, too.)
Hey, coffee nerds: Do you always pack a manual coffee grinder and a French press when you go on vacation? Do you find yourself hacking the hotel coffee pot so you can make a superior brew away from home? Then Left Coast Roast by journalist, former barista, and coffee maven Hanna Neuschwander might be just the book for you.
Everybody has opinions about the best cafés and the best coffee roasters, and coffee lovers everywhere insist that their city or their local bean slinger does it best. Thankfully, writer and reformed barista Hanna Neuschwander puts her macchiato where her mouth is with a new book: Left Coast Roast: A Guide to the Best Coffee and Roasters from San Francisco to Seattle.
Some of the books in today's guide offer cocktail recipes, but more importantly, they tell great stories. Every author in today's mix is a great raconteur, each with a unique and fascinating voice. These books scratch the surface of cocktail and drinking history, while exploring imbibing customs both in the United States and around the world.
If you're a budding beer geek, listen up: you should read this book. Joshua M. Bernstein's Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution covers pretty much every current trend in beer and makes the basics pretty fun.
Nothing makes a better partner for a great cup of coffee than a good book to scan while sipping. Whether you're looking to learn more about the history of that beautiful elixir, or to simply be transported to its tropical habitat (for better or worse), here are five titles that belong on any bean-lover's bookshelf.
The hilly terrain of tea writing is fraught with all types of mythology, internet health schemes, ancient rituals, zen meditations, homilies for the lacy doily set, etc. But there's also a ton to learn about tea around the world. We've compiled a short but sweet list of five tea books we like best for their direct delivery of real—and intriguing!—information on all things tea.
In the April issue of Saveur, the editors write that the growing interest in well-honed cocktails has created a demand for classic bar manuals. In a piece titled "The Cocktail Chronicles" (hmmm, that sounds familiar...), Saveur's editors note that this...
A staple of every Waikiki tourist trap and grim strip-mall Polynesian grill, the mai tai was once the grand kahuna of the tiki bar. Created in Oakland, California, by Vic Bergeron in 1944, the original mai taithe true recipe for which was kept confidential for more than 25 yearswas an elegant blend of aged Jamaican rum, Dutch curacao, French orgeat syrup and fresh-squeezed lime juice, as perfectly balanced and nuanced as any concoction by a modern-day bar chef.