Best Mixology Books of 2023

No matter if you’re new to cocktails and mixology, or if you’ve been exploring this wonderful craft for years as a bar professional or a home-bar enthusiast, having a shelf stocked with the best mixology books will definitely up your cocktail game.

Not only are good cocktail books often full of tips, tricks, and mixology techniques that can elevate your mixing, but they are also amazing sources of inspiration when looking for new cocktails to try out. With beautiful photography being the standard for any self-respecting mixology book, browsing to find a new recipe becomes a joy. 

Most mixology books contain more than recipes and step-by-step guides on how to craft the featured cocktails, they often contain interesting facts about the history of the cocktail and background knowledge on the base spirits.

Underneath you’ll find recommendations on some of our favorite award-winning mixology books.

The 5 best mixology books of 2023

cocktail codex book cover

Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions

Coming from the same authors as the bestselling book Death & Co, Cocktail Codex is a comprehensive guide on how to break down any cocktail recipe and identify its “root cocktail”. According to the authors Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan there are really only six cocktails in the world: the old-fashioned, martini, daiquiri, sidecar, whisky highball, and flip.

While it might seem like a gross oversimplification, this approach enables you to easily identify and understand any cocktail recipe, and make up your own. Understanding each cocktail “family”, its features, and its traits will give you a better understanding of when to apply different cocktail techniques and methods, like when to shake, when to stir, and what ratios work and don’t work.

Winner of the James Beard Award and The Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for Best Cocktail or Bartending Book.

An amazing read that describes a simple approach on how to break down and understand any cocktail. This book will add to your fundamental understanding of mixology, no matter if you are a beginner or a pro.

Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki

Smuggler’s Cove by Martin and Rebecca Cate, the owners of the bar with the same name, takes you on a historic journey through the evolution of tiki cocktails. 

With more than 100 delicious tiki recipes and a new method to understanding rum, Smuggler’s Cove is the modern bible of tiki cocktails.

No matter if you’re new to the world of tiki and are just looking for some solid recipes, or if you are well versed in rums and exotic drinks but want to learn the history behind the cocktails you’re serving at your next dinner party, this book will deliver.

James Beard Award winner.

The best collection of exotic rum cocktails, for anyone who wants to learn more about the world of tiki.

The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender's Craft

Gary Regan is widely considered the most-read cocktail expert, and his books have had a massive impact on mixology worldwide.

This book is the new edition of one of his prime works, and it fills in on everything that has happened in the world of cocktails since it was first released in 2003.

The book features Regan’s renowned system for categorizing cocktails, which not only helps bartenders to remember recipes but also to invent their own based on sound and proven principles.

With more than 350 recipes, you’ll be able to find plenty of inspiration for your many next cocktail parties. 

A great book that lays out the fundamentals of mixology and cocktail mixing. A must have for any established or aspiring mixologist.

The Aviary Cocktail Book

The Aviary Cocktail Book is one of the most impressive books you’ll find on the subject. With more than 440 pages of innovative techniques and amazing recipes, and full of amazingly beautiful full-page photos and graphical designs, this book is a sight to behold.

The book is written by Grant Achatz, the owner of Alinea, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant, and The Aviary cocktail bar, which has given name to the book.

The book has been more than 3 years in the making and contains hundreds of insights from Grant Achatz and his culinary team.

A most impressive and beautiful cocktail book, written by a 3 starred Michelin chef.

Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail

Liquid Intelligence is best described as the chemist’s approach to cocktails and mixology. But even if you’re not Walter White or Marie Curie, Liquid Intelligence will grab your interest if your goal is to improve your cocktails. 

In this book, Dave Arnold presents a precise and methodical approach to cocktail crafting, where everything matters. The shape of your ice cubes, the acids in your apple, and the carbonation of your champagne are all things to consider, measure and test if you want to make the perfect cocktail.

While this book is obviously taking a more advanced approach to cocktail making, the thought process it builds upon can be applied to all levels.

A more precise and advanced approach to cocktails, that will elevate your game, and send you on the path to creating the perfect cocktail.

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We hope that these recommendations will inspire you to get some of the best mixology books on your bookshelf, and help to elevate your cocktail game to new heights.

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