Seven Cocktail Books to Pour Over Right Now

cocktail booksFix yourself a hot toddy: You have winter drinking— er, reading to do.

The Architecture of the Cocktail: Constructing the Perfect Cocktail from the Bottom Up, by Amy Zavatto, delves into each of 75 cocktails with the precision of an architect. With each cocktail blueprint, learn about construction, ice volume and proper glassware. Race Point Publishing, 2013, $16.

The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending With Flair, by San Diego barman Jeremy LeBlanc and food writer Christine Dionese, beefs up your home-bartending repertoire with seriously creative and enticing recipes, including classics, exotics, party drinks and punches that will impress your guests (and yourself). Page Street Publishing Co., $20.

Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today, by Warren Bobrow (a.k.a. the Cocktail Whisperer), recalls the cocktail’s apothecary origins and healing properties, including digestives, mood enhancers, relaxants and hangover restoratives. And yes, that includes shots of Fernet Branca. Fair Winds Press, 2013, $22.

Eric Prum and Josh Williams, creators of the Mason Shaker, beautifully present their perspective that “cocktails should be fun, simple and social” in Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails. After a lesson in “Cocktail Crafting 101,” the Brooklyn-based designers tackle the four seasons with straightforward charm and a farm-to-glass approach. W&P Design, 2013, $25.

Drink More Whiskey: Everything You Need to Know About Your New Favorite Drink, by Daniel Yaffe, takes an amusing, yet informative romp through the category. Yaffe gives you just enough info—but, more importantly, the confidence—to get into the spirit. Chronicle Books, 2013, $20.

Think whiskey is a man’s world? What about the women who built iconic brands such as Bushmills, Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark? Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey, by Fred Minnick, goes deep into history to share the untold stories of the women without whom whiskey might not exist. Drink it in, then buy a dame a shot. Potomac Books, 2013, $26.95.

What the F**k Should I Drink: The Answer to the Most Important Question of Your Day (in 75 F*@#ing Recipes), by Zach Golden, is bathroom reading of the highest order. Dropping F-bombs aplenty, Golden mocks everything from the caipirinha (“Reveal your lack of worldliness while pronouncing [it],”) to the gimlet (“Have less scurvy”). Running Press, 2013, $15.