It’s been a banner year for booze books, with one great read rolling off the press after another. We’ve whittled down the list though with a look to the fall, emphasizing new releases and those that’ll be hitting store shelves—or, more accurately based on how we all actually shop, hitting your Amazon carts—in the month ahead. From cocktails to Whiskey, and from Mead to Vermouth, these books will keep you drinking well for the rest of the year, all while offering more than a fair share of education and entertainment along the way.
By Fred Minnick
The latest effort from one of today’s most prolific boozy authors, Fred Minnick, sees him shift from his typical domain of Whiskey to Mead, with Mead: The Libations, Legends, and Lore of History’s Oldest Drink. Minnick does an artful job of weaving the exceedingly lengthy history of the drink in with entertaining anecdotes and a look at where the drink fits in today.
Plus, the story of the drink comes with a full breakdown of different Mead styles and how to make them. Over 50 cocktails are included in the book as well as when you’re looking to mix your mead. You’ll be drinking like a Viking or a Greek god in no time.
Be Your Own Bartender
By Carey Jones and John McCarthy
Available: November 13
The married tag team of spirits journalist Carey Jones and mixologist John McCarthy wants you to pick your own path toward home-bartending excellence with Be Your Own Bartender: A Surefire Guide to Finding (and Making) Your Perfect Cocktail. Remember those choose your own adventure children’s books? Well, this is the boozy version for grownups.
The book includes over a dozen flowcharts, each of which takes you along the journey of discovering different drinks to make. The book includes over 150 recipes, so no matter what you’re in the mood for and how you follow those flowcharts, you’ll find something that’s perfect for what you want to make right now.
By Aaron Goldfarb
Available: September 25
Aaron Goldfarb reaches deep into his boozy bag of tricks for Hacking Whiskey: Smoking, Blending, Fat Washing, and Other Whiskey Experiments. Some of us fix cars or build furniture. Goldfarb tinkers with his Whiskey by introducing new flavors, combining different Whiskeys together, and otherwise transforming what comes in the bottle into something entirely unique and memorable.
The book also provides other useful sections, such as how to find and try some of those rare, highly allocated bottles we all covet. Whether you want to start your own “infinity bottle” at home, blend off-the-shelf Whiskeys into a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts, or do your own Whiskey finishing in a small barrel, Goldfarb will show you how to get it done.
Clean + Dirty Drinking
By: Gabriella Mlynarczyk
One of the most creative bartenders in the business, Gabriella Mlynarczyk turns her attention to both the spirited and spirit-less worlds with Clean + Dirty Drinking: 100+ Recipes for Making Delicious Elixirs, With or Without Booze. Long an advocate for zero-proof drinks, or mocktails, in this book Mlynarczyk showcases two dozen cocktail recipes with and without alcohol.
From there, you’ll find another 75 recipes showcasing the fundamental components that will elevate your cocktail game to an entirely new height. Less for the beginner and more for the person who’s itching to get a bit cocktail geeky at home, you’ll learn about making foams, infusions, flavored ice, and more. Mlynarczyk’s recipes showcase her affinity for unique flavors and ingredient combinations, often with fresh fruits and herbs, and always with attractive presentations.
By Kara Newman
Available: October 16
Kara Newman’s latest endeavor—an annual, autumnal rite of passage sees Newman release a new book—shows you how to put the finishing touches on a night well spent with Nightcap: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening. Because nobody wants to ruin a perfect night with a drink that throws everything out of whack at the last minute.
We often know what we want at the start of the night—a go-to or a particular craving, or something to pair with a meal. But after that we often lose track, rudderless imbibers making questionable decisions without rhyme or reason. Put that to an end with dozens of expert-recommended late-night drinks, ranging from sweet dessert cocktails to those that’ll help you relax and wind down, and others which will help you keep the party going and turn one nightcap into a few more.
I’m Just Here for the Drinks
By Sother Teague
One of the most well-known bartenders in New York, Sother Teague offers his unique perspective on a range of spirituous subjects with I’m Just Here for the Drinks: A Guide to Spirits, Drinking and More Than 100 Extraordinary Cocktails. Teague’s credentials leave little room for doubt, as a former president of the New York chapter of the USBG (U.S. Bartenders Guild), the 2017 Wine Enthusiast Mixologist of the Year, and beverage director at industry-favorite cocktail bar Amor Y Amargo.
Teague has also put himself out there for the betterment of the industry, revealing his struggles with depression and battling the issue in a line of work that often makes it quite difficult to live a healthier lifestyle. All to say, he’s a voice you’ll want to hear more from, and in his book he showcases all manners of stories and boozy insights, along with a lineup of over 100 cocktail recipes.
By Andrew and Briana Volk
Another married duo takes center stage with Andrew and Briana Volk’s Northern Hospitality with The Portland Hunt + Alpine Club: A Celebration of Cocktails, Cooking, and Coming Together. The couple opened their bar in Portland in 2013, and the debut of their book neatly coincides with the fifth anniversary. They’re also behind Portland’s Little Giant, a bar, restaurant, and market, or all-purpose neighborhood hangout.
The Volks know a few things about hospitality undoubtedly, and their book is designed to help you bring some of that to your own home. Find cocktails and craveable food recipes that blend influences from Portland and Scandinavia. The book also offers pairing suggestions and other insight meant to help you make the most of your time with family and friends.
The Book of Vermouth
By Shaun Byrne and Gilles Lapalus
Vermouth is a staple of drinking culture, yet many imbibers either don’t know much about it or haven’t explored it beyond a surface-level, introductory glance. Shaun Byrne and Gilles Lapalus aim to remedy that with The Book of Vermouth: A Bartender and a Winemaker Celebrate the World’s Greatest Aperitif.
Byrne and Lapalus together offer an informative look on how Vermouth is made, and with what, with particular insight into wormwood itself. They also showcase tips and suggestions for drinking Vermouth in different seasons, and, of course, enjoying the aperitivo on its own. When you’d prefer to put your Vermouth to use in a different drink though, you’ll find over 100 cocktail recipes to choose from.