Although bartending and mixing drinks can seem vague and abstract, there are many unspoken rules and guidelines to follow when it comes to making drinks. There are correct cups to use for specific types of drinks, particular proportions to make each drink taste best, and various syrups that you can use to up the flavor of your beverage.

Our list of the best bartending books below will teach you how to master the art of mixing and make the best cocktail out there. Whether you’re looking to wow guests with your at-home bar or become an outstanding bartender in your restaurant, the books below will help you learn about bartending and turn your new knowledge into useful skills.

Best Bartending Books

Below are the top 9 bartending books that will help you learn how to make professional level drinks.

1. The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler

The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler

The Bar Book is all about the elements of the cocktail technique. This bartending and mixology book is perfect for working bartenders and home cocktail enthusiasts. In this, you’ll learn all about key techniques of bartending from the master himself: renowned bartender and cocktail blogger Jeffrey Morgenthaler.

This technique-driven cocktail handbook breaks down the art of bartending into essential techniques and then teaches you how to apply these techniques to build the best drinks. With over 60 of the best drink recipes and illustrations to help you prepare them best, this book holds all you need to know about bartending and making drinks. 

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2. The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff 

 The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff

The Craft of the Cocktail has everything you need to know to be a master bartender, including 500 amazing recipes. Created by world’s premier mixologist Dale DeGroff, this book is the first real cookbook for cocktails that provides so much more than the same old recipes.

In this, DeGroff dives into bartending history, unique concoctions, and the most important techniques of bartending. He also goes into how to make the freshest juices and the cocktail classics. Drawing from DeGroff’s vast library of vintage cocktail books, he explains the history of spirits, how to develop a mixed drink, and how the culture of bartending has evolved over time. 

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3. Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold 

 Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold

Liquid Intelligence is all about the art and science of the perfect cocktail. In this revolutionary approach to making better drinks, Dave Arnold explains how the shape of an ice cube and the sugars within an apple are all ingredients to be tasted and tested to perfection. This book will revolutionize what you expect a drink to look and taste like.

In this, Arnold explains the science behind how to create the perfect cocktail and explains how you can apply these techniques as well. Featuring more than 120 recipes and 450 photographs, this book will teach you how to apply the most advanced techniques, from clarifying cloudy lime juice to infusing vodka with coffee.

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4. The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock

The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock

This highly collectable volume holds all you need to know about choosing and mixing drinks. Written by the legendary mixologist Harry Craddock, this book contains 750 recipes that include non-alcoholic drinks, making it the classic bar manual. With extensive coverage of wines, champagnes, and more, this book will teach you how to make any type of drink.

Infused with richly-colored illustrations and dozens of drawings, this book is not only the perfect addition to home bars or kitchens, but the perfect gift for bartenders or housewarming parties.

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5. Cocktail Codex by Alex Day 

Cocktail Codex by Alex Day

This #1 best-selling bartending book has been praised by The Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, and many more for its surprisingly simple approach to mastering cocktails. This book explains root recipes, easily identifiable mixing templates that apply to all cocktails, and why some cocktails work while others don’t.

By the end of this book, you’ll know when to shake, when to stir, and which substitutes are best if you’re missing a seemingly crucial ingredient. Once you learn this template, any cocktail you can think of will be within your reach.

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6. The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan 

The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan

The Joy of Mixology is the consummate’s guide to the bartender’s craft. This rare gem explains a breakthrough system for categorizing drinks that help bartenders. By reading this book, you’ll not only be able to remember delicious drink recipes, but think of your own. Surprisingly, many cocktails follow a similar formula, making it easier to mix and create as you learn more. 

This book brings a whole new understanding to the world of cocktails and how to make them. Not only will you learn how to make standard cocktails, but you’ll be able to develop the skills you need to create concoctions of your own. 

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7. The Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich

The Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich

The Ultimate Bar Book is the comprehensive guide to over 1,000 cocktails. Named one of the best wine and spirit books out there, this easy-to-navigate guide will teach you all about barware, tools, and mixing tips.

Not only does Hellmich teach you how to make the most classic drinks out there, but also teaches you how to create variations of them. By the end, you’ll know what type of glass should be used for each drink, the best hangover remedies, and how to use syrups and punches to spice up any drink of choice.

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8. The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David A. Embury

 The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David A. Embury

According to David Embury, mixing drinks isn’t a secret ritual, but a fine art. In this, he explains why it’s important to use top quality liquor, how to understand the role of each ingredient, and how the change in proportion can quickly ruin any drink. 

More than a compilation of cocktail recipes, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks is an enjoyable read for those who want to judge fine liquor or select a corkscrew. More importantly, this book explains what’s new in the world of liquor and which brands to look out for. 

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9. The 12 Bottle Bar by David Solmonson

The 12 Bottle Bar by David Solmonson

The 12 Bottle Bar is a system, toolkit, and recipe book all in one. This book will teach you how to make hundreds of cocktails with a home bar made of just 12 bottles. With over 200 classic and unique mixed drink recipes, this book will teach you how to make the perfect Manhattan, Martini, and Mint Julep.

In this shocking guide, you’ll learn about the importance of vermouth and bitters to the story of the punchbowl. 

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Becoming A Great Bartender

The bartending books above will help you create new drinks with your current ingredients, decide on the right proportions for each drink, and learn about the history of various beverages. Whether you’re looking to improve your home bar, mixing skills, or become the best bartender in town, the books above will help you improve both your skills and your knowledge of the craft. 

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