As leaves begin falling and clocks get turned back, what’s better than curling up with a good book? And, if you’re looking to build on your cocktail game while staying in, these new volumes on that subject offer tasty ideas on everything from bubbles to cider to nightcaps. Make space on your bar shelf for these new titles:
“Prosecco Made Me Do It: 60 Seriously Sparkling Cocktails” by Amy Zavatto (Andrews McMeel, $16.99)
This little charmer would make the most adorable gift, perhaps attached to a bottle of its namesake. Inside are recipes and beautiful illustrations for 60 cocktails that sparkle. From fizzes to bellinis, and with old favorites and new riffs, the book elucidates the potential of prosecco as a party in a glass. It’s loaded with facts and illustrations, as well as fun recipes like Sunshine Superman, made with Jamaican rum, ice wine, prosecco and an orange peel.
“Ciderology” by Gabe Cook (Spruce, $19.99)
In the world of cider, Cook is known as “the Ciderologist.” His book has everything one needs to know about how cider has evolved over the centuries, and tells how, as with wine, terrroir and climate affect quality. He walks the reader through the production process, and takes you on a tour of cider makers throughout the world. You’ll find recipes, tasting notes, and cider myths and tales. It’s the study, teaching and championing of cider in bound form.
“Nightcap: More Than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening ” by Kara Newman (Chronicle Books, $16.95)
Newman is here to help end the night with one final drink. “Nightcap” is divided into four categories: To Send You Off to Sleep, To Keep the Conversation Going, To Aid Digestion and To Sweeten the Deal, with a recipe for each page. The pretty blue and gold tome drips with glittery stars and pages of striking photography illuminating classics, riffs and new ideas in cocktails. I’d like to nod off after Like a Cowboy Campfire, made with rye, mescal, Averna, simple syrup, angostura bitters and an orange peel.
“Are You There God? It’s Me, Margarita” by Tim Federle (Running Press, $15)
From the author of “Tequila Mockingbird,” this book revisits the classics in cocktail form. It’s chock full of puns and recipes for bar bites. Elevate TV watching parties with drinks like Handmaid’s Ale and Little Soused on the Prairie. There are pages of whimsy and fun to go along with clever illustrations and easy recipes. Your book club never will be the same.
This book is an essential manual for anyone looking to take their drink-making up a notch with innovative techniques and healthful ingredients. Organized seasonally, the more than 100 recipes are presented both clean (without alcohol) and dirty (with booze). It’s a guidebook promoting health with a splash of fun. Impress friends with the section on making Campari and Fernet dust.
“A Woman’s Drink: Bold Recipes for Bold Women” by Natalka Burian and Scott Schneider (Chronicle Books, $19.95)
The dream bar for Burian and Schneider is a place where women would want to drink, with feminine décor and kind, welcoming service. They made that dream a reality with their bars, Elsa and Ramona, in New York City. Their chic book tries to capture the joyful pleasures of those bars for your home bar. Mix your drinks in style, with more than 50 recipes of classics, twists and bold creations.
“Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold Weather Cocktails” by the editors of Punch (10 Speed Press, $19.99)
Within these pages is all you need to fortify against the coming cold. There are classics and riffs on nogs and toddies for one, for a crowd, or to be bottled to carry. Names are seasonally fitting, like Chunky Cardigan, a mix of amaros, mescal, grapefruit juice, honey and rosemary. Take après-ski to a new level with Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, made with Earl Grey tea, peated Scotch, honey, allspice dram, lemon and scorched anise.
“Pickle Juice” by Florence Cherruault (Hardie Grant, $19.99)
Here’s the dill, this book is full of ideas on how to incorporate pickle juice, shrubs and drinking vinegars into cocktails and healthful drinks. There are recipes for both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, and pages on the health benefits of the ingredients called for in the recipes. If you are interested in fermentation and cocktails, this is a good place to start. “Pickle Juice” will be released Dec. 27.