A harvest of fresh drink books

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Credit: Angela Hansberger

You can leaf through new titles for your bar shelf while you sip at home.

Long, chilly evenings are perfect for curling up with a book. And, it’s even better if that book helps you stir up a delicious drink to end the day. Make space on your bar shelf for these nine 2020 titles that range from deep dives into single spirits to compilations of recipes.

The Cocktail Dictionary: An A-Z of Cocktail Recipes, From Daiquiri and Negroni to Martini and Spritz” by Henry Jeffreys

This charmer is destined to be chock full of Post-it notes marking favorites among the 100-plus recipes listed, ranging from an Aberdeen Angus to a Zombie. There are whimsical illustrations to go with captivating stories behind each drink. You’ll learn that the classic French 75 was named for an artillery gun, as well as other fun facts. (Octopus, $20)

The United States of Cocktails: Recipes, Tales and Traditions From All 50 States” by Brian Bartels

This colorful book is bar-stool tourism, taking you across the country through pages filled with fascinating stories and varied characters. There is an impressive amount of history to match the exciting recipes. Bartels also includes fun facts; did you know Brigham Young made a spirit called Valley Tan? Look up Utah. But, first, check out your state for prideful sipping and stirring. Mike Burdick’s illustrations are fancifully patriotic. (Abrams Image, $24.99)

Fizz: 80 Joyful Cocktails and Mocktails for Every Occasion” by Olly Smith

“Sparkles are shortcuts to joyous moments,” Smith writes in this compact book. There are nine chapters, with 80 recipes, ranging from classics to those grouped by occasion, with one thing in common — fizz. The page headers list ingredients, type of glassware needed and garnish. A glass icon denotes how subtle or strong the flavors are. Smith creates drinks with shimmering lightness — many, booze-free. (Clarkson Potter, $18.99)

Gin: How to Drink It” by Dave Broom

Broom tasted thousands of gins and genevers from around the world, singling out 125 of them. He ranks them in an inventive flavor camp system, with scoring based on how best to drink each, and the synthesis of the gin and mixer. With historical perspective, tasting notes, and more than 50 classic and modern recipes, the result is a manual on the personality of gin that will make you want to sip this spirit straight. (Octopus, $19.99)

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason” by Julia Bainbridge

Bainbridge drove across America trying to find out whether one could make an outstanding nonalcoholic drink. This book shows the answer is “yes.” It’s written for the home bartender, with recipes from restaurants and bars. Each drink is assigned a rating for level of difficulty. Drinks like Yu the Great, made with basil matcha syrup and coconut milk, and Cherry & Smoke, mixing smoky lapsang souchong tea and cherry juice, are grown-up and delicious. (Ten Speed Press, $22.99)

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Camp Cocktails” by Emily Vikre

You don’t need to compromise while drinking in the woods, as the co-founder of Minnesota’s Vikre distillery shows here. Each page is not only infused with cocktails, but a love of nature. The sections aren’t based on booze strength or flavor profile, but rather the type of transport and level of difficulty for sipping while enjoying the great outdoors, including while backpacking, stargazing, on the beach, or around a campfire. A large section is devoted to foraging, and there is a tutorial on making a marshmallow shot glass. (Harvard Common Press, $26.99)

Credit: Andy Sewell

Credit: Andy Sewell

Spirited” by Adrienne Stillman

“Spirited” is an ambitious collection of 610 recipes from 60 countries. It includes comprehensive indexes, organized by both spirit and ingredients, and you can navigate your globe-trotting drink journey with icons noting certain ingredients. Meant for the home drinker, most recipes have a handful of ingredients with straightforward instructions. Along with slick photography, Stillman includes interesting tidbits about recipes that span 500 years. (Phaidon, $49.95)

Behind Bars: High-Class Cocktails Inspired by Lowlife Gangsters” by Shawn McManus, Vincent Pollard and Paul Sloman

Bootlegging, racketeering and a stiff drink go hand in hand in Hollywood. Stunning illustrations are the backbone of this little book, which will thrill film buffs and cocktail lovers alike. Each recipe pairs with an infamous silver screen gangster, from classic to contemporary. Mr. Pink couples with a mezcal Last Word, and Saul Goodman is a Rusty Nail. These mobtails are a great match with film noir. (Prestel, $14.95)

The New Craft of the Cocktail” by Dale DeGroff

DeGroff wrote this renowned cocktail bible 18 years ago, covering the history of bartending culture. The new version is updated and revised, with 100 new recipes, as well as tips and tricks from current cocktail culture. From fat washing, to dirty dumping and layering a drink, it’s loaded with fresh ideas, along with DeGroff’s favorite liquor recommendations for each recipe. A fascinating section is dedicated to the evolution of the martini. (Penguin Random House, $35)