A realist painter, a writer and a historian teamed up on this recipe book, which is fun to read and doubles as art. Illustrated with oil paintings by Todd M. Casey, this book’s 60 pages, filled with classic recipes and origin stories, show you what the drink should look like if you follow the steps.
“The Cocktail Cabinet” by Zoe Burgess (Mitchell Beazley, $24.99, Sept. 6)
In this book, flavor expert Zoe Burgess sets out to show how cocktails deliver a flavor experience. The stunning collection of 80-plus recipes commences with basic tastes and principles of cocktail structure, including aromatic building blocks. Burgess breaks down ingredients, and their characteristics as the backbone for a cocktail, illuminating how other ingredients relate to them.
“Doctors and Distillers” by Camper English (Penguin, $17.99)
You can tell from the six-page bibliography how deeply cocktail and spirits writer Camper English researched his new book, which touches on the interconnectedness of bartender and pharmacist, and how drinking to one’s health reverberates throughout history. English reveals the medicinal origins of many liquor brands, with drink recipes also provided. He makes it clear that this book is not a resource for elixirs to cure ailments, but, rather, shows how “healthy” cocktails often have been part of the zeitgeist. His advice: “If you need medicine, talk to your doctor. If you need a cocktail, see your local mixologist.”
“The Bartender’s Manifesto” by Toby Maloney and Emma Janzen (Clarkson Potter, $32.50)
Sure, there are excellent recipes and striking photography in “The Bartender’s Manifesto,” but the book by bartender Toby Maloney and journalist Emma Janzen is more about how to think and create like cocktail experts do. There are excellent instructions that help tick the boxes of balance, texture and aroma in a cocktail. This is for the drink maker who wants a more intentional cocktail, one that sparks curiosity, evokes comfort and echoes flavors. Those in the industry, especially, will love this book.
“Sammy Hagar’s Cocktail Hits” by Sammy Hagar and James O. Fraioli (Skyhorse, $29.99)
You know him as the Red Rocker, who can’t drive 55, but Sammy Hagar also is quite accomplished behind the bar. With chapter titles such as “Splash of Aloha,” “Mas Tequila” and “Sinful Signatures,” Hagar aims to set the reader up for a successful party, providing tips, tricks and stories to entertain along the way. Many of the 85 recipes revolve around Hagar’s Beach Bar rum, as well as his tequila brand with Guy Fieri, who wrote the foreword. The drinks themselves are bright crowd pleasers, something the frontman of Van Halen knows a bit about. A riff on a Negroni, Little Red Devil, is his recommendation for a hot summer night.
“Wild Brews” by Jaega Wise (Kyle Books, $24.99)
Both accessible and smart, “Wild Brews” was written by Jaega Wise, head brewer at Wild Card Brewery in the U.K., and a trusted expert on fermentation. The book illuminates wild fermentation techniques, using naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria — the way beer was made 200 years ago. Not just for homebrewers, the book covers a range of topics, from production methods to the botany of hops. Wise’s love of hops shines through in her conversational style, which reads like comparing notes with an extremely adept brewer friend. The former chemical engineer shares her recipes for such brews as a refreshing Berliner weiss, as well as guezes, and there also are sections on barrel aging, getting fruity with beer and troubleshooting your brew.
“Bourbon Is My Comfort Food” by Heather Wibbels (University Press of Kentucky, $28)
Heather Wibbels is a digital content creator and managing director of Bourbon Women, and her new book, “Bourbon Is My Comfort Food,” is a tribute to those who love America’s native spirit. Through more than 140 recipes and gorgeous photography, Wibbels’ book initiates the reader into the perfect bourbon cocktail, from bar basics to manipulating balance. Wibbels sees cocktails as the stepping stone to enjoying bourbon neat — and realizing what the fuss is all about. Her cocktail called You Want a Peach of Me? balances sweetness and tartness, and highlights summer’s finest stone fruit, along with high-proof bourbon.