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13 Beautiful Cocktail Recipe Books

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mental floss

Warm weather is fast approaching, making it a great time to perfect your seasonal cocktails. Break out your shaker and jigger because you’re going to need them: These beautiful cocktail recipe books are sure to yield equally beautiful drinks. 

1. SPRITZ; $11

Few things are more refreshing on a hot day than a bubbly cocktail. This book is dedicated to one of Italy’s favorite aperitivo drinks: the Spritz. The beautiful tome explores the history of the classic cocktail and provides 50 different recipes for drinks and snacks to try at home. Each recipes sits beside a full color photograph and elegantly chosen typography.

Find it: Amazon

2. THE PDT COCKTAIL BOOK; $15  

Please Don’t Tell is a popular New York speakeasy known for its creative cocktails. Mixologist and PDT operator Jim Meehan shares some of his favorite recipes and bar secrets in this book, which features more than 304 cocktail recipes—featuring vibrantly colored illustrations by Chris Gall—as well as tips and tricks of the trade.

Find it: Amazon

3. THE DEAD RABBIT DRINKS MANUAL; $16 

Here's another quality New York City cocktail lounge with a beautiful recipe book. Founder Sean Muldoon and bar manager Jack McGarry tell some of the bar's tales and outline its recipes for its cocktails, each of which is accompanied by a detailed history of the drink as well as stunning photographs.

Find it: Amazon

4. THE CRAFT COCKTAIL PARTY; $17 

Author Julie Reiner is often credited with helping revive craft cocktails. She co-owns a selection of cocktail bars in New York and was named one of 2014's Top 10 Mixologists by Food & Wine. With credentials like these, it's no surprise that this is one serious recipe book. With plenty of full color photographs, the tome is perfect as a coffee table book when you’re not referencing it.

Find it: Amazon

5. THE COCKTAIL CHRONICLES; $17 

If books authored by professional mixologists intimidate you, this guide—written by Imbibe! editor Paul Clarke—might be a better fit. This book provides simple recipes that are easily replicated, and small, charming illustrations of tools and drinks are tucked into the columns to keep things interesting.

Find it: Amazon

6. PARIS COCKTAILS; $13 

Save money on airfare by creating lovely Parisian cocktails right in your own living room. This extensive guide comes with more than 100 recipes inspired by the French capital. Along with recipes, the book also gives tips for how to throw swanky Parisian-themed parties and provides reviews of Paris and American bars. The whole thing is housed in a beautiful red book with a martini glass cut-out showing a map of Paris. 

Find it: Amazon

7. AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO COCKTAILS; $14

Illustrator Elizabeth Graeber brings Orr Shtuhl's cocktail recipes to life with playful illustrations of penguins, foxes, and more. Each recipe comes with an adorable cartoon; for example, the Sidecar recipe comes with a drawing of a man in a sidecar while the recipe for Blood and Sand has a picador and bull.

Find it: Amazon

8. COCKTAILS OF THE MOVIES; $13 

Enjoy a White Russian like The Dude or sip on a Champagne Cup like M. Gustave with this helpful guide to cinematic cocktails. Each recipe comes with a history of the drink, some context from the movie, and a full-page illustration of the character who drank it. 

Find it: Amazon

9. THE BARTENDER’S GUIDE; $40

Fall back on an old classic with this reprint of an 1862 cocktail guide, which is considered the first serious American recipe book on cocktails and punches. The reprint from Cocktail Kings comes with a beautiful green hardcover. 

Find it: Amazon

10. BEACHBUM BERRY’S POTIONS OF THE CARIBBEAN; $27 

Jeff “Beachbum” Berry provides some insight into some tropical drinks that capture the tiki bar aesthetic. There are 77 vintage Caribbean drink recipes inside, alongside stories of the people who created, served, and enjoyed the drinks. The fun recipe book is filled with colorful layouts, vintage illustrations, and rare historical photos.

Find it: Amazon

11. HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK; $13

For new parents: Unwind with a cocktail made after the kids are asleep. Each of the 20 recipes comes with a little nursery rhyme and an adorable ‘50s-style illustration by Eda Kaban. The clever book comes with board pages, so it can discreetly hide amongst your children’s books.

Find it: Amazon

12. A VISUAL GUIDE TO DRINK; $19 

Pop Chart Lab, known for their highly detailed posters and glassware, also has a book. This visual guide offers infographics, maps, charts, and recipes laid out in perfectly structured formats. Drinking has never been so organized! 

Find it: Amazon

13. TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD; $9 

This literary cocktail recipe book is perfect for any bookworm. It offers 65 different drink recipes with punny names like “Romeo and Julep” and “A Rum of One’s Own.” Each recipe is nicely paired with commentary about the history of the book being used as inspiration. Along with drinks, the book also details various bar snacks and drinking games to go along with your cocktails. Best of all, there are impressive illustrations throughout the book by Lauren Mortimer. 

Find it: Amazon

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History
84 Years Ago Today: Goodbye Prohibition!
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
Keystone/Getty Images

It was 84 years ago today that the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing the earlier Amendment that declared the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol illegal in the United States. Prohibition was over! Booze that had been illegal for 13 years was suddenly legal again, and our long national nightmare was finally over.


A giant barrel of beer, part of a demonstration against prohibition in America.
Henry Guttmann/Getty Images

Prohibition of alcohol was not a popular doctrine. It turned formerly law-abiding citizens into criminals. It overwhelmed police with enforcement duties and gave rise to organized crime. In cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis, the dismantling of breweries left thousands of people unemployed.


Photograph courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Homemade alcohol was often dangerous and some people died from drinking it. Some turned to Sterno or industrial alcohol, which was dangerous and sometimes poisoned by the government to discourage drinking. State and federal governments were spending a lot of money on enforcement, while missing out on taxes from alcohol.


New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (right) watches agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of Prohibition.

The midterm elections of 1930 saw the majority in Congress switch from Republican to Democratic, signaling a shift in public opinion about Prohibition as well as concerns about the depressed economy. Franklin Roosevelt, who urged repeal, was elected president in 1932. The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution was proposed by Congress in February of 1933, the sole purpose of which was to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment establishing Prohibition.


American men guarding their private beer brewing hide-out, during Prohibition.
Keystone/Getty Images

With passage of the Constitutional Amendment to repeal Prohibition a foregone conclusion, a huge number of businessmen lined up at the Board of Health offices in New York in April of 1933 to apply for liquor licenses to be issued as soon as the repeal was ratified.

The Amendment was ratified by the states by the mechanism of special state ratifying conventions instead of state legislatures. Many states ratified the repeal as soon as conventions could be organized. The ratifications by the required two-thirds of the states was achieved on December 5, 1933, when conventions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah agreed to repeal Prohibition through the Amendment.


Workmen unloading crates of beer stacked at a New York brewery shortly after the repeal of Prohibition.
Keystone/Getty Images

A brewery warehouse in New York stacked crates past the ceiling to satisfy a thirsty nation after the repeal of Prohibition.


Keystone/Getty Images

Liquor wouldn't officially be legal until December 15th, but Americans celebrated openly anyway, and in most places, law enforcement officials let them.

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Courtesy New District
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Food
Say ‘Cheers’ to the Holidays With This 24-Bottle Wine Advent Calendar
Courtesy New District
Courtesy New District

This year, eschew your one-tiny-chocolate-a-day Advent calendar and count down to Christmas the boozy way. An article on the Georgia Straight tipped us off to New District’s annual wine Advent calendars, featuring 24 full-size bottles.

Each bottle of red, white, or sparkling wine is hand-picked by the company’s wine director, with selections from nine different countries. Should you be super picky, you can even order yourself a custom calendar, though that will likely add to the already-high price point. The basic 24-bottle order costs $999 (in Canadian dollars), and if you want to upgrade from cardboard boxes to pine, that will run you $100 more.

If you can’t quite handle 24 bottles (or $999), the company is introducing a 12-bottle version this year, too. For $500, you get 12 reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines from various unnamed “elite wine regions.”

With both products, each bottle is numbered, so you know exactly what you should be drinking every day if you really want to be a stickler for the Advent schedule. Whether you opt for 12 or 24 bottles, the price works out to about $42 per bottle, which is somewhere in between the “I buy all my wines based on what’s on sale at Trader Joe’s” level and “I am a master sommelier” status.

If you want to drink yourself through the holiday season, act now. To make sure you receive your shipment before December 1, you’ll need to order by November 20. Get it here.

[h/t the Georgia Straight]

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