20 Books to Expand Your Home Bar Library

December 7, 2021

The best home bars have more than just bottles upon bottles of liquor. They include plenty of reference materials as well. All kinds of books, from long reads on history to pocket-sized recipe guides, have a place as part of your bar. Here are 20 unique picks to expand your own home bar library.

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The perfect bar book is filled with both refreshing content and delightful style. It’s a mash-up genre, crossing over from cookbook to coffee table book to reference. Plus, it should look good doing its job. Don’t judge a bar book solely on its cover, of course, but when I’m choosing a new one to add to my shelf, design is not an underrated quality.

These twenty books will fill your bar cart or built-ins with beautiful imagery and fascinating storytelling. But they are also packed full of recipes, knowledge, and inspiration. No matter your favorite way to drink at your home bar, you are sure to find a new favorite title.

Traditional, Throwback, & Retro Recipes


Cocktails Across America
by Diane Lapis and Anne Peck-Davis

Mod Cocktails
by Natalie Jacob

Speakeasy
by Benny Roff

Start at the beginning, or at least way back in the past, with the true classic cocktails. Trends have changed over the past 150 years in the United States, and that’s especially true when it comes to drinking. From pre-prohibition through the retro mid-century style, many newer drinks are based on these originals as a starting point.

Unique and Craft Cocktails


Japanese Art of the Cocktail
by Masahiro Urushido

Cocktails With a Twist
by Kara Newman

Hacking Whiskey
by Aaron Goldfarb

The Craft of Cocktails
by Cottage Door Press

Get into some wild and experimental styles of drinking. All over the world, we are truly in a renaissance period when it comes to cocktail creation. Craft bars are popping up everywhere with focuses on garnish, specialty syrups, and adding a little extra flair to your old favorites. Explore new ideas and sip on inspiration with these exciting picks.

Zero- or Low-Proof Drinks


Session Cocktails
by Drew Lazor

Dry
by Clare Liardet

Shrubs
by Michael Dietsch

Good Drinks
by Julia Bainbridge

There is also a new wave of low-proof and even zero-proof drinks. Whether you are a complete teetotaler, cutting down temporarily, or just want to try something you can enjoy all week long, you can still mix up a fun concoction. Water isn’t the only choice anymore, so garnish your glass and have a little fun without all the alcohol.

Is there a more relaxing duo than drinking and reading? Why not reading about drinking! Expand your home bar library with these twenty books, packed with plenty of punch.

Brewing, Infusing, & Customizing


Botany at the Bar
by Selena Ahmed, Ashley Duval, and Rachel Meyer

Wild Winemaking
by Richard W. Bender

Big Book of Homebrewing
by Brew Your Own

Infused Booze
by Kathy Kordalis

Before diving into developing your own creations, put in the time to do a little research. These books will guide and help you on your personal journey to develop something completely new: from basement-brewed beer to unique infusions. Learn the techniques used by the masters and how to scale them down to your own home.

History and Heavy Reading


Finding Mezcal
by Ron Cooper and Chantal Martineau

The Old Fashioned
by Robert Simonson

Tasting Cider
by Erin James

Dig deep into a specific type of alcohol or cocktail by learning all about the legends, stories, and history surrounding drinking around the world. This type of book is perfect if you really want to curl up with a blanket and a glass, and enjoy a longer read that lets you explore a new culture, discover the science, or focus in-depth on a favorite.

Home Bar Essentials

Your bar-themed library is important, but don’t forget all the other pieces you’ll need to master the perfect cocktail. I’ve put together a comprehensive guide covering the bottle basics, mixers and garnishes, and glassware to get you started. Begin building out your bar now, and soon you’ll have everything you need to drink through your favorite cocktail book.

If you are looking for a few cocktails to get started on, try some of my own recipes:

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