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Unmissable spirits books for spring 2020

As consumers stay at home during the pandemic, there’s plenty of time to brush up on your spirits knowledge and expand your cocktail-making skills. Here, we present 10 drinks tomes to add to your bookshelves.

Sip by Sipsmith’s master distiller is worth adding to your book list

Strict measures are being enforced across the globe to ensure consumers are staying at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

With all that time to kill, why not stock your bookshelves with the latest releases spanning Irish whiskey, Tequila and mezcal and world-class cocktails.

Some of the leading bartenders in the world have provided their expert knowledge on cocktails in a comprehensive guide, while a whisky author has updated his popular pick of drams to try before you die.

Downton Abbey lovers can also indulge on cocktails inspired by the hit show, and gin fans can make cocktails easily with a “simple” guide from London distiller Sipsmith.

Click through the following pages to discover our selection of the top new spirits books for spring 2020. 

Have you read a new book that deserves a spot in our line-up? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sip by Jared Smith

Published by Mitchell Beazley, Sip is the first book from London distiller Sipsmith. It is said to contain recipes for a range of cocktails, from “summer sippers to winter warmers”.

Consumers will be taught to make an array of gin cocktails with only two other ingredients. Written by Sipsmith master distiller Jared Smith, the book provides 100 different cocktail recipes to suit a number of occasions.

Sip is priced at £15.99 (US$19.50) and is available to buy from the Sipsmith website or Amazon.

Schofield’s Fine and Classic Cocktails by Joe Schofield and Daniel Schofield


Bartending brothers Joe and Daniel Schofield are offering their expertise in making cocktails in a new book featuring 100 classics re-made with contemporary ingredients.

The tome also delivers guest recipes from some of the world’s leading bartenders.

Each recipe outlines how to make the classic cocktail using modern ingredients, expert techniques, high-quality ice, and will include personal recommendations regarding the most suitable spirits, mixers and garnishes for each drink.

Printed by Octopus Publishing Group, the hardback copy retails for RRP £16.99 (US$21).

The Curious Bartender’s Whiskey Road Trip by Tristan Stephenson

Bar operator Tristan Stephenson, owner of London whisky den Black Rock, has penned a new book in his Curious Bartender series.

The Curious Bartender’s Whiskey Road Trip sees Stephenson embark on a stateside tour of whiskey distilleries across the US.

The book details the story of American whiskey from its history and production methods to the origins of cocktails still enjoyed in bars around the world today. Stephenson took in 40 distilleries across the country, including producers in Kentucky and Tennessee and craft distillers in Indiana, Pennsylvania, California and Texas.

A hardback copy of the book is priced at £13.59 (US$16.17) on Amazon UK.

The Nomad Cocktail Book by Leo Robitschek

The world-renowned Nomad Bar, with locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, has provided a collection of 300 cocktail recipes in this new book.

The volume, now a revised and stand-alone edition from The Nomad Cookbook, consists of more than 100 new drinks out of 300 recipes. It also provides an explanation of the art of making drinks and 30 full-colour cocktail illustrations.

The book is organised by type of drink, from aperitifs and classics, to light, dark, and soft cocktails and syrups/infusions. Penned by Nomad bar director Leo Robitschek, the book also uncovers the secrets behind his award-winning cocktail programme.

The Nomad Cocktail Book is priced at £18 (US$21) for a hardback copy on Amazon UK.

The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book by Annie Gray

Fans of British historical drama Downton Abbey will enjoy this new book featuring 70 cocktail recipes inspired by the post-Edwardian era, during which the TV show is set, and the locations in the abbey where the characters enjoyed a tipple.

Created in partnership with the show, the book was launched to coincide with the release of the Downton Abbey film. It features a foreword by Julian Fellowes, the writer and creator of Downton Abbey.

In addition to classic concoctions like a Mint Julep, Prince of Wales Punch and ginger beer, the tome features character-specific twists such as Downton Heir, Turkish Attaché, The Valet and The Chauffeur.

A hardcopy of the book can be purchased on Amazon UK for £8.90 (US$10.60).

101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die (Revised and Updated): 4th Edition by Ian Buxton


Whisky writer Ian Buxton had released the latest edition of his popular 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die book.

Buxton, former marketing director of Glenmorangie, delves into old favourites, newcomers and unknown drams in the fourth edition.

The book is said to “decode the marketing hype” and presents an array of top tipples from countries such as Canada, India, America, Sweden, Ireland, and Japan.

It is available in hardback, priced at £8 (US$9.50) on Amazon UK.

Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time by Brad Thomas Parsons

In Last Call, James Beard Award-winning author Brad Thomas Parsons gathers bartenders across the US to ask ‘what is the last you’d want to drink before you die?’

Bartenders including Guido Martelli of the Palizzi Social Club in Philadelphia, Joseph Stinchcomb at Saint Leo in Oxford, Mississippi, and Natasha David at Nitecap in New York City, provide intriguing responses to the question.

The tome also provides 40 cocktail recipes, accompanied with photographs and personal essays from the bartenders.

Last Call is priced at £19.30 (US$23) for a hardback copy on Amazon UK.

The World Atlas of Gin by Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley

Spirits experts Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have penned The World Atlas of Gin, which offers a broad view of the international gin boom and the producers behind it.

The book explores gins made all over the world, from local small-batch products to large brands owned by multinational distillers.

It also analyses the production processes of gin, from botanical to bottle, and sheds light on some of the best-known gin cocktails.

The book is available in hardback, priced at an RRP of £25 (US$31).

Tequila Made Me Do It: 60 Tantalizing Tequila and Mezcal Cocktails by Cecilia Rios Murrieta

Tequila and mezcal aficionado Cecilia Rios Murrieta is providing drinkers with an array of agave-based cocktails, perfect for recreating at home.

Rios Murrieta introduces readers to the history and versatility behind spicy Tequila and smoky mezcal.

The book features 60 cocktail recipes including classic Margaritas and less common serves for any agave spirits fan who wants to experiment.

It is priced at £8.20 (US$9.80) for a hardback copy on Amazon UK.

Irish Whiskey: Ireland’s best-known and most-loved whiskeys by Gary Quinn

A comprehensive guide to Irish whiskey, this book offers more than 100 Irish whiskeys from the island of Ireland.

It provides an introduction to Irish whiskey, including its taste, tradition and identify, and covers the differences between single pot still, single malt and grain.

The volume also covers current working distilleries in Ireland and the story behind some of the biggest producers, as well as a look at many independent brands.

The paperback is priced at £6 (US$7) on Amazon UK.

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