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Getting into the Holiday Spirits

Next week brings Thanksgiving, which traditionally marks the start of the Holiday season.  Since you’ll probably have more than one occasion to get your party on over the next month and a half, it’s probably a good time to start brushing up on your cocktail basics.  As our blog’s resident cocktail nerd, I’m listing some fine titles to explore to find your signature seasonal cocktail and impress your guests and friends with your bartending skills. Warning, if you get too good at making cocktails, you’ll be in charge of drinks at every party you go to! 

For the cocktail snobBrooklyn Bartender by Carey Jones

If you’re often the person who has to explain to the bartender how to make your favorite drink, this is the book for you.  This title compiles recipes from all the best bars in Brooklyn, including Clover Club, Tooker Alley, and Roberta’s (which has its own cookbook).  Some of the cocktails are classics with a twist (like a classic whiskey sour or a sidecar), but there are lots of inspired concoctions that are original to these bars.  Also a must read for any NYC aficionados! 

For the tequila superfanThe Tippling Bros: A Lime and a Shaker by Tad Carducci and Paul Tanguay

I’m definitely a huge fan of tequila and mezcal (tequila’s smoky cousin), but I mostly drink it in the summer time.  Something about a 90 or up day makes me craze an ice-cold margarita (shaken, not frozen, please).  However, this book has recipes so you can enjoy the spirit year round.  They even have a cocktail inspired by the Chicago winter called Lake Effect (p.90)! 

For the cocktail fan on the roadDestination Cocktails by James Teitellbaum

If you’re traveling this holiday season, it might be a good time to check out one of the cool bars profiled in this book.  Teitelbaum profiles some of the best bars from around the world, including over 20 bars in Chicago and 8 bars in our neighbors to the north Milwaukee!

For the cocktail classicist: The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale DeGroff

Dale DeGroff is considered the forefather of the modern cocktail movement.  This book has an impressive array of over 500 cocktail recipes.  DeGroff’s style of cocktail is very straightforward, and there is sure to be a recipe to please everyone in this tome, no matter how discerning or populist their taste may be. 

For the smart host: Cocktails for a Crowd by Kara Newman

Why mix cocktails individually for guests, when you can make enough for everyone ahead of time?!  This book is full of punches, Tiki drinks, and classic cocktails that you can make in a big batch and spend the rest of the party mingling (and imbibing)!