The best books to improve cocktail making

Noel Venning Author Of Batched & Bottled Cocktails
By Noel Venning

Who am I?

Noel has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality sector and opened Three Sheets with his brother Max in 2016 to critical acclaim. Specialising in cocktails, the bar has a focus on simple, elegant serves that put the customer first. We were voted as the UK’s best bar at the Class Awards 2019. Three Sheets has also been listed in the World's 50 Best Bars list, rising to number 16. Three Sheets is currently Timeout London's Best Bar.


I wrote...

Batched & Bottled Cocktails

By Max Venning, Noel Venning,

Book cover of Batched & Bottled Cocktails

What is my book about?

Sick of standing in the corner making cocktails while everyone else is having fun? Fed up with having to buy loads of expensive spirits and bitters? Just want to pour a delicious cocktail any time, any place? Batched & Bottled features 50 of the best recipes for batched and bottled cocktails – cocktails you can pre-make and bottle, and either pour straight over ice or leave to mature. You'll have cocktails you can drink when you get in from work, or bottles you can crack open come Christmas/summer/birthday/Friday.

From negronis and manhattans to more complex concoctions you can infuse with botanicals or fermented ingredients, the recipes follow the seasons and range from simple, stir-through mixes, to more elaborate drinks that require kitchen prep.

The books I picked & why

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Good Things to Drink with Mr. Lyan and Friends

By Ryan Chetiyawardana,

Book cover of Good Things to Drink with Mr. Lyan and Friends

Why this book?

Ryan is undoubtedly the biggest name in cocktails right now. He has pioneered numerous venues in London and around the world focused on changing the way we think about bars and cocktails.

His book is not only a great entry into the world of cocktails with great classic recipes, but it also showcases interesting flavour combinations and techniques that can be used both in a bar and at home.


Schofields Classic Cocktail Cabinet

By Joe Schofield, Daniel Schofield,

Book cover of Schofields Classic Cocktail Cabinet

Why this book?

The Schofield brothers have a combined pedigree that is hard to match having worked in some of the world’s best bars over the past 10-15 years.

Their book is an amazing collection of over 100 classic cocktails brought into the 21st century with contemporary ingredients, finest techniques, and great recommendations of spirits, ice, and garnishes for each cocktail in the book. A must-read for someone looking to delve into classic cocktails.


The Art of Fermentation

By Sandor Ellix Katz,

Book cover of The Art of Fermentation

Why this book?

Katz’s book may not be directly linked to cocktails in terms of providing recipes for drinks, but it has an encyclopedic level of information on how to extract ultimate flavours from ingredients through fermentation. This book has information for novices and practiced fermenters alike.

From sour tonic beverages and kombuchas to fermenting fruit and vegetables, this book will take your ingredient making skills to a level unmatched, even within the high-end cocktail bar world.


Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

By Samin Nosrat,

Book cover of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Why this book?

Another book that has no cocktail recipes but one that we think is a must-read for anyone trying to improve their ability at making cocktails, or cooking skills for that matter.

Samin helps readers understand four key principles when it comes to cooking ingredients for recipes and mastering these principles, as with the fermentation book, will help you understand why ingredients react a certain way or influence a drink in a certain way.


Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail

By Dave Arnold,

Book cover of Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail

Why this book?

This is another must-have book for cocktail enthusiasts and experienced bartenders alike. Dave is the “mad scientist” of the cocktail world. From conducting experiments on the best forms of clarification to ridding himself of a cherry allergy.

Dave analyses every aspect of making drinks from the ice to the levels of acids and sugars in certain ingredients. He has done rigorous testing so you don’t have to and explains everything to the nth detail. There are also great explanations of advanced techniques such as carbonation and clarification to take your drinks making skills to the very top.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cocktails, cooking, and bartender?

5,809 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cocktails, cooking, and bartender.

Cocktails Explore 35 books about cocktails
Cooking Explore 68 books about cooking
Bartender Explore 9 books about bartender

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like My Pizza, Tasty, and Eat if you like this list.