77 books like A Proper Drink

By Robert Simonson,

Here are 77 books that A Proper Drink fans have personally recommended if you like A Proper Drink. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of By the Smoke and the Smell: My Search for the Rare and Sublime on the Spirits Trail

Aaron Goldfarb Author Of Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits

From my list on books on booze from a booze expert.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a journalist for over a decade, most frequently writing on the subjects of spirits, cocktails, and drinking culture for such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Playboy, and VinePair. I have written 12 books—6 of them on booze—my latest of which is Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits.

Aaron's book list on books on booze from a booze expert

Aaron Goldfarb Why did Aaron love this book?

I had always believed that a great booze book didn’t need to just be pages of pretty pictures and cocktail recipes—I knew there were booze stories that could make for compelling, novel-like narratives as well. Thad Vogler’s 2017 work was the first to actually prove my theories correct, however.

His journey to both visit the sources—Cuba! Oaxaca! Cognac!—and meet the producers of such vaunted spirits as rum, mezcal, and cognac, all while philosophizing about what artisan spirits production actually means, resonated with me like no other booze before.

Vogler’s humor and bawdy tone also showed me a drinks-related book need not be a dry read—booze is fun, after all!

By Thad Vogler,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked By the Smoke and the Smell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Spirits expert Thad Vogler, owner of the James Beard Award–winning Bar Agricole, takes readers around the world, celebrating the vivid characters who produce hand-made spirits like rum, scotch, cognac, and mezcal.  From the mountains of Mexico and the forbidden distilleries of Havana, to the wilds of Scotland and the pastoral corners of France and beyond, this adventure will change how you think about your drink.

Thad Vogler is one of the most important people in the beverage industry today. He’s a man on a mission to bring “grower spirits”—spirits with provenance, made in the traditional way by individuals rather than…


Book cover of The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine

Steven Laine Author Of Root Cause

From my list on on wine history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have visited all the major wine regions since I developed my passion for wine as a Sommelier and Beverage Director in luxury hotels in London and around the world. To learn more about wine, I studied to become a French, Italian, and Spanish Wine Scholar, joined the Champagne Academy in France, and recently completed a two-year Diploma in Wine at the WSET School in London. I’ve also worked two harvests as a winemaker at Mission Hill Winery in British Columbia in 2020 and Trius Winery in Niagara, Ontario in 2021. My novels are inspired by my studies, work experience, and travels through the world’s best wine regions.

Steven's book list on on wine history

Steven Laine Why did Steven love this book?

I loved this book and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. It reads like a modern-day thriller, made all the better as it's based on true-events. It’s a well-told story involving Thomas Jefferson, Chateau Lafite Wine, Christie's Auction House, Masters of Wine, and Billionaires that had me turning the pages as fast as possible. I loved all the historical details and the well-researched nature of this gripping tale.

What I enjoyed most about the book was its exploration of the perceived value we place on wine and how we reconcile that perceived value with how far we would go to obtain such items at any cost. As this recounting demonstrates, there are at least two sides to every story and sometimes many more. I hope to read more by this author and hope he explores other famous stories of theft, fraud, and betrayal in the world of wine.

By Benjamin Wallace,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Billionaire's Vinegar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The rivetingly strange story of the world's most expensive bottle of wine, and the even stranger characters whose lives have intersected with it.

The New York Times bestseller, updated with a new epilogue, that tells the true story of a 1787 Château Lafite Bordeaux—supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson—that sold for $156,000 at auction and of the eccentrics whose lives intersected with it.

Was it truly entombed in a Paris cellar for two hundred years? Or did it come from a secret Nazi bunker? Or from the moldy basement of a devilishly brilliant con artist? As Benjamin Wallace unravels the mystery,…


Book cover of How the Gringos Stole Tequila: The Modern Age of Mexico's Most Traditional Spirit

Aaron Goldfarb Author Of Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits

From my list on books on booze from a booze expert.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a journalist for over a decade, most frequently writing on the subjects of spirits, cocktails, and drinking culture for such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Playboy, and VinePair. I have written 12 books—6 of them on booze—my latest of which is Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits.

Aaron's book list on books on booze from a booze expert

Aaron Goldfarb Why did Aaron love this book?

Booze books can too often be overly positive, cheerleading for the industry at large; it’s rare you see one so incisive and damning.

Once nothing more than a headache-inducing frat house shooter, today tequila (and mezcal) has become the trendy spirit of those in the know…or those who want to seem like they are. But as Martineau details, the rapid expansion of this agricultural spirit into all bars, retailers, and marketplaces—much of it driven by, yes, gringos, some of them bold-faced names—has inherently ruined this beautiful spirit in many ways that may never be recovered.

By Chantal Martineau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How the Gringos Stole Tequila as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Once little more than party fuel, tequila has graduated to the status of fine sipping spirit. How the Gringos Stole Tequila traces the spirit's evolution in America from frat-house firewater to luxury good. But there's more to the story than tequila as upmarket drinking trend. Chantal Martineau spent several years immersing herself in the world of tequila--traveling to visit distillers and agave farmers in Mexico, meeting and tasting with leading experts and mixologists around the United States, and interviewing academics on either side of the border who have studied the spirit.

The result is a book that offers readers a…


Book cover of Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last

Aaron Goldfarb Author Of Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits

From my list on books on booze from a booze expert.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a journalist for over a decade, most frequently writing on the subjects of spirits, cocktails, and drinking culture for such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Playboy, and VinePair. I have written 12 books—6 of them on booze—my latest of which is Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits.

Aaron's book list on books on booze from a booze expert

Aaron Goldfarb Why did Aaron love this book?

Booze books need not only to be filed all the way in the back of the bookstore in the “Food/Drink” section; the best deserve to be mainstream—and bestseller Pappyland proved that.

This is a dual memoir in some ways, following the rise, fall, and incredible rise again of the Van Winkle family and their grandfather Pappy’s vaunted and eponymous spirit, along with the story of Thompson reckoning with his own family lore and fatherhood. 

By Wright Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pappyland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller!

“A warm and loving reflection that, like good bourbon, will stand the test of time.” —Eric Asimov, The New York Times

The story of how Julian Van Winkle III, the caretaker of the most coveted cult Kentucky Bourbon whiskey in the world, fought to protect his family's heritage and preserve the taste of his forebears, in a world where authenticity, like his product, is in very short supply.

Following his father’s death decades ago, Julian Van Winkle stepped in to try to save the bourbon business his grandfather had founded on the mission statement: “We…


Book cover of Drinking Distilled: A User's Manual

Frank Caiafa Author Of The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book

From my list on to start a drinker’s library.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was raised in a ‘hospitality forward’ household to say the least. My parents always had family and friends over the house eating and drinking and although no one was in the food and beverage industry, most of the folks all had something to say about food and beverage. It was a fundamental part of the conversation. It carried over to me and became something that I focused on even before I was ever in the service industry. With experience, I became more knowledgeable, and my tastes became wider and a bit more refined, but the seeds were planted long ago.

Frank's book list on to start a drinker’s library

Frank Caiafa Why did Frank love this book?

When recommending books on drinking and drinking properly, not necessarily making drinks properly, there are few recent releases that cover this ground. Jeffrey’s fun primer on the basics of drinking, its culture, and traditions make this a great first floor requirement in the skyscraper of imbibing. I would add that this would be a perfect gift for novice enthusiasts as it will help dodge plenty of missteps for sure.

By Jeffrey Morgenthaler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Drinking Distilled as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An opinionated, illustrated guide for cocktail beginners, covering the basics of spirits plus making and drinking cocktails, written by celebrated craft cocktail bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler.

This easy-reading, colorful introduction for cocktail beginners, with approximately 100 succinct lessons on drinking culture, spirits, and cocktail making, is delivered in the pithy, wry style Morgenthaler is known for in his instructional videos and writing for beverage publications. Novices will learn how to order a drink, how to drink with the boss, how to drink at the airport, and more. Twelve perfect starter recipes—ranging from a Dry Gin Martini to a Batched Old-Fashioned (perfect…


Book cover of The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide

Susan Reigler Author Of Which Fork Do I Use with My Bourbon?: Setting the Table for Tastings, Food Pairings, Dinners, and Cocktail Parties

From my list on cocktail books from a bourbon/whiskey expert.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a spirits writer, educator, and judge specializing in bourbon and other American whiskeys based in Louisville, Kentucky. I have authored or co-authored six books on bourbon (including two bourbon cocktail books) and among the publications for which I am a regular contributor are Bourbon+ (where I focus on the biology and chemistry of whiskey making) and American Whiskey Magazine, for which I write whiskey tasting notes and ratings. I am also the past president of The Bourbon Women Association. When I am not writing or conducting private, customized bourbon tastings, I present seminars at bourbon festivals and other bourbon events around the United States.  

Susan's book list on cocktail books from a bourbon/whiskey expert

Susan Reigler Why did Susan love this book?

This book sits on the easy-to-access shelf right next to my desk. With over 1,000 entries – drink recipes, definitions, bar equipment – it is a handy quick reference guide. The cocktail recipes even include an icon depicting appropriate glassware. It’s especially useful for looking up somewhat obscure ingredients. I’ll admit I didn’t know what Friesengeist was. The Herbsts give the pronunciation [FREET-zhen-gighst] and the definition, “A potent LIQUEUR from Germany. See also MINT-FLAVORED SPIRITS.” The capitalizations are cross-references. Peppered throughout the text are notable quotes, including this one from the great Julia Child, “Forget the cheap white wine; go to beef and gin!”

By Sharon Tyler Herbst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What's a Dirty Martini? How do you pronounce Cuarenta Y Tres? Which glass do you use for a Stinger? How did the Margarita get its name?

Answers to these questions and thousands more can be found in The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide, a one-stop, user-friendly cocktail guide featuring more than 1,000 drink recipes and 600 definitions for cocktail-related terms.

The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide offers a unique blend of features, including:

Definitions of over 600 cocktail- and drink-related terms, including liqueurs, types of drinks, cocktail jargon, and the etymology of drinks like the Martini and the Fuzzy Navel, all organized…


Book cover of A Quick Drink: The Speed Rack Guide to Winning Cocktails for Any Mood

Nicola Nice Author Of The Cocktail Parlor: How Women Brought the Cocktail Home

From my list on books that celebrate women’s right to booze.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a commercial sociologist who studies drinking cultures by day and a cocktail lover who partakes in those same cultures by night, I have always been fascinated with the rituals and traditions of hospitality. As a child, my parents disliked taking me to restaurants because my attention would always be focused on the other diners rather than whatever was on my plate. Academically, I am fascinated by the social construction of fact and how the documentation of what we understand to be true in science or history can be heavily influenced by such factors as class, gender, and race. It’s putting these two interests together that led me to research and ultimately write a book on how women have been systematically excluded from the historical record of the cocktail.

Nicola's book list on books that celebrate women’s right to booze

Nicola Nice Why did Nicola love this book?

From the dawn of cocktails, the opportunities for women to write bartending guides have historically been few and far between. Fortunately, this is now changing with the rise over the last few decades of female bartending talent.  Authors Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero are up there with the best of them today.

A Quick Drink is a compendium of the recipes contributed by the all-female contestants of their global bartending competition, Speed Rack.  It is both a lively read and a rare glimpse into the creative process behind the art of modern mixology.

I particularly love the way the recipes are positioned not only by the obvious category of drink but also by the time, place, ingredient, or mood that originally inspired them and consequently turned them into winners.

By Ivy Mix, Lynnette Marrero, Megan Krigbaum

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Quick Drink as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than 100 cocktail recipes from badass women bartenders

Award-winning mixologists Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero co-founded Speed Rack, a global all-women bartending competition where competitors show off their talents making both classic and original drinks as quickly as their arms can shake and stir-all in the name of raising money for breast cancer charities. With recipes from Ivy, Lynnette, and more than 80 Speed Rack participants, this book is a manual for making winning cocktails confidently and efficiently at home, based on both what is on your bar cart as well as the occasion, be it a long day…


Book cover of The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender's Craft

Rachel Riederman Author Of Once Upon A Rind In Hollywood: 50 Movie-Themed Cheese Platters and Snack Boards for Film Fanatics

From my list on cookbooks to be the host with most.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a clothing designer in NYC in a previous life. I would cram friends into my small apartment and have dinner parties whenever I could. I love food, cooking, and entertaining. Food is a way to show love, but for me, cooking was also a way to flex my creative muscle outside a creatively and emotionally draining industry. For years I mused about how to pivot into the food industry without being a classically trained chef. Upon being laid off in 2020 the door was finally opened for me to move on a begin a career in food styling and photography. Once Upon a Rind in Hollywood is my first cookbook.

Rachel's book list on cookbooks to be the host with most

Rachel Riederman Why did Rachel love this book?

This no-frills cocktail handbook has been hailed the “Most-read cocktail expert around” for a good reason.

Regan engagingly romanticizes cocktail and drinking culture. He details the history of specific cocktails, includes theories of how certain drinks came about and adds quotes about drinking from notable figures.

He makes you want to try drinks you have yet to try. He also muses about the philosophy of being a bartender and what it takes to be a good bartender.

Although the author makes it a humorous and fun read, the book is much more. It is a thoughtfully laid-out handbook for creating classic cocktails. Of course, one can search for a recipe by cocktail name.

But the book includes a great glossary, and charts by the family of cocktail, making it easy to be like; it’s been a long day, and we have some leftover rye and lemons in the fridge. What…

By Gary Regan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Joy of Mixology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A thoroughly updated edition of the 2003 classic that home and professional bartenders alike refer to as their cocktail bible.

Gary Regan, the "most-read cocktail expert around" (Imbibe), has revised his original tome for the 15th anniversary with new material: many more cocktail recipes—including smart revisions to the originals—and fascinating information on the drink making revival that has popped up in the past decade, confirming once again that this is the only cocktail reference you need.

A prolific writer on all things cocktails, Gary Regan and his books have been a huge influence on mixologists and bartenders in America. This…


Book cover of The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks

Carey Jones Author Of Every Cocktail Has a Twist: Master 25 Classic Drinks and Craft More Than 200 Variations

From my list on books for home bartenders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing about cocktails and spirits for over a decade, often in collaboration with my mixologist husband and co-author, John McCarthy. Our mission is to create delicious, practical cocktail recipes for the home bartender. There are a number of cocktail books out there, but they usually fall into two camps. Novelty books, which are often silly and untested. Or books written by professionals, for professionals, impractical if you don’t have a centrifuge, dehydrator, and 300-odd liqueurs in your home bar. What about the vast middle ground–people who love cocktails, want to make them at home, and learn something while they’re sipping? We believe in finding the best books for them. 

Carey's book list on books for home bartenders

Carey Jones Why did Carey love this book?

Most reference books aren’t also entertaining reads. But this book manages to be both.

Written in 1948, it’s an in-depth guide to the taxonomy of classic cocktails–helping you distinguish your Sours from your Daisies–but written with a sense of humor and levity that other books lack. For a look into mid-century American cocktail culture, one of the cocktail world’s true golden ages, this is as good as it gets. 

By David A. Embury, Robert Hess, Audrey Saunders

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New introductions by Audrey Saunders and Robert Hess


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

Noel Venning Author Of Batched & Bottled Cocktails

From my list on to improve cocktail making.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Noel's book list on to improve cocktail making

Noel Venning Why did Noel love 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.

By Ryan Chetiyawardana,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good Things to Drink with Mr. Lyan and Friends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An essential companion and an exciting treat" - Marco Pierre White"Mr Lyan is king of cocktails" - Todd Selby. Cocktails aren't just for fancy nights out and snobby home mixologists. Join award-winning and internationally acclaimed mixologist Mr Lyan (the man behind the White Lyan and Dandelyan bars in London) for cocktail hour as he shows you how 60 innovative and exciting cocktails can be part of your everyday life. Easy to make and beautifully photographed, here you will find a cocktail for every mood and occasion, from sunny day drinks and winter warmers to Friday night cocktails and morning revivers.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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