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Around the World in 7 Cocktail Books

Break out your cocktail shaker.


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There’s something indelibly magical about tucking into a pisco sour in Peru, a negroni in Italy, or a mojito in Cuba. While travel restrictions are making the act of visiting those places a dream for the (hopefully not too distant) future, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy beverages from around the world right now. These cocktail books go beyond spilling the details on your favorite regional beverages—they evoke a sense of place through their recipes. In these pages, the history and culture surrounding the spirits is served in tandem with easy-to-replicate recipes. That’s something we can all toast to.

RELATED: 11 Cocktails That Will Take You Around the World While You're at Home

Spirits of Latin America

Ivy Mix’s book reads like a bar crawl—except it starts with tequila and mezcal in Mexico and follows a sinuous trail of agave, sugarcane, and grape spirits through the Carribean, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. The tome covers more than 100 cocktails, some of which are originals, inspired by the ingredients and drinking culture of the region, while others are tried and true classics, like margaritas.

To buy: $19,

From Barley to Blarney: A Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland

Heavy on the history, this guide let’s readers ride shotgun with authors Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry, and Tim Herlihy as they dive into what makes Irish whiskey unique. The trio traverses four Irish provinces, visiting 22 distilleries, and highlighting 50 iconic bars and pubs. They also include 12 original cocktail recipes that put the flavor of Irish spirits at the forefront, so you can travel along with them.

To buy: $20,

Finding Mezcal: A Journey into the Liquid Soul of Mexico with 40 Cocktails

Ron Cooper and Chantal Martineau’s book is a manual into understanding mezcal, the smokey, agave-based liquor that’s been becoming increasingly more popular around the world in recent years. Beyond recipes, they also include information about the origins of mezcal, how it differs from tequila, production methods, and travel insight into Oaxaca, Mexico, where the spirit hails from.

To buy: $19,

The Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks: Sake Shochu, Japanese Whisky, Beer, Wine, Cocktails and Other Beverages

If there’s one thing authors Stephen Lyman and Chris Bunting want you to know, it’s that there’s so much more to Japanese drinking culture than Sapporo and sake bombs. Here, the duo demystifies the drinks of Japan, with chapters on sake, shochu, awamori (a moonshine-esque liquor from Okinawa), plum wines, and modern Japanese-style cocktails, like sakura martinis and a sour plum cordial.

To buy: $20,

Smugglers Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki

Written by the owners of famed Smuggler’s Cove tiki bar in San Francisco, Martin and Rebecca Cate’s James Beard Award-winning book blends tiki history with more than 100 recipes, including those for house-made syrups. There’s also a helpful chapter about the different types of rums to make your shopping trip easier.

To buy: $17,

RELATED: We Asked Independent Bookstores Across the US for Their Favorite Travel-Inspired Reads—Here are 19 Books They Recommended

Drinking French: The Iconic Cocktails, Aperitifs, and Cafe Traditions of France, with 160 Recipes

Informative and entertaining, David Lebovitz’s book is an insider's guide to all things French. The recipes included, from café au lait to rosemary gimlets, are used as a conduit for explaining the history, customs, and rituals of French drinking culture. He also pairs recipes like baked camembert with walnuts, figs and whiskey gastrique, and cornichon tapenade deviled eggs for keeping your appetite satiated while you make your own homemade grenadine and vermouth.

To buy: $19,

The United States of Cocktails

Brian Bartels' book is not a quick hit round-up of the most popular beverage in each state. It’s a deep dive, going beyond just recipes and bucket list-worthy bars (though it does include those, too), to get to the heart of what makes these cocktails so special to the regions that claim them as their own. It also talks about the bars that originally crafted, popularized, or reimagined famous drinks and in doing so, recognizes the United States contributions to the worldwide drinking culture.

To buy: $21,


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