5 Fresh Cocktail Books to Enjoy this Summer

The warm days are finally settling in, beckoning worker bees outdoors to enjoy the sun. Incorporating summer flavors into recipes is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this popular season, with fruits, herbs, and vegetables growing in abundance. As good meals are even better when accompanied by tasty drinks, these five books prove to be excellent guides on how to incorporate summer zest into delicious cocktails. Cheers.

Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes, by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau
Founders of the all-things-cocktails publication, Punch, Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau bring readers and imbibers a little summer sizzle in their book, Spritz. In Italy, the Spritz is a coveted after work pick-me-up, with a cornucopia of colorful variations. Included in these pages are classic recipes, like the Negroni Sbagliato or the White Spritz. Given the international popularity of the cocktail, mixologists contributed their favorite creations, like the Cold in the Shadows by Pamela Wiznitzer, or the Rome with a View by Tunnel Vision by Alex Day. The cover of this book recalls vintage Italian posters, making it not just a wealth of knowledge but an appealing aesthetic addition to any end table or bookshelf.

The One-Bottle Cocktail: More than 80 Recipes with Fresh Ingredients and a Single Spirit, by Maggie Hoffman
Move over, one-pot recipes, and make space for the one-bottle cocktail! All readers need is a single bottle of booze, a few creative ingredients, and this book—then they are good to go. With a conversational tone that evokes the essence of a delightful soiree with old friends, the author presents recipes that are simple enough for newbies trying to recreate fancy drinks at home, while at the same time creative enough for cocktail aficionados to be able to find something new. Feel refreshed in the dog days of summer with a vodka-based Blackberry Cucumber Mule, a citrus and tequila packed Tamarindo Aguas Frescas, and a peach and rum delight aptly called Stones and Leaves.

Forager’s Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients, by Amy Zavatto
Remember being a kid and scrounging around in nature for inspiration? Now imagine doing that as an adult and finding garden ingredients for your favorite drink. Luckily, New York-based food writer, Amy Zavatto, who covers wine, cocktails, and everything in between, shares recipes for those who don’t have time to play outdoors. In her book, Forager’s Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients, Zavatto imparts her expertise on how to incorporate fresh herbs and foraged fruit into an inebriating glass. The chapters are broken up by season, and summer beverages include crisp takes on classics, like an Orchard Old Fashioned, a Wild Mint Mojito, or a Wild Strawberry Margarita. Fans of Zavatto’s writing should not miss her newest book, Prosecco Made Me Do It.

The Poptail Manual: Over 90 Delicious Frozen Cocktails, by Kathy Kordalis
Hot summer days recall nostalgic memories of running around in the sun, getting overheated, then cooling off when your friend’s mom pulled out an assortment of icy, fruity, popsicles. The cold consistency of the flavored, icy shards were a perfect pairing with the hot weather. Grown ups can enjoy this summer memory in a more elegant, libatious fashion by making their own cocktails into popsicles—adorably called “poptails.” The Poptail Manual: Over 90 Delicious Frozen Cocktails is a beautifully illustrated book by Kathy Kordalis, and includes 90 plus recipes for making fun frozen drinks. Poptails like the Olive Martini or the Kamikaze give an added surprise of hiding garnishes in the middle of the ice!

Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails, by Matthew Biancaniello
A leader of the “garden-to-glass” movement, Matthew Biancaniello is known in the cocktail world for creating visually stunning and olfactory titillating drinks. In his book, Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails, the infinitely creative mixologist shares his gift for creating memorable aperitifs. With creations that look like a bouquet of colorful flowers or an impressionist still-life painting, the drinks are intoxicatingly beautiful. Keeping with the theme of keeping drinking edible, the chapters are broken up by coursesa—each one with an array of appetizing drinks: start the feast with a Blood Orange Cheese & Cracker, dive into the first course with a Bubbly Mary, enjoy Shiitake as the main course, and complete the meal with a Candy Cap Mushroom Bourbon Ice Cream.

What are your favorite summer cocktails?

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