Drink, Read, and Be Happy

If you enjoy the fine spirits and find yourself kindling a curiosity about mixology, spirits, and their various lieutenants, you may enjoy these books recommended by the finest in the industry. 

Ewan Gunn, Global Whisky Master & Category Training Manager, Diageo Scotch Whiskies

Choosing one book is really hard, but I reckon it might have to be “Whiskypedia” by Charles MacLean. Charlie is a raconteur and a truly lovely person, with a beautiful way of expressing himself whilst also imparting great amounts of knowledge. All of his whisky books are worth a read, but this one in particular is a favourite of mine. 


James Estes, Rōnin Bartender

For me it definitely has to be Gaz Regans, “The Joy of Mixology”. It was the first cocktail book I ever read, and I immediately fell in love with the stories and histories, not just of the drinks, but of the bartenders, and bars, and what influenced them all and how they were all connected and relevant to today’s scene. It’s a great read and laid out in a way that also makes it very easy to go to for a quick reference if need be. I always, and always will,  recommend it to anyone starting out in the industry/wanting to learn about the industry/has never read it.


Alex Percival, Director, Tin & Glass Consultants

The book I have as ‘the bible’ is the “Difford’s Guide”.  It’s released every year by a guy called Simon Difford, and features a lot of new trend cocktails, as well as the classics, but also goes in to bartending/equipment/practises etc.  One of the issues with lots of books out there is that the author has been paid by a brand/brand owning company meaning they can often be a bit biased.  Not the case with the Difford’s Guide.  They also have a website which I use pretty often for inspiration or brand information – https://www.diffordsguide.com


Rob Scannell, Irish Whiskies Ambassador East Africa

One book I would always recommend to people coming into the bar industry is “Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails”, I push this book to people because it gives you insights to everything you need in the drinks industry. History of cocktail creation and mixing. The reasons behind why you’re using bitters in your drink. I tell all bar owners to first read this book, then give it to their bar backs, their bar backs will soon surpass the bartenders that haven’t read this book.


Have a favourite book? Share it with us in the comments!