This list of cocktail-related books is a work in progress, so please do let us know if you have additional resources or information we should include. After each entry are known sources of the work, for many of the older ones free downloadable copies, and commentary from Dinah on her research experience with this resource. For sources prior to 1950 we've attempted to locate confirmation of the book's definite existence at that time, usually through Library of Congress Copyright records, contemporary reviews or advertising, or similar sources from the year of publication.
1861 and before (Gothic Age of Cocktail Drinking)
- 1705. Masson, P. Le Parfait Limonadier: Ou le maniere de preparer le thé, le caffé, le chocolat, & autres liqueurs chaudes & froides. Paris: C. Moette.
- Available as a PDF from EUVS (same scan of Harvard's copy also available from Internet Archive and from HathiTrust).
- 1804. Anonymous. L'Art du Limonadier: Extrait des meilleurs auteurs qui ont traité de la distillation, et principalement du buisson; contenant la manière de préparer les bavaroises, le cachou, le café, le chocolat; de former les conserves de roses, les crêmes et fromages glacés, de distiller les eaux odoriférantes; de procéder à la confection des elixirs, des essences, des emulsions, des huiles, des extraits; de confire les fruit à l'eau-de-vie et au sucre; de composer l'hydromel, les liqueurs aqueuses, (spécialement la limonade) les rafraîchissantes, les spiritueuses, les ratafias; de faire des loochs, des pastilles, des pâtes, des sorbets; la teinture, principalement de the; et les vins artificiels. Ouvrage utile, non seulement aux limonadiers, aux distillateurs, mais à tous les économes et pères de famille. Paris: Chez Galland.
- Available as a PDF from EUVS and from Google Books (and that same scan from HathiTrust).
- 1807. Bouillon-Lagrange, Edme Jean Baptiste. L'Art de Composer Facilement, et a Peu de Frais, les Liqueuers de Table, les Eaux de Senteurs, et Autres Objets d'Economie Domestique. Paris: Dentu.
- Available as a PDF from EUVS and from Google Books.
- 1827. Cook, Richard. Oxford Night Caps; being a collection of receipts for making various beverages used in the University. Oxford: Henry Slatter.
- Available as a PDF from Internet Archive, from Google Books and from EUVS (these all seem to be the same scan of the same copy).
- 1835. Cook, Richard. Oxford Night Caps; being a collection of receipts for making various beverages used in the University (New Ed., Enl.). Oxford: Henry Slatter.
- Available as a PDF from EUVS. EUVS links to this as the Third Edition.
- 1847. Cook, Richard. Oxford Night Caps; being a collection of receipts for making various beverages used in the University (4th edition, Enlarged). Oxford: Henry Slatter.
- Available as a PDF from EUVS and (same scan) from Internet Archive.
- 1855. Duplais, Paul. Traité des Liqueurs et de la Distillation des Alcools: Ou, le liquoriste & le distillateur modernes, contenant les procédés les plus nouveaux pour la fabrication des liqueurs françaises et étrangères; fruits à l'eau-de-vie et au sucre; sirops, conserves, eaux, esprits parfumés, vermouts, et vins de liqueur. Ainsi que la description complète des opérations nécessaires pour la distillation de tous les alcools. Paris: ?Librairie Centrale des Sciences?.
- Available as a PDF from EUVS.
- 1859. Anonymous. The Bar Tender’s Guide, or Complete Encyclopaedia of Fancy Drinks, Containing Plain and reliable directions for making all the Fancy Drinks used in the United States, together with the most popular British, French, German and Spanish recipes. To which is appended a Manual for the Manufacturing of Cordials, Liqueurs, Fancy Syrups, etc etc, the same being adapted to the trade of the United States and Canadas. New York: Dick & Fitzgerald.
- David Wondrich notes, "This book was copyrighted at the Library of Congress (which still has the record) and announced in the trade press but it does not appear to have ever been actually published. Certainly no copy has ever turned up."
Thanks to the following for their helpful bibliographies, collections of resources, or other assistance: the Internet Archive (donate here to support their wonderful work!); librarians everywhere but especially Marvin Taylor and Kelly Turner; David Wondrich, whose work is a constant inspiration and whose source notes in the 2015 edition of his book Imbibe provide valuable context for many works, in addition to the other notes he has kindly permitted me to share here; Lowell Edmunds, whose page "Pre-1910 Bartender's Manuals and Other Books Containing Cocktail Recipes: A Bibliography" was indispensable; Anistatia Miller, Jared Brown, and Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux, whose comments as well as collection have proven most helpful; Andrew "the Alchemist" Willett, for his "Books on Drink: A History (with ratings)" page as well as his posts; Joerg Meyer, for his unfailing enthusiasm as well as his rare mixology book list; Rabelais fine books on food & drink, for their detailed catalog notes; Erik Ellestad for his uniquely thorough experimentation with the Savoy Cocktail Book and general knowledge of measurements and substitutions; Jeffrey Masson, for his Boothby knowledge; the Difford's Guide team, for their balanced judgment; Paul Clarke, for his good will and hard work on behalf of his fellow drink nerds; Marcovaldo Dionysos, for his ready wit and extensive book list; John C. Burton, for kindly sharing his extensive bibliography and knowing more about "Cocktail Bill" Boothby than anyone.
If you are the author of a book listed above and you have an Amazon Associates account, please drop us an email with an improved link to replace our code with yours. Maintaining this list is work and referral fees help us keep it up, but for your own book you are more deserving of that tip!
Sadly some books once held by libraries have been stolen from us all. Library thieves suffer in an even lower circle of Hell than vile people who sneak out of bars without paying, those who snap their fingers to get the bartender's attention, and non-tippers. If you, in your youthful foolishness, committed such a sin, in order to be absolved you must put that book in a well-padded envelope and slip it into the book drop to return it to our common resources.