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Handcrafted Bitters: Simple Recipes for Artisanal Bitters and the Cocktails that Love Them
By Rockridge Press
Ask any person off the street if they know the difference between an old fashioned made with and without bitters, and you'll likely get blank stares. I am putting this book first because even though I may know far less than some of you, it is still pretty common knowledge that the use of bitters is a bit murky. There is an entire science to bitters that would challenge any chemistry teacher out there! If sophistication, education and elegant drinks are your thing, then this is for you and your bar cart!
The Cocktail Chronicles: Navigating the Cocktail Renaissance with Jigger, Shaker & Glass
By Paul Clarke
Focused specifically on cocktails from yesteryear, the book is more than a historical look down memory lane. In one book, you get: a great entry-level guide to making cocktails, an excellent chronicle of the rise and fall of cocktail culture, a fine primer on both classic and contemporary cocktails, and an awesome guide to all things tools, spirits and techniques.
The Little Box of Cocktails: Cool and Classic Recipes 52 Cards
By Ada Franklin
As a third and final must-have for your bar cart, you need something fun and cheeky, like this 52-card deck of cocktails. Besides just being small enough to keep on hand, the contents of the cards promises a lot: learn the "coolest cocktails deriving from all over the world, classic and new ones, with all kinds of variations depending on the ingredients you may have at hand." And just to make sure it's relevant to everyone, it gives advice on everything you need to make it regarding the tools and techniques.