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Gin Books: Our top-10 favorites books about gin

When gin lovers really take the time to learn about gin, the enjoyment of imbibing somehow becomes even more pleasurable. There is perhaps no better present for a true connoisseur than a gin recipe book that goes over the classics while providing a few new ideas based on current trends. 2019 brought it a few hybrid ideas based on old techniques and new bar tactics that are sure to catch the eye, whet the appetite and move the needle at social gatherings. Let’s look into a few of our most favorite gin cocktail book titles and what they have to offer your drinking experience.


The Drunken Botanist / by Amy Stewart

Published March 19th 2013 by Algonquin Books, 362 pages, Hardcover

The true gin connoisseur wants to know more than how to make the latest drink. Learning the basics of how to ferment malt, rye or molasses with juniper berries and coriander means that you will understand how to create a great gin based drink no matter what the latest trends might tell you to do. Once you discover the heroic origins of gin, you will have the upper hand at any cocktail party discussion of spirits. This book will even introduce you to the farming methods that create the core ingredients in gin. All of this information is delivered in a witty voice that will keep you entertained throughout the entire 300 plus pages.


Gone with the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist / by Tim Federle

Published October 27th 2015 by Running Press Adult, 152 pages, Hardcover

A shorter read than The Drunken Botanist, Gone With the Gin specializes in our favorite spirit base with a little twist. You get 50 great drinks paired with 50 classic movies from American film history. You also get a full library of drinking games to play with your new concoctions and fun illustrations that will keep your interest piqued. Consider what you will do with drinks like A Clockwork Orange Julius, No Country for Old Fashioneds, Bonnie and Mudslide and our favorite – the Taxi Screw-Driver! This is a great read for drinkers who are really just looking for the gin and a bit of entertainment besides.


Ginspiration: The Best Distilleries, Infusions, and Cocktails / by Klaus St. Rainer

Published May 15th 2018 by DK, 144 pages, Hardcover

So you want to learn about truly premium gin and the nuances of different kinds of gin, huh? Well, this quick read from Klaus St. Rainer is just the book for you. You will learn about how to take the idea of your gin all the way to the barroom table, with ideas on how to serve and taste your gin after you make it. Incredibly detailed step by step instructions come from master distillers. Learn about the most famous and sophisticated craft gins from all over the world, including gins from New Zealand, England, Canada, Australia, Scotland and the United States. Match your base ingredients with accents like smoky ice cubes and raspberry syrup.


Gin: Shake, Muddle, Stir: Over 40 of the Best Cocktails for Serious Gin Lovers / by Dan Jones

Published October 4th 2016 by Hardie Grant, , 144 pages, Hardcover

The home mixologist will take his craft to the next level with this incredible resource by his side. There are new gin brands hitting the American market from various places around the world. The sophisticated mixologist has already decided to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to guidance about this wide new world of gin. Dan Jones brings the reader to some of the best gin makers in the world and some of the classic and futuristic mixes that are keeping gin on everyone’s lips. You will learn how to make perfect examples of the classics (the Gimlet, Gin Fizz and Martini, to name a few), but you will also learn the trendy Pink Lady and impressive Rhubarb Sparkler. If your bar is small, fear not. You get recipes that only take three ingredients, and you can also use teas and punches in the mix.

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The Gin Dictionary / by David T. Smith

Published April 5th 2018 by Mitchell Beazler, 256 pages, Hardcover

David T. Smith has consolidated an encyclopedia about gin history and drinkmaking into an easily digestible experience. None less than the New York Times praised the book as a “comprehensive” resource. You learn everything that you would have ever needed to know about gin, and you get 20 recipes for gin cocktails as well. Use this resource to go as far back in the production process as you please. You will learn about the ingredients in most gin drinks, how to properly distill gin for different notes of flavor and improving your taste to understand the true differences between the different gins around the world.


101 Gins: To Try Before You Die / by Ian Buxton

Published on August 13th 2015 by Birlinn, 224 pages, Hardcover and eBook

Serious gin bars may have more than 300 different types of gin available for you to try. This can make choosing between them quite difficult! With Ian Buxton by your side, however, you can whittle away the chaff to spend the most time with the best gins in the world. The author is blessed with a comedic voice that will keep you laughing while you learn. He also knows his stuff. Meticulously researched, 101 Gins gives you the skinny on your best choices so that you can pick your poison with the most information at hand. For instance, if you don’t know if a cucumber and roseflower infusion is a true gin or not, then you owe this book a solid read.


Gin Made Me Do It: 60 Beautifully Botanical Cocktails / by Jassy Davis & Ruby Taylor

Published on February 22nd 2018 by HarperCollins,144 pages, Hardcover

If the only mix that you do is a boring gin and tonic, take a look at what Davis and Taylor have brought you. This is a gorgeously illustrated piece of work that is meant to introduce you to 60 of the best and most versatile library of gin recipes. By the time that you finish Gin Made Me Do It, you will be one of the most versatile mixologists in your area. Learn how to properly mix a great martini. Improve your taste and choose blends that are sure to please the palette. Trouble finding the right cocktails for a social event? This may be just the gin resource for you.


Gin Glorious Gin: How Mother’s Ruin Became the Spirit of London / by Olivia Williams

Published August 28th 2014 by Headline, 336 pages, Hardcover

A unique story told from an interesting perspective, Gin Glorious Gin opts to tell the story of London culture as seen through the lens of the most iconic drink from the era  – gin. Williams takes the reader’s hand through the Gin Craze, the building of the West End cocktail bars and finishes with a poignant statement on the present. Yes, we have been through the Ginnaissance. If you need a guide to understand what just happened, this book is the resource that you need. Added bonus – you get some great stories about some really familiar historical figures including Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill.


The Book of Gin: A Spirited World History from Alchemists’ Stills and Colonial Outposts to Gin Palaces, Bathtub Gin, and Artisanal Cocktails / by Richard Barnett

Published December 4th 2012 by Grove Hardcover, 288 pages, Hardcover and eBook

Barnett gives a more complete history of gin than perhaps any other book on this list. He lets you know where the different strands of gin came from. You learn how gin inspired great works from Hogarth, Beer Street and Gin Lane. You will know how gin served as the main painkiller for many homesick colonials and Napoleonic War heroes who loved to drink at upscale bars. Get the real deal on how Prohibition created bathroom gin and why gin is making a comeback today. Barnett delivers a well-researched book that is at the same time lively and complex.


The Spirit of Gin: A Stirring Miscellany of the New Gin Revival / by Matt Teacher & Arrigo Cipriani

Published November 11th 2014 by Cider Mill Press, 364 pages, Hardcover

Connecting the spirit of the modern gin movement with similar historical movements that inspired its production and consumption, The Spirit of Gin delivers a comprehensive work that encompasses many aspects of the spirit. Included in this expansive body of work is an international bar guide, methods of distillation and different ingredients to use in your gin-based drinks. While most books in this niche focus on the so-called “glory days” of gin, the entire work here takes the present as the perspective of choice. You will learn the history of gin from the 18th century, but you will know exactly how all of those historical events affect the gin drinking that you do today.

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Regardless of what you want to know about gin, you can find it in the books above. Every work has an individual perspective that brings context to the other works. You may want to cross-reference a few of these books while you cull together the recipes you will find inside!

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