happy hour at homeEntertain at home with ease, whipping up a delectable spread of pre-dinner treats, or simply transform a weeknight into a happy hour that rivals that of the swankiest bar.

Bringing the party home with drinks and snacks just got easier – even the amateur mixologist will be shaking and stirring in no time. Happy Hour at Home boasts sure-to-please classics like the Manhattans and mojitos, along with more inventive twists like Watermelon Cosmos and Kimchi Bloody Marys. The book also includes 90 recipes for a host of delicious treats, from Spanish tapas to American bar classics like sliders and oven-baked fries, to French and Italian-inspired flatbreads and olives that pair perfectly with cocktails for the ultimate at-home happy hour. (description from publisher)

There are a lot of great things about holiday parties: cookies, presents, drinks, friends & family, drinks, decorations, food, and did I mention, drinks?  If you’re considering shaking things up and trying a new drink, we have a wide range of books to wet your whistle.

Here are a few of my favorites  (visit the reference desk for additional suggestions!):

cocktails for a crowdCocktails for a crowd : more than 40 recipes 
for making popular drinks in 
party-pleasing batches by Kara Newman is a great go-to for people with a long guest list.  From punches to drinks served with an umbrella, this book covers its bases well.  Featuring beautiful photography, easy to follow directions, tips from bartenders, and a modern aesthetic, this is a great resource all year long.

tequila mockingbirdTequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle is a pun heavy book of drink recipes.  While the drinks may not be revolutionary, the names breathe new life into old standards.  Who could pass up a “Are You There God?  It’s me, Margarita.” or a “Brave New Swirled”?  Federle includes some bar tip staples, a few non-alcholoic drinks featuring familiar names from children’s literature (“Charlie and the Chocolate Fake-tini”), and bar bites like “The Develed Egg Wears Prada”.

drunken botanist


The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks
by Amy Stewart has been on a number of best non-fiction book lists this year.  Part history, part science, and part cookbook, The Drunken Botanist is an examination of how humans created the drinks that we consume today.  With over fifty recipes and growing tips for libation minded gardeners, this is a great choice if you want to share some trivia along side your cocktail.

No, not the ones that taunt Ebenezer Scrooge.  But they can be the kind that, like the miser himself, will cause you to wake up with a promise to amend your ways.  But hey, if your hosts have unlimited premium supplies you might want to mix-imize your efforts.

Here are a few recent books on putting together the perfect rocks glass recipes:

Good Spirits: recipes, revelations, refreshments, and romance, shaken and served with a twist

The Essential Cocktail

Shaken

Mix Shake Stir

Or, if you want my opinion, keep dry and take your friends home.  New Year’s Eve is amateur night.