Mixing Up Cocktails
With catchy names like Coco Loco (a coconut-banana concoction), Bermuda Triangle (Lillet Blanc with amaretto), and Shaken or Stirred (raspberry vodka and coconut rum), choosing one to serve is a challenge. Song suggestions accompany each libation, so while downing a Float Your Boat, put on Lyle Lovett’s “If I Had a Boat.” In the mood to watch a movie? Flip to the listing of Caribbean-inspired flicks for ideas. By Jennifer Trainer Thompson, $16; tenspeed.com.
The New-Wave Mai Tai
Think only one recipe for a mai tai exists? Think again. This compilation of 50-plus recipes, gathered from Hawaiian restaurants, bars, resorts, and distilleries, gives a new twist to the 50th state’s iconic cocktail. Find undertones of vanilla bean and orange Curaçao in the Smooth Shredder, or delight in Lava Love’s splashes of Chambord and guava juice. The book’s spiral binding makes for easy reading, leaving your hands free to mix away. By Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, $16; bookshawaii.net.
Champagne isn’t just for celebrations anymore. Create a drink for any occasion by mixing your favorite ingredients in a glass of bubbly. Unconventional ingredients (think honey syrup, cucumbers, and pear brandy) make their way into 32 recipes with popular sparkling wines such as Prosecco and Cava. The New Classics chapter offers unique blends like the Archbishop Down Under, which replaces the traditional port in this 19th century sangria with sparkling Australian Shiraz. By Kate Simon, $15; chroniclebooks.com.
Try this book dedicated to stylish libations for a cocktail that looks too good to drink. Serving tips and ingredient alternatives help reinvent classic drinks. The 20 “quenching refreshers” combine ice and fruity ingredients in drinks―blended citrus margaritas, ginger twilight mojitos, and blue Hawaiians―that beat the heat. By Norman Kolpas, $16; simonsays.com.
Tropical Cocktails Deck
Need a visual? Flip through these 50 full-color cards, packaged in a handy carrying box. The cards detail each drink’s name, brief description, and recipe. The history behind some concoctions sheds light on lesser-known facts. For example, Constantino Ribalaigua, the famed Cuban bartender at El Floridita in Havana, created Papa Hemingway’s Daiquiri for the drink’s namesake. By Mittie Hellmich, $14; chroniclebooks.com.
101 Sangrias & Pitcher Drinks
Forget about basic wine and citrus fruit recipes. Delve into this book for far-from-ordinary fruity sangrias and punches. Straightforward ingredient lists and instructions make preparation simple. The Pacific Rim Sangria uses fresh ginger and Japanese cucumbers for flavoring while the Superbowl Sangria mixes in apples and strawberries. For eye candy, try the Melon Ball Lemonade―floating lemon wheels and balls of honeydew will brighten any plain glass pitcher. By Kim Haasarud, $17; wiley.com.