This is the very first cocktail book I ever bought. I admit I purchased it because I was impressed by the author, Gary Regan, when I worked with him on The Book of Bourbon. I never regretted getting it because it does live up to its title. If I ever want to know anything about setting up a bar or how to do something in making a drink, I usually find it in this book. It was printed in paperback form in 2003 and it is available on Amazon.

The Bartender’s Bible: 1001 Mixed Drinks and Everything You Need to Know to Set Up Your Bar, by Gary Regan. New York: John Boswell Management, Inc., 1991. Contents, Introduction, Bibliography, Index, Illustrated, Pp. 340.

This book is a very good place to start when setting up your home bar. The book starts with what liquors to start with for a small bar (bourbon is first on the list) and what to add for a basement bar. This is continued with other needs for the bar starting with liqueurs and cordials, beers, wines, condiments, garnishes and finally equipment. The only illustrations in the book are illustrations of different pieces of equipment and glassware.

The chapters are broken down by the basic spirit used in the drink and bourbon has the honor of being the first chapter of drinks. He gives a basic definition of each spirit and its different styles such as Dry Gin, Dutch Gin, Old Tom Gin and Plymouth Gin. There is also a very brief discussion of how the product is made. Then comes the drink recipes. They are very clearly written and lists all of the ingredients needed to make the drink. The nice feature of the original printing of the book is that it is bound in a spiral notebook fashion so that when you turn to a recipe the pages lay flat and open.

This is a good book to have in your bourbon library. It has an adequate selection of drink recipes and some good advice for setting up your home bar. Gary Regan is a true master of his craft and an excellent writer. Whether you are looking for advice about setting up your home bar or just wanting to learn to make some excellent cocktails, this is a great book to have in your library.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller