The 12 Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles. Hundreds of Cocktails. A New Way to Drink.

It’s a system, a tool kit, a recipe book. Beginning with one irresistible idea–a complete home bar of just 12 key bottles–here’s how to make more than 200 classic and unique mixed drinks, including sours, slings, toddies, and highballs, plus the perfect Martini, the perfect Manhattan, and the perfect Mint Julep.

It’s a surprising guide–tequila didn’t make the cut, and neither did bourbon, but genever did. And it’s a literate guide–describing with great liveliness everything from the importance of vermouth and bitters (the “salt and pepper” of mixology) to the story of a punch bowl so big it was stirred by a boy in a rowboat.


  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (July 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076117494X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761174943
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
Download Now

This article was written by Admin

8 thoughts on “The 12 Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles. Hundreds of Cocktails. A New Way to Drink.”

  1. At last, a book for the HOME Bartender! This is an excellent resource if you enjoy making cocktails at home and being your own host.

    The 12 Bottles include 8 Liquors, 2 Vermouths and 2 Bitters and covers drinks with 1 Bottle (Pick Your Poision), 3 Bottles (Adding Bitters & Vermouth) and 4 Bottles (Orange Liqueur). Ice (otherwise known as Cocktail Ice) gets it’s own several page section and is well worth the read. My favorite section is The Bottles. Everything you could possible want to know about each of the 12 is listed in its own section with complimentary recipes! It’ll give you a new appreciation for each of them.

    The books ends with Putting It All Together which includes some expanded, new virgin drinks instead of the typical ones you tend to find in bartender guides and drink books. No Shirley Temple in this one! Beer, Wine & Cider has found a place among this section as well as finishing off with Garnishs, Syrups and Liqueurs which includes a wonderful Cherry Syrup recipe.

  2. This is the best book I’ve come across for people who want a good drink at home. For people who like a cocktail. For people who like food and don’t make cocktails because so many home attempts are terrible (and so many restaurants/bars are about as bad). It’s terrific for entertaining, from a few friends to a lot, but it’s really helpful for anyone who wants to enjoy a good drink.

  3. I like the idea of setting up a bar with a specific set of liquors and having a bunch of really good drinks you can build a real repertoire from. The drinks are chosen carefully and each has its bit of trivia attached so you can come off sounding much smarter than you are. Bonus points for smaller bottle sets that can get you started at a lower price and/or smaller bar space because the small sets can also function for picnics and the like. Excellent book for novices as well as for pros looking to shake up their routine.

  4. Fun! Creativity at the bar? Artistry in drinks? History and style? YES. And for me, not a fancy hostess… it’s simple, and I look like I finally know what I’m doing- and with elegance and style! Thousands of ideas, great information and well done. Great hostess gift, wedding gift or gift to self! Entertaining read. Who knew so much inspiration could mount from 12 simple bottles at my bar. Thank you!

  5. Nice and concise recipes and instructions for a basic bar. Most of the recipes require citrus or other non-alcoholic ingredients (grenadine, simple syrup, etc.) If you stock your refrigerator with a few basic ingredients, the 12 bottles will produce dozens of tasty cocktails.

  6. Working my way through the book. So far so good. For the most part pretty easy to follow and no crazy ingredients that I have never heard of. It really is a bar that only requires 12 bottles of booze. It also tells you about 3 bottle, 4,5, etc bottle bars so you can work your way up. Not that was a problem for me.

  7. Not your usual compendium of cocktail recipes. The author’s novel approach and careful selection of recipes, along with commentary, made this an enjoyable and informative read. I will be referring to it often. If you’re interested in mixology, this is a must have. My only comment would be that finding some of the ingredients called for can be a challenge.

  8. I own over 200 cookbooks of all different types, but this was my first book of cocktail recipes. I think it is pretty well organized and has great history and side notes. The first cocktail I tried was the Brandy Milk Punch because I loved the description and it is now my favorite cocktail. I look forward to trying many more.

    I would have given it 4 stars if it had a better index. One of the first things I do when I open a new cookbook is turn to the index to see how it is organized. There is a great “Drink by Theme” section but the index is solely based on cocktail name. The index does not include ingredients or topics. For someone who is just beginning to explore cocktails, this is not helpful at all. There is no way to find recipes based on a specific ingredient other than turning directly to the chapter for one of the 12 bottles they recommend and rereading. If you have something unique in your pantry like plum syrup, you can’t go the index and find a list of pages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *