Key Bartending Books


Copyrighted by John C. Burton – 2004

Any cocktail guide, or manuscript published prior to prohibition is certainly desirable. Unfortunately many books are not to be found because there was a limited number printed, they were printed on acid paper, or thrown away because non-collectors thought they had no value. Don’t forget that many were destroyed or damaged because they were left in draws or on the back in  saloons.

One major problem is to know what you are looking for. Great resources are

Beverage Literature: A Bibliography by A. W. Noling, Wild West Bartenders Bible printed by Byron A. Johnson & Sharon Peregrine Johnson, or go-on-line to the library of Santa Rosa Bartending School. (


You can specialize in specific categories such as pre prohibition; blending and compounding manuals: distributor catalogs containing recipes; a specific time period such as the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or current; or any and all.


Do be careful of purchasing a book with mold as book mold will spread throughout your collection. Always open a book and smell the pages prior to placing it next to your other valuable books. If a book has mold, place Bounty brand paper towels between the pages for a period of 30 days and the paper towel will absorb the mold.


What is the book worth? With any collectable, pricing is always an issue. Of course condition and rarity are most important to advanced collectors. Advanced collectors will pay a premium for a rare book in mint condition. The best resource today is to go on-line and check the bidding results on ebay.



  • Any guide or manual printed pre prohibition
  • 1862 Professor Jerry Thomas and his reprints of 1876, 1887, 1927, 1928, 1934
  • 1875 Anonymous, American Bar Tender The Art and Mystery of Mixing Drinks
  • 1884 O. H. Byron available in hardback and 1891 in paperback
  • 1888 Harry Johnson Bartenders Manual  reprints in 1900, 1934
  • 1891 William “Cocktail Bill” Boothby or reprints in 1900, 1908, and the 1930’s
  • 1891 J. E. Peck, Fancy Drinks How To Mix Them
  • 1892 “The Only” William Schmidt with three different hardback covers & one in paperback
  • 1900 Ferdinand Westheimer, Red Top Rye Guide
  • 1900 Anonymous, Bar Recipe Book 282 Drink Recipes
  • 1900 St. Botolph Society, The Cocktail Book (Reprinted 1925)
  • 1902 George J. Kappeler, Modern American Drinks (Reprinted 1906)
  • 1902 James C. Maloney, How To Mix drinks; The Twentieth Century Guide
  • 1903 Tim Daly, Daly’s Bartender’s Encyclopedia
  • 1905 Charles S. Mahoney, The Hoffman House Bartender’s Guide
  • 1906 Louis Muckenstrum, Louis Mixed Drinks with Hints for the Care and Serving Wines
  • 1908 Jacks Manual with reprints in 1910
  • 1916 Hugo R. Esslin, Recipes For Mixed Drinks
  • 1917 Tom Bullock, The Ideal Bartender with reprint in 2000



  • 1891 Brunswick – Balke – Collender bar fixture catalog with reprints in various years
  • 1895 L. & M. Goldsticker Bar Room and Glassware Catalog with reprints in various years
  • 1898 Cleveland Faucet Company with reprints in various years
  • 1898 Claes and Lehnbeuter Saloon Fixtures with reprints in various years
  • 1900 Bishop & Babcock Sales Company with reprints through 1933



  • 1853 Pierre Lacour, Manufacture of Liquors, Wines and Cordials
  • 1885 J. Fleishman Company, Art of Blending and Compounding Liquors and Wines
  • 1889 E. M. Casey, Mixologist and Compounder
  • 1895 C. F. Lawlor, Mixicologist (Red Top Rye sponsored)
  • 1897 Fritzsche Bros. Manual
  • 1902 Pierre Lacour, Lacour on the Manufacture of Liquor
  • 1933 Alex Fries & Bro; Manual For Compounders


  • 1899 John Applegreen, Applegreen’s Bar Book – The Hotel Monthly
  • 1904 Anonymous, Drinks As They Are Mixed by Leading Bartenders
  • 1912 John Consodine, Buffet Blue Book
  • 1914 Jack A. Didler, The Reminder
  • 1914 Jacques Straub, Drinks – The Hotel Monthly
  • 1930 Wiser Distillery, Wiser’s Recipes
  • 1930’s Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Cuban Recipe Guide
  • 1934 Ben Burk, Old Mr. Boston Bartenders’ Guide



  • 1891 Wehman’s Bartenders Guide
  • 1912 Wehman Bros. National Police Gazette Bartenders Guide
  • 1912 Wehman Bros; Bartenders Guide
  • 1914 I. M. Ottenheimer, New Bartenders Guide



  • 1863 John Van Voorst, Cups and Their Customs
  • 1869 William Terrington, Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks
  • 1913 Mrs. De Salis, Drinks A La Mode
  • 1930 Harry Craddock, The Savoy Cocktail Book (Reprinted 1978)
  • 1934 Frank Meier, The Artistry of Mixing Drinks



  • 1928 Buzza Company, Bottoms Up (Novelty Book)
  • 1928 Buzza Company, Hollywood Cocktails (Novelty Book)
  • 1928 Charles S. Warnock, Giggle Water

  • 1930 Charles Roe & Jim Schwenck, Home Bartender’s Guide & Song Book
  • 1931 Albert Stevens Crockett, Old Waldorf Bar Days
  • 1933 George A. Zabriskie, The Von Vivant’s Companion or How To Mix Drinks
  • 1933 J. A. Grohusko, Jack’s Manual
  • 1933 Patrick W. Guinee, The Bartender’s Friend
  • 1933 Jimmy, Cocktails – By “Jimmy” Late of Ciro’s
  • 1933 Anonymous, Silver Dollar Bar How To Mix Drinks
  • 1934 Patrick Gavin Duffy, The Official Mixer’s Manual
  • 1934 A. J. Bailey, The Mixologist

  • 1934 Angostura – Angostura Recipes
  • 1934 Canada Dry Corporation, The Masterly Touch
  • 1934 Oscar of the Waldorf, 100 Famous Cocktails
  • 1935 Ben Burk, Old Mr. Boston Official Bar-Tenders Guide
  • 1935 Mohawk Liquors, Mohawk Liqueurs Recipes for Mixed Drinks
  • 1935 Sterling North, So Red The Nose (Novelty Book)
  • 1936 Adrian – Cocktail Fashions of 1936
  • 1937 John R. Iverson, Liquid Gems

  • 1941 El. Curtis Hocker, Hocker’s Alcoholic Beverage Encyclopedia
  • 1943 Oscar Haimo, Cocktail & Wine Digest Book
  • 1946 Lucius Beebe, The Stork Club Bar Book
  • 1946 Trader Vic, Trader Vic’s Bar-Tenders Guide
  • 1948 David A. Embury, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks

  • 1952 Ted Saucier, Bottoms Up
  • 1953 Marcel et Roger Louc, Cocktails et Grands Crus
  • 1971 Thomas E. Stenger, Cocktail Bar Reference Manual

  • 1977 Stan Jones, Jones Complete Bar Guide

  • 1978 John C. Burton, Pour Man’s Friend (Reprinted 1990)
  • 1979 Robert Herzbrun, The Perfect Martini Book
  • 1986 Byron & Sharon Johnson, Wild West Bartenders’ Bible
  • 1988 Barnaby Conrad III, Absinthe – History In A Bottle
  • 1990/2000 Robert Plotkin, Various Cocktail Books
  • 1990/2000 Gary Regan, Various Cocktail Books
  • 1990/2000 Gary Regan & Mardee Hardin Regan
  • 1990/2000 Raymond Foley, Various Cocktail Books
  • 1995 Eugene Coolic, Simply Shooters
  • 1997 Philip Collins, Classic Cocktails of the Prohibition Era
  • 1997 Stephen Visakay, Vintage Bar Ware (Cocktail Shakers)
  • 1999 Susan Waggoner, Vintage Cocktails
  • 2001 Tom Bullock & D. J. Frienz, 173 Pre Prohibition Cocktails
  • 2002 Dale DeGroff, The Craft of the Cocktail
  • 2002 David Wondrich, Esquire Drinks
  • 2004 John C. Burton & Salvador Sahagún, Amigo Del Cantinero




John C. Burton

United States Bartenders’ Guild,

California Chapter, Educational Director


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