Authors: Jim Meehan and Chris Gall
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Why It's Essential: Meehan's trade secrets are vital to replicating that unique cool of a speakeasy.

PDT (Please Don't Tell) in the East Village has a reputation for both its broad selection of alcohols and the quality of its cocktails, highlighted by the James Beard award it received earlier this year. Much of the bar's success can be attributed to the adroit and expert talents of mixologist Jim Meehan. In his book, Meehan offers insider info that you wouldn't otherwise have access to outside of the industry. He even walks you through designing and setting up your own bar.