Author: Harry Craddock
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Why It's Essential: It's the original cocktail bible.

After Harry Craddock left the United States for London during Prohibition, he reached the apogee of bartending. Few names were more recognizable than Braddock's in the field of mixology. His book contains 750 of his recipes, many of which he created and popularized himself, along with updated version that jive with more contemporary palates. If you're going to to take this craft seriously, you'll need this reference at your side.