“Now in its second edition, this pocket-sized handbook from illustrator and cocktail scholar Dave Stolte covers everything from how to make an orange twist to crafting a perfect Sazerac. A must-have for every aspiring barkeep.” Imbibe

“This handy alcohol-refresher-course meets party-planning-advice book has a refreshingly frank and down-to-earth tone of voice, tells the enthusiastic cocktailer just what they need to know (and no more) and fits nicely in your pocket. Written, illustrated, and self-published by Californian cocktail junkie and professional illustrator Dave Stolte, it feels like a modern-day equivalent of Bernard DeVoto’s “The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto” with just the right balance of helpful advice and opinion.”Ian Cameron (diffordsguide.com)

“Damn it! It’s about time we had some pocket-sized cocktail fun. Just the right amount of knowledge to be the life of any party.”Eric Alperin (The Varnish, Milk & Honey, Little Branch)

“A refreshing response to the overwhelming amount of information available on cocktails. A cleverly written guide that should be in every home. Cheers!”Paul Harrington (Clover, “Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century”)

“Run, don’t walk, to get this fabulous little cocktail guide with incredible illustrations.” Gaz Regan (gazregandrinks.com, “The Joy of Mixology”)

“A very cool little book.”Jonathan Gold (Los Angeles Times)

“Bartenders, if you have a book collection at your bar and you don’t have “Home Bar Basics,” you’re missing out on a chance to show customers what they should read first. One of my all time favorites. “The Savoy Cocktail Book” is pretty much useless for the new bartender looking for good advice. Start here, then go there.”Trevor Easter (Beefeater & Plymouth gins West Coast Ambassador)

“An essential book for newbies and cocktail experts alike… a modern classic.”Daniel Djang (Thirsty in LA)

“This little book is anything but little!”Warren Bobrow (“Apothecary Cocktails”)

“Learning isn’t always fun, but who says it can’t be? Dave Stolte’s “Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics)” definitely accomplishes this.”Mutineer

“Will have you shaking and pouring like a pro in no time.”LA Weekly

“The one manual that anyone interested in cocktail-making should own.”Locale

“Nice book!”Steven Raichlen (“The Barbecue Bible,” “BBQ USA”)

“A must-have for your home bar, an excellent hostess or housewarming gift, and anyone who loves classic cocktails.” — Alie & Georgia (“Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia”)

“Much of my good fortune has come from the simple fact that people think I’m smarter than I am. This little book has done much to perpetuate that myth. I remain grateful, and thirsty.”Mike Rowe (“Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe,” mikeroweworks.com)

“Elegant, no-nonsense design. Great illustrations.”Wayne White (“Beauty is Embarrassing,” “Maybe Now I’ll Get the Respect I So Richly Deserve”)

“Wow! I’ve been looking for a book like this forever!”Matt Groening (“The Simpsons,” “Futurama,” “Life in Hell”)


Hospitality at home needn’t become a relic of the past like calligraphy, stone carving, and good pop music. Democratizing the cocktail renaissance is author and illustrator Dave Stolte’s “Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics),” an approachable, concise, pocket-sized, 124-page guidebook with an emphasis on history, quality, and craft. The book includes thirty recipes ranging from standards (Old Fashioned, Tom Collins, Sidecar) to tiki classics (Zombie, Navy Grog, Mai Tai) to today’s exciting craft cocktails (Southern Exposure, Penicillin). Tips and techniques include advice on being a good host, selecting the best spirit brands, when to shake and when to stir, making the best ice at home, and to how to choose fresh citrus. The book features fun original illustrations, handy checklists, and easy-to-read instructions that break down these fine libations into foolproof steps. “Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics)” is wire-bound for easy lay-flat reading and is professionally litho printed in the USA in full color on water-resistant, tear-resistant synthetic paper for durability. The first edition was published November of 2011 and was a Finalist for a Spirited Award® as “Best New Cocktail Book” at Tales of the Cocktail® in 2012 (first edition) and 2014 (second edition).

The book is endorsed by Gaz Regan (gazregandrinks, The Joy of Mixology), Eric Alperin (The Varnish, Milk & Honey, Little Branch), and Paul Harrington (Cocktail: the Drinks Bible for the 21st Century). Fans of the project can follow along at Facebook and Twitter.

ISBN 978-0-615-83052-0
124 pages, spiral-bound, full color
Dimensions 3.5” wide X 5.5” high
Printed in the USA on Polyart synthetic paper for water-resistance and tear-resistance
$14.99 retail

author photo courtesy Tatsu OiyeABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author, designer, and award-winning illustrator Dave Stolte has spent the last twenty-plus years collecting cocktail recipes, studying techniques, reading yellowed old books, visiting bars around the country, making numerous variations on classic cocktails, researching their history, and pushing these drinks on friends and family. Long story short, he’s a big blowhard about boozing. In writing “Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics),” he consulted with some of the top bartenders in the country and became BarSmarts certified. He is Vice President of the United States Bartenders Guild Southern California Chapter and is a West Coast Committee Judge for Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. Dave lives in southern California with his wife Kristin, where he heads the design studio Wexler of California and works as a freelance illustratorAuthor photo courtesy Tatsu Oiye.


Surfas Culinary District Culver City & Costa Mesa
Hi-Time Wine Cellars Costa Mesa
Holiday Wine Cellar Escondido
Bar Keeper Silverlake
The Wine House Los Angeles
Cask San Francisco
320 Main Seal Beach
Polite Provisions San Diego
A Market Newport Beach
The Mixing Glass Costa Mesa
Skylight Books Los Angeles
8th Street Bottle Shop Los Angeles

Octavia Books New Orleans

The Boston Shaker Somerville

New York
Borisal Liquor & Wine / DrinkUpNY Brooklyn

Sauagatuck Grain & Grape Westport

Powell’s Books Portland
Pearl Specialty Portland
Hollywoood Beverage Portland

Prohibition Pig Waterbury

Ontario, Canada
BYOB Cocktail Emporium Toronto

Home Bar Basics (via Storenvy)


Product samples of bar hardware, spirits, liqueurs, mixers, and other items are accepted for review. Receipt of product samples does not guarantee a review, and if the product is reviewed, does not guarantee a favorable review. Flavored vodka reps: you have an uphill battle. Fair warning. Please contact Dave Stolte via email for shipping details.


Any mention of specific products in the book “Home Bar Basics (and Not-So-Basics)” and its companion website is made solely as a personal recommendation. Dave Stolte receives no financial coercion for these mentions.