cocktail codex book cover


Cocktail Codex: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Mixology

The art of crafting delicious cocktails is a skill that many aspire to master. Whether you’re an experienced mixologist or a beginner looking to learn the basics, the Cocktail Codex is a book that will guide you on your journey. This comprehensive guide delves deep into the world of cocktails, providing insights into the fundamental techniques and principles that every mixologist should know.

Overview of the Cocktail Codex

The Cocktail Codex is a comprehensive guide to the world of cocktails, written by renowned mixologists Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan. The book explores the fundamental principles of mixology and provides a deep understanding of the art of cocktail creation.

The authors argue that there are only six ‘root’ cocktails; the Old Fashioned, Martini, Daiquiri, Sidecar, Whiskey Highball, and the Flip. All other cocktails are variations of these six templates. By understanding these root cocktails, you can create limitless variations and craft your own unique creations.

Breaking Down the Six Root Cocktails

Each root cocktail is explored in detail in the Cocktail Codex, with variations and substitutions for ingredients provided. The book encourages experimentation and creativity, urging readers to play around with ingredients once they understand the fundamentals.

1. The Old Fashioned: The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that serves as the foundation for many other drinks. It’s a simple combination of a base spirit, sugar, and bitters. The book provides numerous variations, such as substituting the base spirit with rum to create a Ti’ Punch or using Benedictine instead of sugar to make a Monte Carlo.

2. The Martini: The Martini is another fundamental cocktail that forms the base for many variations. It’s a balance of spirit and vermouth, with the option of adding bitters or other flavorings.

3. The Daiquiri: The Daiquiri is a simple cocktail consisting of rum, lime juice, and sugar. It’s the foundation for many other sour-style cocktails.

4. The Sidecar: The Sidecar is a classic cocktail made with cognac, lemon juice, and triple sec. It’s the base for many other sour cocktails with a sweetener.

5. The Whiskey Highball: The Whiskey Highball is a simple cocktail made with whiskey and a carbonated mixer. It’s a versatile cocktail that can be adapted with different spirits and mixers.

6. The Flip: The Flip is a rich and creamy cocktail made with a whole egg, sugar, and a spirit. It’s the base for many other creamy and dessert-style cocktails.

Advanced Techniques and Concepts

Beyond the six root cocktails, the Cocktail Codex also delves into advanced techniques and concepts. These include making syrups using various methods, clarifying juices, carbonating cocktails, using alternative acids, and introducing smoky flavors.

These advanced techniques allow you to take your cocktail-making skills to the next level, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in a cocktail.

Critical Reception and Reviews

The Cocktail Codex has been widely praised for its comprehensive and approachable guide to cocktail creation. It has received positive reviews from both professional bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts.

Many reviewers appreciate the book’s deep dive into the fundamentals of cocktail making, stating that it’s a valuable resource for anyone looking to expand their cocktail repertoire and create their own signature drinks. Others praise the book’s beautiful design and stunning photography, noting that it’s not just informative, but also a pleasure to read.

Despite its depth and complexity, the Cocktail Codex is praised for its accessibility. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a beginner, this book has something to offer.

The Authors: Masters of Mixology

The authors of the Cocktail Codex, Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, are renowned figures in the world of cocktails. They are the team behind Death & Co, one of the most influential cocktail bars in the world. Their expertise and passion for cocktail creation shine through in the Cocktail Codex, making it a must-have resource for anyone interested in the art of mixology.


In conclusion, the Cocktail Codex is more than just a cocktail recipe book. It’s a comprehensive guide to understanding the principles of mixology and the art of crafting cocktails. Whether you’re a professional bartender or a home enthusiast, this book is a valuable resource that can help you elevate your cocktail-making skills to new heights.

Remember, understanding the six root cocktails is just the beginning. The real magic happens when you start experimenting with these templates and creating your own unique variations. So, grab your shaker, pour yourself a drink, and dive into the fascinating world of the Cocktail Codex.