There are lots of great resources for liquor knowledge. You can listen to the podcast here or on iTunes, or see the YouTube show, and if you join the mailing list, I’ll send you a weekly newsletter keeping you up-to-date on the distilled world.
First, I have to recommend my own book:
This book is a tasting template journal for any type of spirits. It’s a tool with which to keep track of your tastings, with information on spirits, distillation, history, tasting methods, and even the science of spirituous liquors. It comes with about a hundred sheets for tastings and another ten for distillery tours, all in a stylish book that’s easy to carry along to your local whiskey club.
Buy it now
Here are some other great books about spirits and cocktails:
Click the title for more information or to buy on Amazon.
Despite its morbid name, this is a truly amazing book that has earned its incredible rise up the bestseller lists. The cocktails tend to include some arcane ingredients, but it’s the information, not the recipes, that makes this book great.
There’s no arguing with a classic. The first edition was printed in 1935, and it’s been getting updated and modified ever since. A definitive classic that I reference often.
I first saw this book sitting behind the bar at my place of work. When I flipped through it, I decided I must have it. Some of the information is a little outdated (absinthe is no longer illegal, so you can use the real thing when a recipe substitutes Pernod), but it contains tons of recipes, plenty of theory, and an individual description of each of dozens upon dozens of liqueurs.
The Everything series is along the lines of the “Complete Idiot’s Guide” or “For Dummies” franchise. This book is a simple cocktail cookbook, with the most basic information and lots of recipes. Great for a beginner.
For aspiring bartenders
Bartending school isn’t for everybody, and you should know that your tuition doesn’t buy you a job, but I learned a lot at the Professional Bartending Institute. I can disagree with some of their recipes and methods, but when it comes down to it, practice is your best friend. If you’re interested in high-volume bartending, the practice you get there is beyond valuable!
Professional Bartending Schools of America (yes, I know, the website looks a mess.)
The Bartender Journey Podcast
They guys at the Bartender Journey Podcast have been bartending for a long time. This podcast talks about the inner game of bartending, and it can both help you prepare and learn to land the job, as well as give you an idea whether the job is right for you at all. Even if you find you have no interest in bartending, it’s still an incredibly informative show that I think you’ll enjoy hearing.
TiPS Training Course
Bar owners like not getting sued, and they enjoy keeping their liquor license. On top of that, you like not losing your job and not getting heavily fined. TiPS is a course in responsible alcohol service. It’s invaluable both as training and as a line on your resume.
Reddit.com is full of wonderful communities centered around every topic under the Sun. Some of those feature alcohol.