If we’re being completely honest, we don’t make classic cocktails at home. Neat, on the rocks or out of the bottle are just too easy and satisfying to warrant keeping two kinds of vermouth, simple syrup and bitters on hand at all times. Normally we’d prefer paying a little more and getting it from the hand of an experienced craftsman, but The Curious Bartender: The Artistry and Alchemy of Creating the Perfect Cocktail might be the helpful bridge that we’ve needed to just do it ourselves. Written by Tristan Stephenson–a cocktail master that’s won awards, worked with famous chefs, opened famous bars and started a drinks industry consultancy (yes, that’s apparently a thing)–the book outlines the origins of the truly classic cocktails and Stephenson’s modern alchemy for their newer versions. He also included a reference section with helpful tips, tricks and techniques because those of us that aren’t cocktail consultants might need a little help.