Resources

This page contains many of the resources that I have used as part of my education on distilled spirits, cocktails, bartending, and anything else related to being a part of this industry. These are broader resources, anything related to more specific topics will be in their individual entry in The Tome. But I hope you find these as helpful for your journey as they have been for mine.

Note: There are affiliate links within this list that earn a small commission for any purchases made at no cost to you. However I stand by everything on this list as something I use/own/attended/etc. Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have.

Spirits/Cocktails:

Artisan Spirit Magazine – A distilling magazine for distillers and spirits enthusiasts.

Cocktail Wonk – The blog of writer Matt Pietrek, who has quickly become one of the more knowledgable and respected writers in the industry. His blog is a mixture of distillery visits, spirits reviews, and very in-depth analyses of  liquor rules/regulations throughout the world with some cocktail/bar visits sprinkled in. His main focus is on rum, though other spirits are covered. If you’re looking to get real deep, look here.

Distiller Magazine – A more in-depth and longform distilling magazine specifically for people in the industry. This gets into the nitty-gritty a bit more.

Imbibe – Magazine for all things about the beverage industry.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler – A blog for bartenders by an extremely talented bartender who was one of the leaders towards the start of the craft cocktail movement.

K&L Spirits Journal – A great industry blog from David Driscoll at K&L Wines. Provides a unique look at the spirits industry from a retail perspective.

Punch – Another beverage industry magazine. Great longform feature articles too.

Tales Of The Cocktail – Probably the original craft cocktail resource and the group that was a gigantic part of spreading the movement. Chalk full of interviews and articles with helpful information on cocktails, bartending, distilling, and everything in between.

The Spirits Business – This website covers almost every facet of the spirits industry. Features, interviews with key people, product releases and event news. It is also your best resource for news from the financial side of things, covering acquisitions and major changes in the spirits world.

Reading List:

The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler – One of the first books of the cocktail generation. It’s a definitive resources for any new bartenders looking to start going deeper.

By the Smoke and the Smell: My Search for the Rare and Sublime on the Spirits Trail – Thad Vogler is a champion of small, independent distillers and their unique creations. This is a great read focused on small batch, grower-made spirits and the people who make them as well as an entertaining travel story.

Podcasts:

Bartender at Large – A blog/weekly podcast started by Erik Castro, who runs Polite Provisions in San Diego. This is a great source of firsthand industry experience from talented bartenders/bar owners and spirits industry veterans.

In The Drink – Hosted by Joe Campanale (Fausto), this is a weekly podcast focused on all things alcoholic beverages. While there is a bit of a wine focus since Joe is a well known sommelier there are plenty of spirits/cocktail/etc. focused episodes to keep you busy.

Still Talking Podcast – A podcast focused on distilling run by three guys who work in the industry. Slightly vulgar, pretty funny, and extremely insightful into what’s going on right now. Also very helpful for people trying to learn more about distilling.

The Speakeasy – Another great podcast from Heritage Radio Network, this one hosted by Damon Boelte (Grand Army Bar) and Sother Teague (Amor y Amargo). Each week they interview leaders in the beverage field and discuss spirits/cocktail/etc.

Workshops/Classes/Etc:

BarSmarts – This is a good online training program for someone just starting out with cocktails and bartending (It does cost $30 though).

Moonshine University – This is a great training resource based in Louisville for distilling and upping your spirits knowledge. The classes are on the more expensive side for sure, but definitely worth the investment.

Springbank Whisky School – Springbank is one of the only whisky distillers in Scotland that does every step of production on site and makes some amazing whisky as a result. It’s also one of the few distilleries that offers a program like this. There is currently a waiting list, but the experience combined with a reasonable price makes this worth it for any serious whisky fan.

Discussion Forums:

ADI Forums – Anyone serious about distilling needs to stop here. Advice and answers for pretty much any question you will have while starting up a distillery or making spirits. The job board is also the best and most up to date source for distilling positions.

Ministry of Rum – The original rum forum.

r/alcohol – This will take you to subreddit links for essentially any and every spirit that exists outside of a few obscure categories. Take what you learn here with a grain of salt since it’s an anonymous community, but it can be a helpful resource if you have questions no one seems to have the answers to.

r/bartenders – Bartending insights from all walks of life.

r/cocktails – More of a home bar focus, but plenty of interesting recipes and helpful information on making drinks.