There’s a whole world of cocktail books out there. (Photo by Triff)

One of the first places I’m planning to get to, when we can go out again, is Ward III. That’s partly because its website features probably the best Who We Are manifesto I have ever read (An excerpt: “We don’t care where you’re from, what you wear, who you’re kissing, or what you drink, we only care about showing you a great time.”), and partly because I wish to experience the artistry of Kenneth McCoy.


(photo courtesy of the Rum House)

He is the Chief Creative Officer for Public House Collective (owner of Ward III and The Rum House) and a well known personage in New York City’s cocktail scene. He never wanted to be called a mixologist, though his skill level more than qualifies him for that moniker, whatever it means. When he and his partners opened Ward III in 2009 it quickly became an institution. Naming it one of the city’s Thousand Best Places, New York magazine described Ward III as “a classy Tribeca lounge-cum-restaurant where the bar, visually and conceptually, takes center stage.”

What does such a fellow do, when his bars cannot be open? He reaches up to his shelf and pulls down some old favorites. Wine and Whiskey Globe asked him for some recommendations:


The Waldorf Astoria Cocktail Book by Frank Caiafa

A legendary hotel with just as many legendary drinks and drinkers to go with it. Frank’s book is essential for any bartender to understand how we got to where we are in this cocktail game. I find myself going to this book again and again for drinks history as well as barfly nostalgia.

Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan

Everything you’ll ever need to know from building drinks to bar design from the man who gave us PDT. Furthermore Jim is exceptionally knowledgeable about cocktail history, so you might learn something. It’s a beautiful book, inside and out.

Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails by Shannon Mustipher

If you want to up your Tiki game, it’s a must to get your hands on Shannon Mustipher’s Tiki Cocktail Book. Amazing photos and incredible drinks from one of the coolest and most knowledgeable women in bartending. Probably my favorite book in the last year. Rum is the newest, hottest spirit, even though it was way more popular than whisk(e)y when first produced. Tiki obviously has a lot to do with that and Shannon is an authority.

Both Ward III and The Rum House are shuttered indefinitely; they are participating in the Dining Bonds program and have employee relief funds.