If any doubt remains that cocktails merit serious culinary attention, consider that America’s Test Kitchen, known for its rigorous recipe-development methodology, is set to release its first book on the subject in October. How to Cocktail, which our review called “foolproof and high-proof,” not only “includes a broad spectrum of precise classic and updated recipes,” but it also nods to the burgeoning sober-curious movement by including several low-ABV and nonalcoholic options. It’s a trend that publishers of beverage books have embraced, too, along with the adjacent mainstreaming of cannabis culture.

CBD Cocktails
Sailene Ossman. Cider Mill, Feb. 2020
According to one industry analyst group, the market for CBD products could reach $22 billion by 2022. The phytocompound is turning up everywhere—shampoo, lip balm, and yes, cocktails. Ossman, a cannabis advocate and event planner in Los Angeles, compiled a 100-drink collection whose recipes appear familiar until the last ingredient: for the Dark & Stormy, one part peppermint CBD tincture; for the Sea Breeze, a full dropper of orange vanilla.

CBD Drinks for Health
Carlene Thomas. Adams, Jan. 2020
A registered dietitian nutritionist, Thomas gives recipes for beverages that aim to deliver CBD’s reputed benefits—namely relief from stress, pain, and inflammation—including cocktails, mocktails, and other nonalcoholic beverages, such as smoothies.

Hangover Helper
Lauren Shockey. Hardie Grant, Oct.
Those who stray from a low- or no-ABV drinking regimen, or who never subscribed to one in the first place, may find themselves waking up in the grip of a punishing headache and a vague feeling of mortal terror. Hangovers are famously incurable, but they can be tempered, according to Shockey. She sources 50 alleviants from around the world, mashing up countries and cultures (the turmeric latte is “India meets Japan meets USA meets Australia,” for instance) and rates them by ease of preparation—a godsend for the bleary-eyed or still-plastered.

Healthy Cocktails
Matt Dorsey and Jenny Dorsey. Skyhorse, Nov.
Most alcoholic drinks contain upward of 100 calories, and sugar-laden ones, such as Long Island Iced Tea, can contain several hundred. Here mixologist Matt Dorsey and his wife, Jenny, a chef, offer more than 50 recipes for traditionally boozy as well as low-alcohol drinks that keep the sweet stuff to a minimum—for instance, a sugar-free paloma.

How to Be Sober and Keep Your Friends
Flic Everett. Quadrille, Dec.
Quitting alcohol, even temporarily, can be as much a social challenge as a personal one. Everett, a magazine editor and journalist who herself is sober, gives strategies for coping with stress or temptation without reaching for a bottle, and for navigating situations in which the booze is flowing. She also provides recipes for low-ABV and alcohol-free beverages, such as a Manhattan made with alcohol-free distilled spirits.

How to Drink Without Drinking
Fiona Beckett. Kyle, Jan. 2020
Beckett, the wine columnist for the Guardian, might seem an unlikely authority on nonalcoholic drinks. But in her new offering, the author, whose previous books include Food, Wine & Friends and How to Match Food and Wine, suggests that no-ABV need not equate to no-fun. Shrubs, virgin fruit punches, and alcohol-free wines are among the beverages she features (though, she writes, she remains unconvinced about the last).

Just the Tonic
Kim Walker and Mark Nesbitt. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Dec.
Tonic almost always plays second fiddle to either gin or vodka, but here, it takes center stage. Kim Walker and Mark Nesbitt—a scholar and a curator, respectively, at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew—trace the evolution of quinine, the ingredient that gives tonic water its distinct flavor, from its ancient medicinal usage through its modern incarnation as both natural remedy and popular mixer component. Included are recipes for tonic cocktails, among them nonalcoholic options.

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