FRIDAY NIGHT COCKTAILS: 52 Drinks to Welcome Your Weekend

New Book Celebrates the Weekend with Friday Night Cocktails, Your Invitation to Slow Down and Take a Moment for Yourself

It’s Friday night and you’ve had a long week and you’re ready to take a few moments to relax and unwind.  You deserve it.  It’s time for a relaxing cocktail. Author A.J. Dean has compiled a fabulous collection of 52 simple and delicious drinks—plus a bunch of variations—that will help you uncoil from the week and start the weekend.  Friday Night Cocktails is a must-have cocktail book for anyone who is interested in a well-made but not fussy homemade mixed drink. The focus of the book is “cocktail as ritual” —a recognition that the transition from the workweek to the weekend should be a celebration. 

The recipes are a collection of classic, contemporary, and unique drinks. Each of the recipes are made with common ingredients that readers can easily stock up on and keep at hand. “The key to a delicious cocktail is balance. With a little understanding of the roles of the main components—alcohol, water, sugar, bitters—you can begin to experiment on your own,” Dean explains.  “Like the French 75 cocktail (gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, sparkling wine). Why not try grapefruit juice in place of the lemon? Or make the same recipe but use different gins?”

In addition to recipes, Friday Night Cocktails provides information on key barware, glassware, and tips.  The recipes are divided into chapters by season as well as by month, so you can enjoy the perfect cocktail to match the weather. Some of the recipes include:

  • Amaretto Sour
  • Sazerac
  • Pumpkin Pie Cocktail
  • Apple Jack Sour
  • Rob Roy
  • Clementine Wallbanger
  • Boulevardier
  • Cranberry Mule
  • Ginger Lime Whiskey Sour
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Gibson Martini
  • Aviation
  • Dirty Shirley
  • Mojito
  • Summer Shandy
  • Tequila Sunrise

The message throughout is “try something new but be mindful of the tried-and-true.”  This holiday season celebrate the joy of cocktails with Friday Night Cocktails.

A.J. Dean is a big believer that time-honored traditions are important and that rituals, no matter how simple, are a healthy part of our lives. He began mixing cocktails at an early age and today, decades later, reveres the many aspects of spirits, both supernatural and distilled. Ever a student of art and photography, Dean resides in both New York and San Francisco.


Readers were introduced to Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, the 1953 James Bond novel by Ian Fleming.

Long story short: Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, girl dies tragically, boy carries a torch for years.

Fleming included veiled references to Bond’s heartache in several subsequent books. It’s only fitting that Bond would create a cocktail in her name.

GLASS: Coupe or martini     GARNISH: Lemon twist

2 oz/60 ml gin

2/3 oz/20 ml vodka

1/3 oz/10 ml Lillet Blanc

Lemon twist, for garnish

In a mixing glass filled with ice, add the gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass. Rub

a lemon rind over the rim of the glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

VARIATIONIn 1987 the makers of Lillet Blanc reformulated their aperitif, leaving lovers of this martini variation with only an approximation of the original Kina Lillet flavor. To better match the cocktail from Fleming’s era, substitute Cocchi Americano, which is slightly sweeter than Lillet Blanc.

FRIDAY NIGHT COCKTAILS: 52 Drinks to Welcome Your Weekend

By A.J. Dean

Collective Book Studio / November 2023

Hardcover / $19.95 US / $26.95 Canada

ISBN: 978-1-68555-480-6