I finally finished going through The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails by Tony Abou-Ganim with Mary Elizabeth Faulkner. Tony Abou-Ganim is one of the top beverage program developers in the country, having run drink programs for the Bellagio in Vegas and Crystal Cruise Lines among other places.
The book is both a technique and recipe book, with a couple of stand-out factors. In the technique section- the first 83 pages of the book- there is a great timeline of The Evolution of Mixology. I also like the four-page chart of seasonal ingredients that lists their season, preparation method you should use with them (puree, infuse, muddloe, juice, garnish), and the spirits with which they best pair.
The cocktails I believe are all originals and spin-offs of classics. What I like is that most of them are pretty simple and tasty-sounding combinations you could actually make at home, such as the Easy Living (rhum agricole, Domaine de Canton, pineapple juice, lime juice) and Luce del Sole (Finlandia grapefruit, Aperol, honey, lemon, orange juice).
Abou-Ganim isn't afraid to use flavored spirits like the Finlandia Grapefruit and Bacardi Limon, and I find that refreshing- it saves an ingredient when mixing at home and you're not stocked with four kinds of juice for every drink. There are also a lot of dessert-style drinks with ingredients like banana and chocolate liqueur that indicate this is really a book targeted at the home consumer rather than other bartenders.
The size of the book reinforces this- it is a 9.5" by 10.5" hardcover picture book with very large font size that won't fit behind the bar but will on the bookshelf. I'd recommend the book for home cocktailians who like dessert drinks and aren't too cool for flavored spirits.