I asked my boss, notorious Props Director Jim Guy, to give me the names of some books that he uses as alcohol reference. For you young artisans, books are like the internet, except they are printed on paper, and it takes longer to search them. As excellent a reference as the internet is, sometimes, you just have to go straight to the horse's book.
Now, I'm linking to Amazon here, but for goodness sake people, patronize your local bookstore. Please.
Jim has recommended these tomes:
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Wine, Beer, Spirits, and Liqueurs
by Stuart Walton and Brian Glover
This is a large volume packed full of information on different alcoholic beverages. It has plenty of photos, so there is some good label research as well.
Mr. Boston Deluxe Official Bartender's Guide
Jim has the 'New World Wide Edition' which has a wealth of vintage cocktail recipes and, even more importantly, hilarious vintage photos of Old Mr. Boston liquors.
Whisky The Water of Life, Uisge Beatha
by Helen Arthur
Now, far be it from me to say that Jim is a man who likes good scotch, but Jim is a man who likes good scotch. My husband is a man who likes a peat bog in a glass, and I enjoy one or five good Sazeracs from time to time. All of us can find the history of our liquor here in this beautiful book, which is full of lovely photos of labels and advertisements, and plenty of information on Whiskies and Distilleries.