Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacks by Maria Del Mar Sacasa and Tara Striano
|Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacks by Maria Del Mar Sacasa and Tara Striano|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A selection of warm and cold drinks for winter - some classics and some which are more adventurous.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 160||Date: November 2013|
|Publisher: Quirk Books|
I nearly didn't read this book - cocktails are not something which appear in our house - but fortunately I had a look at the subtitle and realised that mulled ciders, hot toddies, punches and pitchers appealed a great deal more. I'm never averse to something warm and reviving after being out in the winter cold. Even better is the fact that it all comes in a well-presented, hardback book which will stand a lot of duty in the kitchen.
You start from the beginning - what you need in the store cupboard and fridge as basics, the sort of equipment you'll require (all fairly basic) and a few Do It This Way instructions complete with illustrations. Then we're straight down to business with a selection of hot toddies and mulled drinks. Mulled wine is a regular standby, particularly over the Christmas period. I loved the addition of cardamon pods, although I was less certain about the inclusion of a pear in the recipes for both red and white mulled wine. That's a matter of taste though, but in the UK you might have to convert the recommended pears to varieties available over here. I was rather impressed by Eve's Addiction - which uses (as you might expect) cider.
Eggnog, Hot Chocolate, Coffee and Tea and as indulgent as you might expect and a lot more adventurous than the titles might suggest. The classic eggnog uses brandy and rum and the associated drinks were made more interesting by the inclusion of some background on how the drinks came about. I love hot chocolate, but the drink is taken a step further with Winter White Hot Chocolate which has an almond flavour, but if you'd just like to play about a little with the classic recipe, try Cherry-Vanilla Hot Chocolate instead. I'm not even going to tell you about Nutella Melt. You can put weight on just reading about it.
Punches and pitchers gives a recipe for a classic planter's punch and is served cold, as is the sangria along with the white variation. Chilled Winter Cocktails gives recipes for some classics, such as a Manhattan, an Old-Fashioned and a Brandy Alexander, but becomes more adventurous with Pear Smash and Golden Hog. I was a little surprised to see shandy described as a cocktail - arfashandy, please is a pretty standard, refreshing drink in the UK - although it is made with ginger beer here rather than the more usual lemonade.
The book finishes with some recipes for infused liquors and simple syrups, which you might be best reading before you start planning your drinks as some of them need - as the name suggests - to infuse for a while. To finish off completely there are some recipes for small bites, ranging from homemade marshmallows though to roasted Marrow Bones. Sources details useful shopping venues but these will be of more use in the USA than elsewhere.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.
For a more UK-friendly approach to the subject of drinks, have a look at How to Drink by Victoria Moore.
You can read more book reviews or buy Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacks by Maria Del Mar Sacasa and Tara Striano at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacks by Maria Del Mar Sacasa and Tara Striano at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.