EDIBLE COCKTAILS is the author’s third cocktail book. the liquid muse, otherwise known as natalie bovis, has taken the concept of gardening and applied it to cocktails. it may sound like a no brainer, but no one has officially done this in print and natalie does a beyond superb job of it. from how to start a garden, to making your own compost, to collecting your own rain water, to choosing which plants to grow, natalie has covered all earthly bases. no matter if you are an urban dweller with or without a balcony, sharing a plot in a community garden or converting your front lawn into a cocktail patch, easy to understand advice is administered freely in this valuable book. the only thing i found missing might be the benefits of adding a bee hive to your garden.
after the gardening chapter, the book then moves onto recipes for cocktails and the ingredients needed to make them extra delectable: syrups, marmalades, infusions, shrubs, flavored waters, juices, purees and liqueurs. the selection of recipes is incredibly creative and delivered in friendly way—not at all intimidating to home bar newbies…
there is a whole chapter on grape based spirits, into which a healthy selection of wine-based cocktails is placed. i was very impressed with the level of ingenuity in natalies’ concoctions, like the lemongrass-sauvignon blanc syrup. this book makes a great gift for the winos in your life!
as a vegetarian, i was disgusted by the chapter dedicated to meat cocktails. but, it just cements that there really is something for everyone in this book, and that includes carnivores who like to play with their food… like chorizo mezcal. i’ll be skipping that one myself, but if your man likes the barbeque, this book is for him. when its too cold to fire up the grill outside, now he can turn his meat prep skills loose on the bar.
there is also a chapter dedicated to cocktails that use sustainable spirits. such spirits are made using organic or responsibly harvested produce and/or practices, like del maguey mezcal. seven ways to “green” your bar are listed, such as fixing leaky faucets that may be wasting deceptively large amounts of water.
lastly, i found the chapter on garniture to be particularly interesting. i love blending fresh herbs into sugar or salt and now you can too. explicit directions are given on how to prepare farm fresh rimming mixtures, including fresh mint sugar with which to rim your mojito. and with holiday just around the corner, an ice wreath is sure to please (get your bundt pan on!)
every section of this book is so well thought out and original in every way. it’s a winner! five stars! and a definite yes for the imbiber on your christmas list. $18 ADAMS MEDIA