Cookbook Review: Artisan Drinks

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I was recently sent a review copy of Artisan Drinks by acclaimed cook and food writer Lindy Wildsmith. I’ve never really been into making alcoholic drinks at home but it has been something that has crossed my mind so I was interested to take a look at this new book which explores delicious alcoholic and soft drinks that you can make at home.

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The book celebrates the pleasure that can be had from making your own drinks and contains over 100 recipes, covering rediscovered artisanal techniques and takes a wholesome approach to sourcing natural ingredients for infusing, macerating, pressing, brewing and fermenting your own drinks.

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The book is divided into several sections starting with an introduction and a good section on sourcing and seasonality. The main sections are as follows;

Still waters run deep – Cordials, syrups and soft drinks
Family fizz – Alcohol-free sparkling drinks
A global resurgence – Beer, cider and perry
A very good year – The wine list
And now for something stronger – Liqueurs, digestifs and pick-me-ups
Taking the plunge – Punches, cups and party drinks
Happy hours – Artisan cocktails and elegant mocktails
Oasis of calm – Teas, tisanes and spicy brews

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There were several things that jumped out at me like the Italian Lime Siroppo, Strawberry Rum Cordial, Old Williamsburg Mandarin Tea and Limoncello San Vigilio.

For those not familiar with artisanal drink-making techniques (and I am guessing not that many people are!) the instructions and methods given in the book are easy to follow, being extremely well described and with good photography where required. One of the things I liked most about this book was that it’s not¬†necessary to have a cupboard full of specialist equipment and paraphernalia in order to make the drinks, something which is always quite off-putting when you are just trying something for the first time.

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So many of the drinks in this book would make wonderful Christmas gifts and that’s certainly something I am going to get on to for next year – I left it a little late this year but have great intentions of making a couple of bottles of something for handmade gifts next year. In fact, the book itself would make a marvellous gift – maybe as part of a themed drink-making hamper and I know just the person. I just hope she doesn’t read this blog!

Artisan Drinks is available now with an RRP of £25.00 and is published by Jacqui Small.

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