Edible Cocktails – From Garden to Glass
So, I was lucky enough to receive an copy of Natalie Bovis’ (aka The Liquid Muse aka the person responsible for getting me into blogging) new cookbook Edible Cocktails: From Garden to Glass – Seasonal Cocktails with a Fresh Twist and am I impressed. I’m not much of a mixologist, in fact most of my at-home mixed drink making involves a one second pour of vokda or gin and filling my glass with soda, but I know a good cookbook when I see one.
And when I see Edible Cocktails, I see one.
What’s the Book About?
The premise behind Edible Cocktails is simple: take everything that’s great about farm-to-table dining and apply it to mixology. Organic produce, Slow Food (er Cocktails), growing your own ingredients, it’s all in there, but for cocktails.
It’s not something I had thought of, but it makes so much sense. If I want only the best, freshest, most-carefully-raised produce in my dinner, why not in my drinks as well? If I care about the tomatoes that go into my marinara, why not the tomatoes in my bloody mary? If I care about the herbs on my roast chicken, why am I not striving for the same in my mojito?
To make this vision reality, Edible Cocktails gives you a wealth of information about what you can grow at home, basics on how to grow them, and a full rundown of the different types of liquor and tools you will use to make excellent drinks.
Oh, and there are recipes. Lots of recipes! They range from classic martinis to sours to pizza slice cocktails to bacon cherry creek cocktails…and that’s just the drink recipes. There are syrup recipes, mezcal recipes (chorizo mezcal anyone???), garnishes, and instructions on making your own liqueurs, like homemade Irish cream–all of which keep the focus on farm to table cooking and mixing. That’s pretty sweet.
Fun Fact(s) I Learned Reading It
One, whisky and whiskey are both proper spellings of the hard alcohol. However, whisky applies mainly to Scotch and whiskey to everything else, including American bourbon.
Two, a cocktail and a mixed drink are not the same thing. Cocktails only refer to a subset of mixed drinks! This means Americans have been using the term wrong (including me in the paragraphs above… d’oh!)
What’s Well Done
Edible Cocktails is filled with information, but it’s not a textbook. The photos are gorgeous and the layout makes absorbing all of Natalie’s information easy. It never feels like this book is an info dump. It’s more like a conversation with a good friend who just happens to know how to mix a fantastic drink.
What’s A Little Rare
No pun intended, but I wish there had been more conversation around using meat and raw eggs in cocktails.
I have this feeling that Natalie is perfectly fine drinking an infused liquor that has had meat in it or a drink with a raw egg, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a lot of American audiences (myself included) are not. We need to be warmed on the subject, given reassurances, and given more tips on how to avoid foodbourne illness.
With that said, this is a great cookbook. Edible Cocktails is very clever idea whose time has come and who better to help us through it than bar industry veteran, multiple mixology cookbook writer, and long time cocktail blogger Natalie Bovis?