Saturday, March 02, 2013
A Month Of Cookbooks - Day Twenty Eight
The Plants That Create The World's Greatest Drinks
By Amy Stewart
Published by Algonquin Books, March 19th, 2013
Although not strictly speaking a cookbook, it does contain recipes for cocktails as well as instructions on how to prepare your own maraschino cherries and brine your own olives, so I thought I could stretch a point and include it in this Month of Cookbooks series :-)
This is a truly beautifully produced book. The digital review copy I received is a work of art, and I cannot wait to buy a print copy to enjoy. The cover is reminiscent of an old-fashioned botany textbook from yesteryear, and this is carried through by the typeface and use of italics, some pages being coloured and the table of contents giving section descriptions such as:
at last we venture into the garden,
where we encounter a seasonal array of
botanical mixers and garnishes
to be introduced to the cocktail in its
final stage of preparation
Sorted in a Similar Fashion: Herbs 320, Flowers 327, Trees 332,
Berries & Vines 340, Fruits & Vegetables 345;
Including Recipes and Sufficient Horticultural Instruction".
The table of contents alone had me totally hooked.
The book is based on the premise that every good drink ultimately is derived from a plant, and this is the book to tell you exactly which plant provides your favourite drink, from the agave cactus through to wheat as well as explaining the processes by which they are created, the storage and aging processes and the nomenclature of the finished drinks.
Part Two provides a wealth of detail about the herbs, spices, fruits, trees, nuts, seeds and flowers which are added to the base alcohol and Part Three - as quoted above - describes the garden based additions which go into garnishing and enhancing cocktails, complete with growing instructions.
The cocktail recipes themselves are fascinating and I really want to try the Lavender Martini and Dombey's Last Word........this is one of the most quirky, entertaining and amusing food/drink books I have found. At least one family member is going to receive a copy of this book this year.