Apple Press has a series of books and all are called 500 something or other. They are great value, chunky books and this one, 500 Cocktails, is no exception. The photographs of these classy drinks are gorgeous. Ian Garlick has done a great job. Wendy Sweetser is the author, and she is an expert on the subject. She has spent many, I presume happy, years developing cocktails on a professional basis and she is the author of another 15 food and drink related books.
If you enjoy the classic cocktails then you might like to try mixing those and more contemporary cocktails at home. It’ll be cheaper and a lot more fun, although you might not want to spin bottles and juggle shakers unless you have invested in a nice big tarpaulin along with the spirits. The recipes are easy. This isn’t cooking it’s mixing, and it’s difficult to get wrong (even the mistakes will probably taste great!). There is a bit of equipment that might come in handy and the correct glasses are always nice but then you are ready to give lovely parties.
Summer is over and we might not naturally think of cocktails as part of our entertaining. Well, think again, dear reader. 500 Cocktails is full of drinks that are perfect of any time of year and any occasion. So picture this. A cold night in Glasgow, snow falling and you’re sipping a warm Spiced Hot Toddy. There are five variations of this, each one with a slightly different fruit flavour. Mulled Wine has got to be popular as you sing (..er, perhaps not) around the Christmas tree. The alternatives include Gluhwein, Julglogg, The Bishop, Mulled Rum Punch and Mulled Ale. The delight of this series of books is that once you have found a favourite recipe you can experiment with slightly different versions because each recipe has four or five suggestions.
There are so many recipes here, 500, as the book says. You might like the idea of having a themed cocktail party. How about All American? There is a list of drinks that would work: Cape Codder, Long Island Iced Tea (this is NOT tea), Cosmopolitan, which has been made famous by those raunchy ladies from Sex and the City, and a Manhattan must be included.
500 Cocktails is a chubby volume that will have you tending bar like a pro…. from Absinthe Montmartre to Zombie.
Author: Wendy Sweetser
Published by: Apple Press
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018