Cool Waters by Brian Preston-Campbell – review

cookbook reviews Cool Waters Sounds like the name of a town from an old Western. In truth Cool Waters is a book offering 50 thirst-quenching and non-alcoholic drinks made from fresh or dried ingredients. The water used might even come from your own tap (faucet) so be assured that this won’t be an expensive hobby.

We know we should all drink lots more water but it is, to be frank, boring. Give a party and see how many of your guests hover by the sink. Very few will be looking for a glass of water and fewer still doing your washing up. Ordinary water is tasteless, if you are lucky, or tainted if you are not.

Brian Preston-Campbell presents us with a selection of 50 or so recipes for classy and unique drinks that will add interest to your hot afternoons. Cool Waters has summer infused in every page. A book that was just made for tall drinks with no worries of getting behind the wheel of your car after. Drinks that are packed with adult flavour.

Brian has concocted drinks for every occasion and every taste. There are healthful ones, exotic mixes, sparkling temptations as well as long heatwave-busters. Even those who would normally be heading for the wine bottle or cola keg will find something to enjoy. When one considers the makeup of most commercial soda or pop then all of the beverages listed by Brian are healthfoods in comparison.

Pressed Watermelon with Basil Water is refreshing and sophisticated. It is a big step away from just watermelon juice. Yes, the hint of herb works well but there is an additional tang from a dash of vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.

Orange and Tamarind Elixir is ideal for very hot weather or to sip alongside spicy foods. It has a bite and a real taste of the East. Thai Red Plum Fizz is another that you’ll enjoy with a Thai or Indian curry. Star anise, Balinese long peppers and kaffir lime leaf make this a complex and memorable glassful.

Cool Waters is an inspiring little book with great ideas for non-alcoholic beverages. Your guests will not feel short-changed when you serve an attractive pitcher of any of these. Brian has included advice on food pairing so you’ll know what to make and when. Some drinks take a few hours to steep in the fridge but you’ll find the fore-planning well worthwhile. This book will spend most of its life out on your kitchen counter ready for your next batch of liquid sunshine.

Cool Waters
Author: Brian Preston-Campbell
Published by: Harvard Common Press
Price: $12.99US, £8.99
ISBN 978-155832384-1


Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018