Spirited – the perfect gift

Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World

I am blessed! I have the opportunity to review books from every English-speaking country and I love my job. Each year I muse upon publications over the past spiritedmonths and consider my Book of the Year. It’s only September and I can tell you I have found it.

Spirited is a sumptuous and fully illustrated volume sporting a classic blue hard cover tooled in gold. It would grace the shelves of any wood-panelled, leather-chaired, oriental-carpeted library. The exterior exudes timeless quality, but the pages within reflect a contemporary passion for cocktails from around the world and through the ages.

This is the must-have cocktail book for the home bartender. It includes more than 600 cocktail recipes from 6 continents and 60 countries and dating back a surprising five centuries. There are classic cocktails which have long graced bar menus, along with others which are less well-known but popular in their homelands or regions.

This book is a veritable bible for all things related to mixed drinks. One will learn how to set up a well-stocked home bar, what bar tools are needed, glassware for the best presentation, along with recipes for syrups and hints on garnishes. The photography is superb so any budding mixologist will have a visual for which to strive.

Historical and cultural context

Spirited is arranged in chapters by cocktail style, with notes on the origin of each recipe and time of its creation, with historical and cultural context surrounding the drink. There is a comprehensive list of syrup recipes to make at home and an overview of the spirits needed for the cocktails in this book. Chapters include: ‘Refreshing’ drinks, ‘Sours’ (which are my favourites), ‘Spirit Forward’ for cocktails of crafted character, ‘Tiki and Tropical’ combinations for summer parties, ‘Coffee and Dessert’ for smart dinners, and ‘Punches’ for any gathering …when we can once again have gatherings!

Spirited is gift quality and will be loved by anybody who is seriously interested in the complexities and sheer delicious fun of cocktails.

Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World
Author: Adrienne Stillman
Published by: Phaidon Press
Price: £35.00
ISBN-13: 978-1838661618