I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas
I know what you’re thinking…”Another cocktail book?!?!” Well, this is just the order I completed them in, not some evil scheme to get your drunk on a weeknight. (LAUGH)
The Wildcrafted Cocktail is certainly an extremely niche book. It is few people who go out into the woods and forage the ingredients for their cocktails, yet I still enjoyed the book greatly. It was wonderful to read about all the unique ingredients you might find in your own backyard. Still, I for myself I would be a bit leery gathering plants without a bit more knowledge, and confidence, that I wasn’t poisoning myself in the process. You might want to combine this book on a really good book on backyard foraging like Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat, to assist you in your search. Such detailed information is far beyond the scope of The Wildcrafted Cocktail, but very necessary to be successful.
That said, there was also some great, general information on cocktails including some history of cocktails,
“What is a cocktail? The first mention of a cocktail as an alcoholic beverage dates from 1806, when it was defined as a drink composed of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters.”
and the difference between the several types of simple syrup that are used behind a well-stocked bar,
“The difference among these syrups is not only the degree of sweetness but also the mouthfeel. A rich syrup (twice as much sugar as water) is much silkier than a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water). A light syrup (twice as much water as sugar) is lighter and thinner on the tongue. Simple syrups are the most versatile and most commonly called for behind the bar.”
The Wildcrafted Cocktail is certainly worthwhile if only to expand your thinking about foraged ingredients and cocktails in general. Who knows? You might even have some ingredients in your very own garden that could find their way into your glass.
** My version of this book was available as an eBook from the Los Angeles Public Library
Meet the natural lovechild of the popular local-foods movement and craft cocktail scene. It’s here to show you just how easy it is to make delicious, one-of-a-kind mixed drinks with common flowers, berries, roots, and leaves that you can find along roadsides or in your backyard. Foraging expert Ellen Zachos gets the party started with recipes for more than 50 garnishes, syrups, infusions, juices, and bitters, including Quick Pickled Daylily Buds, Rose Hip Syrup, and Chanterelle-infused Rum. You’ll then incorporate your handcrafted components into 45 surprising and delightful cocktails, such as Stinger in the Rye, Don’t Sass Me, and Tree-tini.
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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library
Previously in (Re)Reading: