Author: Nick Perry & Paul Kosser | Publisher: Quarto Publishing Group – Rock Point
Great adventures often start with a drink—including Alice’s expedition down the rabbit hole, which began with a sip of a curiously labelled tipple. Drink Me invites you to do the same; learn how to mix 20 cocktails that will fill you with wonder and childish glee at the surreal flavor combinations, while amassing the perfect selection of drinks for your own spirit-soaked Mad Hatter’s tea party.
Quarto have very kindly sent me a few ARCs, and I’ve enjoyed them all. But this is, so far, the best. Hands down. It’s fun, gorgeously illustrated, completely madcap (really don’t get to use that word enough), and inspiring. Drink Me will definitely get you shaking it like a real mixologist. Not to mention, it’s Alice in Wonderland themed, so it’s perfect for us book nerds!
First things first, it’s pretty. Seriously, drool-worthy pretty. The illustrations and formatting… If you’re like me and can’t resist a beautiful book, this one is going to appeal. The pages are colourful and attractively laid out, with a very “curly” kind of font, super cute illustrations, and Instagram-worthy photographs of things like “Lemon and Sage Syrup”. I know, I just talked about formatting, slap me. But seriously, I want it in hardback. It’s too cute.
I loved the way Drink Me ran with the Alice theme. It’s a great theme, for starters. But the tie-in was really thoughtful throughout, using stories and characters from the books to explain the idea behind the recipes. It felt like it tied together. It had the feel of being written by a fan, or someone with real enthusiasm for the Alice world. I loved the little quotes, and the way the illustrations were reminiscent of the original John Tenniel illustrations for Alice.
I don’t know a huge amount about cocktail making. I make a decent espresso martini, and a mean Caribbean punch – and by “mean”, I mean I lost almost an entire day and woke up wearing an inexplicable number of glow sticks… My friends have forbidden me from making it again. There was some talk of “heartburn” and “poisoning”…
Luckily, this book is idiot-proof. The first section gives you a list of equipment (barspoon, jigger, speed pourers etc), and explains the different techniques and alcohols. Who knew there were so many different techniques involved in making cocktails?! I was actually really fascinated by the whole thing. And the words are funny, which I’m sorry, just makes me happy (“fat washing” hehehe…). And although some of the recipes look super complicated, the step-by-step in each recipe is very easy to follow. I think even a novice would get good results.
The recipes themselves are wonderful. Some are fairly simple, a lot of them are not. But it has the feel of crafting something very special, because there are all these different steps and techniques involved. Being handed one of the Drink Me cocktails would be a very exciting experience. And the whole thing is quite a magical, alchemical process. Most importantly, they made my mouth water. They made me want to get on Amazon, ship myself a cocktail shaker, and spend way too much money on alcohol. Because I need to have a go at some of these! This is MasterChef for cocktail making, in your kitchen.
Some of the ingredients may be challenging to acquire (what on earth is Cherry Heering?), but I think a quick internet search would have them winging their way to your doorstep. And there is a list of sites at the end where you can purchase the more obscure. Having said that, I imagine this cocktail-making lark could get expensive real fast. These are not your budget Friday night drinks. But would you want them to be? You don’t go to all the trouble of “rimming your glass” just to tip in some cider, do you? They take work to make, and the ingredients cost a little more, because they are meant to be special.
I really loved Drink Me. It’s the first ARC I’ve ever received where I’m going to have to go purchase the actual book. This one needs to be in my recipe book collection. It has the feel of the next Thug Kitchen, like there should be a whole social media storm around it. Because these are some seriously funky, cool drinks.
Ok, so, this is how much I loved it: I’ve been attempting to plan my engagement party and we were going to have some sort of fancy picnic. But it’s now themed around these cocktails. I mean, what a fantastic excuse to throw an Alice in Wonderland themed party, right? But I think the Drink Me cocktails will make it really special.
If you like cocktails, and especially if you also like Alice in Wonderland, you definitely want this book.
I should mention, my friend Ashley and I were going to a video review for Drink Me – unfortunately, we’re poor people so cocktail making will have to wait till next month! But she will be back.