Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Punch Bowls & Pitcher Drinks, a Review

When I first caught a glimpse of the cover of Punch Bowls & Pitcher Drinks by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia I thought, oh boy, I cannot wait until spring (not that I wouldn't say this anyway as I look out the window at the ice and snow) so that I can make these delicious summertime refreshers.  Having now perused the book, I see that I would have done myself a great disservice had I waited. Despite the very appealing, summery looking cover, this is a book for all seasons. Yes, summer is well represented here with the numerous recipes for punches and sangrias, not to mention the tropical and exotic drinks. There is even a chapter on drinks best served in the Height of Summer, featuring the likes of Watermelon-Tequila Punch, served in chile salt-rimmed glasses, and Peachy Moonshine with fresh lemon juice and Amaretto liqueur, but this book is so much more. No matter the time of year, there is a tasty offering sure to quench the seasonal thirst of even the pickiest drinker.

There is a lot of eye candy in this book as a beautiful, color picture accompanies each drink recipe; I was won over by this alone. My contention has always been that cookbooks should feature photos for every, not almost every, recipe. Not only does this book fill the bill beautifully, but the photos, in addition to featuring the beverage, illustrate serving suggestions as well. 

On this frosty day, the Fireside Cocktails chapter appealed the most.  Cutting it down to serve two, I made the Aztec Chocolate Punch. Can you say decadent? Topped with Brandy Whipped Cream, this delicious after dinner drink (read: dessert), warmed up with tequila and spiced with nutmeg and ground ancho chile, was the best cup of hot chocolate that I have ever had the pleasure to drink. Dense and rich, satisfyingly spicy with a kick of chile pepper, this should be on everyone’s winter drink list. 

Inspired non-alcoholic punches are included here as well, with the likes of such as a spicy Wassail for Christmas, and Vampire Brew for Halloween.  In the case of all of the kid friendly versions, a splash of your favorite libation can turn these into adult treats. 

In addition to the drink recipes, there are recipes for a wide variety of simple syrups from mint to rhubarb, tips for making attractive fruit or flower-laden ice molds, and instructions for various sugars and salts with which to rim the glasses. If you have a particular liking for one type of alcohol over another, there is a reference page dividing the drinks by alcohol -- gin-based, vodka-based, rum-based, etc.

 Run, don’t walk, to buy this book, and drink up!

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review.

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1 comment:

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Pattie,
First off, Marion LOVES her new remedy! She thanks you:)

Did you say eye candy and Booze I'm in! I'm so glad you showed the table of contents and ides. I've already picked a couple of personal winners! Spiked Pineapple Aqua Fresca with Sage and Serrano, oh my, my! You might have to share that recipe with me come Summer time. (and it will come:)

Thank you so much for sharing this choice book, Pattie. I'm glad you didn't wait that's for sure! And thanks for linking up to Cookbook Wednesday...