Cocktails for those celebrations that ‘only end at dawn’
Review of The Newfoundland and Labrador Cocktail Book by Peter Wilkins
Whether you are just starting out, or are a seasoned mixologist, The Newfoundland and Labrador Cocktail Book by Peter Wilkins is an easy-to-use book designed to expand your cocktail repertoire while offering a solid foundation for understanding the allure of mixed drinks using locally sourced ingredients from Newfoundland and Labrador.
The author says his book is a compilation of cocktail recipes, but also “about community, about gatherings that only end at dawn.” Wilkins is co-founder of The Newfoundland Distillery Company and invites readers to be adventurous and approach the repertoire with a reason to celebrate. Whether it be “a little celebration of the day, hour, company, a small feat or a moment” he reminds readers that a cocktail is both “life-changing and, most certainly, life affirming!” It is simply the tie that binds.
The physicality of the book is quite pleasing. Soft-covered and just the right size, the photos of cocktails made from Newfoundland Distillery gin, rum, and vodka accompany each easy-to-follow recipe and are colourful, warm and enticing. Salt-rimmed glasses, elegant flutes, sprigs of mint, a twist of lemon or a slice of lime; the photography is a feast for the eyes, leaving the mouth watering for just a sip.
Wilkins includes interesting historical notes surrounding the featured cocktail as well as his impression of the blended flavours, providing proof of his passion for cocktail making and expert knowledge of mixology. Readers who are new to this wonderful world of cocktail making will be pleased to know that Wilkins offers tips on how to properly stock your at-home bar and digs into the tools and techniques of creating the perfect mix including recipes for homemade syrups and sweeteners.
The section entitled Our Spirits provides a wealth of information on the seven varieties of spirits produced by the distillery in Clarkes Beach, N.L., and is a must-read before stocking your bar. In fact, you might even be surprised by how many cocktails you can make from purchasing just one or two of the internationally awarded spirits. Divided by style (Highballs, Sweet, Light, A Certain Delight, Bolder, Boozier, and For the Palate That’s Choosier), there is a cocktail for everyone.
The final chapter in Wilkins’s book explores cocktails from across the province: recipes from award-winning, nationally and internationally renowned bars, breweries and restaurants who have mastered the art of a good cocktail using spirits distilled by The Newfoundland Distillery.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Cocktail Book by Peter Wilkins is an adventure waiting to happen. Each recipe is filled with the promise of a unique and great-tasting creation to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home, shared with friends or as a celebration of anything and everything.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Cocktail Book: The Definitive Guide to Cocktails Across the Province by Peter Wilkins is a Breakwater Books publication.
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