An illustration from Cider Made Simple by Jeff Alworth, reviewed below.

An illustration from Cider Made Simple by Jeff Alworth, reviewed below.

This fifth installment of Dean Tudor’s 2015 Holiday Cookbook Review is all about drinks. Click here to browse all of Dean’s reviews including Art and Restaurant Cookbooks, Memoirs, Reference and Health Books and Stocking Stuffers. – Ed.

Wise Coctails Book CoverWISE COCKTAILS (Rodale, 2015, 176 pages, $22.99 CAN hard covers) is by Jenny Ripps and Maria Littlefield, founders of Owl’s Brew in NYC. These are fresh-brewed tips and tricks for mixing up tea-based alcoholic cocktails. It also includes a history of tea cocktails. In addition, there are preps for tea sodas, smoothies, and tea-infused snacks.

The Boozy Blender BookTHE BOOZY BLENDER (Clarkson Potter, 2015, 128 pages, $19.99 CAN paper covers) is by writers Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarborough. 60 classics are all done in a blender using fresh ingredients, utilizing every one of the four seasons. And there are lots of frozen fruit choices available on the open market. The difficulty is in finding the right consistency. There’s bananas foster freeze and frozen lemon meringue pie. To implement many of these preps you will need a full bar.

Boozy Shakes Victoria GlassBOOZY SHAKES (Ryland Peters and Small, 2015, 64 pages, $19.95 CAN hard covers) gives us 27 recipes for milkshake derived hard drinks (Dark and Stormy Bourbon Ice Cream, Amaretto Sour Malts, and others. Victoria Glass offers us indulgences; you’ve got to thin to begin with. –BOND COCKTAILS (Ryland Peters & Small, 2015, 64 pages, $9.95 CAN hard cover) seems to be a veritable bargain with its 23 recipes for various cocktails based on the Bond books. There’s the Silver Streak (with pictures of Silver Cloud Rolls Royce), the Negronic, the Sazerac, Scotch and soda (21 times in the books), Vodka Martini, et al.

Cookies and Cocktails BookCOOKIES AND COCKTAILS (Chronicle Books, 2015, 64 pages, $19.95 CAN hard covers) are recipes for entertaining. There’s the Bangkok margarita, the Sazerac, appletini, the Wassail bowl, and food to accompany: pistachio and cranberry biscotti, candy cane cookies, meringue snow flakes.

Cider Made Simple BookCIDER MADE SIMPLE (Chronicle Books, 2015, 175 pages, $22 CAN hard covers) is by beer writer Jeff Alworth. It is a basic intro to cider, and includes variants such as perry from pears and other fruit ciders. The processes are described as well as the types and regionality: look for English cider, corked cider, North American cider, Quebec, and ice ciders.

101 Essential Tips Home Brewing Book101 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR HOME BREWING (DK, 2015, 72 pages, $5.95 CAN paper covers) is an illustrated guide which presents the basics of home beer making: different methods, ingredients, techniques, equipment.

Pocket Homebrew HandbookTHE POCKET HOMEBREW HANDBOOK (Dog ‘n’ Bone, 2015, 192 pages, $19.95 CAN paperback) is by Dave Law and Beshlie Grimes, who own and run a London pub. There are 75 recipes here (stouts, porters, IPA, wheat beers), principally for new style North American beers with much hopping. Good illustrations and tables.

Dean Tudor is a Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus, The Treasurer of The Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada and creator of Canada’s award-winning wine satire site at Visit Dean’s websites at and His motto: “Look it up and you’ll remember it; screw it up and you’ll never forget it.”