Monday, March 4, 2013

Booze For Free: A Quick Review

Nathan and I like going “back to the basics.” We always have a garden going, food prepared from scratch and from fresh ingredients, and, very early in our dating years, he shared a tasty glass of red wine from a home brewing experiment. So, we were excited to receive a review copy of Andy Hamilton’s Booze for Free: The Definitive Guide to Making Beer, Wines, Cocktail Bases, Ciders, and Other Drinks at Home (Plume, $16.00). Hamilton, a “self-sufficiency expert” provides details on equipment and supplies, tips for foraging for the best ingredients, and dozens of recipes—categorized by season—to get you started.

This is the only reference guide you’ll need if you are interested in starting your own home brewery. But, be forewarned: Booze for Free reminds us that making your own libations is serious work, requiring an investment of time, money, and energy. We were therefore pleased to find simpler recipes amidst the heavyweights, and look forward to trying Hamilton’s hard cider as well as a few of his fruit cordials, where we can use pre-made liquor. Our greenmarket sells lavender which will do well in the lavendar cordial recipe, and we always seem to have too much mint and look forward to trying Hamilton’s suggestion for Crème de Menthe.

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