Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Book Review: Wild Mocktails and Healthy Cocktails by Lottie Muir

I was asked if I would like to review this new book from Lottie Muir: Wild Mocktails and Healthy Cocktails.  I was interested in the title and so I happily said yes.
It is a nicely bound, sturdy book.  I like a good sturdy book especially if I am going to want to keep dipping back into it.  The test of a good recipe book is that it survives constant reading to find the recipe you are looking for.

The photography in the book is beautiful, a good balance of helping you identify the plants mentioned and demonstrating what you are aiming for.  They are very well composed and complement perfectly the text.

Lottie tells us that this book is a progression from her first book on Wild Cocktails.  There is an emphasis on reducing refined sugar in our diet and using plants found in our gardens or foraged.  Not only does this have health benefits but Lottie says our palates are changing away from over-sweetened foods and drinks, with more bitter-sweet flavours being used.

There is a section on healthy alternatives to sugar, some like honey I knew of, others such as birch sap and kombucha I was not aware of.  I do love reading about new things and how to use them.

There is a chapter on plants with benefits, with a suitable medical caution at the start of the chapter which I was pleased to see.  Using plants this way has to be done with knowledge and care but never forgetting enjoyment as well.  Similarly the foraging section says clearly 'if in doubt, leave it out', many plants are poisonous and so it is important to be absolutely certain what you are using.

The recipes themselves are fascinating and inventive.  Porcini infused Amontillado sherry just sounds intriguing and I will be giving it a go.  Similarly Basil infused Dolin Blank Vermouth just has to be done.

There is a good mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.  Some are more complicated than others. The recipe for ginger ale does have to be fermented, it is indeed an ale and looks a really interesting project to undertake with a delicious outcome.  Lilac and nettle tea is much simpler and what a great way of dealing with the forest of nettles I grow every year.

Those of you who follow my Tree Following posts will know of my 'quest for a quince', and I have now whispered to the trees that if they can provide me with quince I will celebrate with quince vodka.  It would be silly not to.

I really enjoyed reading this book, it is a good range of the 'interesting but I am probably not going to try that' to the 'gosh that is simple and I must give it a go'.  If you have an interest in using plants for more than just looking at and eating then this book is for you.

Wild Mocktails and Healthy Cocktails by Lottie Muir is published by Cico Books

Disclaimer: whilst I was sent this book for no payment my opinions and words are my own.


  1. I love the sound of this book, Alison. It might inspire me to take my foraging to a whole new level - Hampstead Heath watch out! I spotted some rather nice looking gorse flowers last weekend and see that they're in the index; also yes and yes to quince vodka!

    1. The gorse rum recipe does look very good - I think it will encourage me to be more adventurous


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