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What We're Reading: White Spirits

Jane Ryan

An innovative guide to making drinks using clear spirits. We’re getting to know our rums, tequilas, vodkas and gins.

If winter is about anything it's dark, stirred down punchy drinks, which is why White Spirits by Michael Butt was a refreshing book to pick up mid-January. 

And for those of you out there who enjoy gin & tonics, Margaritas, vodka Martinis and the occasional Daiquiri (so pretty much all drinkers) then this book is one for you. And trust us, it'll make a great addition to your booze knowledge, your cocktail making skills and of course your bookcase. 


Michael Butt is a well-known drinks and spirits writter so it comes as no surprise to us that the introduction to this book, complete with detailed information on how spirits are made and how to taste and enjoy the liquid, is beautifully written and easy to understand. There's nothing worse than being told to taste a spirit and having no idea what to do other than swig it back and wait for the burn. Instead Michael provides a useful guide to smelling and tasting before he gets into the good stuff - the cocktails. 


Grouping white spirits togther makes perfect sense as a lot of the recipes can be used across the spirits, plus the styles of drink are fairly consistent. Refreshing, long, citrusy and fruity work well with un-aged booze. Starting off with vodka the book then charts through 100 recipes to make at home, from the French Martini all the way to an Apricot Caipirinha. The recipes are simple to follow and (bonus) can be doubled, trippled or made en mass thanks to the listings as parts - 2 parts vodka to 3 parts cloudy apple and voila, a Tatanka. 

There's a small description of each drink which ranges from comical asides (Cosmopolitan) to more serious history stuff (Margarita). It's design is bold with plenty of artistic flare - think graphic designs over glamourous cocktail dens. A must-buy for any home bartender with a passion for good spirits and great cocktails. 



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