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Booze for Free [Hardcover]

Andy Hamilton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

1 Sep 2011

Home brewing and wine-making is fun, easy and hugely satisfying. If you garden or forage,

can follow a recipe or make jam, and you enjoy a drink, this is the book for you.

Andy's no-nonsense, easy-to-follow guide will enable the beginner and inspire the expert

with over 100 recipes including beer made from hops and but also yarrow, mugwort, elder

and other foraged plants, great tasting wines from fruit, vegetables and the hedgerows,

cider and perry from apples and pears, cordials from the leaves of a range of trees, and teas and

fizzy drinks from herbs and wayside flowers.

- Discover the secret language of home brewing and drinks making.

- Make cheap, wholesome drinks, to your preferred taste and strength

in little time, with minimum fuss and no need for expensive equipment.

- Turn your garden into a drinkers' paradise.

- Find where and how to forage for success.

- Impress your friends with the weird, wonderful and just plain tasty.

Try Carrot Whisky, Sloe and Damson Rum, Parsnip Sherry, Elderberry and Blackberry Wine,

Pumpkin Beer, Broom Tonic, Meadowsweet tea as well as classics such as Elderflower

champagne, sloe gin, prison brew... Cheers!

Frequently Bought Together

Booze for Free + Brewing Britain: The quest for the perfect pint
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Eden Project Books (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905811705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905811700
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Northampton born Andy Hamilton is an expert on home grown food, wild food and brewing. After an assortment of "interesting" jobs from being a mash potato man in a food factory to the dizzy heights of "operative in charge of cardboard box making" for a clothing warehouse. Andy finally took the bold move to restart his career and received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Bath Spa University while simultaneously teaching himself how to live a near-self-sufficient lifestyle.

Whilst studying for his degree and working part time in a psychiatric hospital, Andy co-created a website on self sufficient living with his brother Dave: It quickly gained a huge following and was featured on BBC News 24's Click Online and across most of the UK broadsheets.

Following their success Andy and Dave went on to write the much-coveted and critically acclaimed book, The Self Sufficientish Bible. This was later followed by a book about Andy's first love, alcohol. Booze for Free has quickly become the go to book for all home brewers wanting to make the perfect sole gin, faultless elderflower champagne, promising parsnip wine and bluming great cider.

Andy writes a regular blog that covers his passion for foraging and booze on He has also written for the Guardian, BBC food, Home Farmer, The Ecologist as well as popping up on international TV on shows inlcuding BBC's Autumnwatch, countryfile.

He has foraged for The Eden Project, BBC's Autumnwatch and Ways with Words Dartington Literary festival. During his time uncovering some of the best of Britain's wild food, Andy has eaten his way through a wide variety of wild flora and fauna and is currently touring the UK in search of perfect pint.

His nuts and bolts, accessible approach to self-sufficiency has garnered hundreds of thousands of fans the world over.

Product Description


"Some guys have all the luck. Andy Hamilton has 'road tested' over 100 DIY drinks - many of them pleasantly alcoholic- to be made from the plants of the garden, hedge, field and wood, and has brought the results to the pages of his Booze for Free. The result is a home imbiber's delight, full of lore, sense, entertainment, humour, botany, history and tongue-tantalizing recipes. Hamilton has that wholly underrated, but absolutely essential skill in a practical matters, of writing with pure clarity and absolute readability. His recipes won't let you down. You may fall down after sampling some of the stronger brews, but that's another matter" (John Lewis-Stempel, author of THE WILD LIFE: A YEAR LIVING ON WILD FOOD)

"For those who give a damn about the planet but still want to enjoy a beautifully crafted pint of the finest, Booze for Free is absolutely compulsory reading. Sláinte Andy" (Mark Boyle, author of THE MONEYLESS MAN)

"Wow... it's brilliant! So many mouthwateringly delicious ideas and recipes!... But this is so much more than a 'recipe' book. Packed with fascinating and useful information about the world of foraging, not to mention a good pinch of humour, it makes me want to abandon life as I know it" (Brigit Strawbridge, star of ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’)

"Booze for Free is a book-of-the year contender... a book which I'll be reading again and again (trying out recipes and techniques as I go along), and you'd have to be drunk not to want to do the same!" (

"Andy's book reveals the treasure trove in our hedgerows, fields and woodlands" (Kate Humble)

Book Description

The definitive guide to home brewing hedgerow and garden wines, sherries and liqueurs, beers,

ales and porters, ciders, and also cordials, teas and other soft drinks.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home brewing made fun and easy 5 Sep 2011
This is a really comprehensive book, with so many different kinds of drinks, from cordials to wines to beers, to spirits infused with a variety of different flavours. I always thought that home brewing your own drinks was a long laborious process but I now know that I can have beer in a fortnight (about the time it takes to plan a party) and horseradish vodka in a few days.

As well as all the recipes, the information on equipment etc. and the brilliant glossary (almost a book in its own right) I've really enjoyed reading the narration of this book, which is a lovely, at times humorous, prose, as the author talks of the history behind different plants and drinks, and reminisces on his own home brewing experiences.

I highly recommend this book; I think a lot of people are going to have some great experiences because of it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun for all and some great recipes 9 Oct 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
As a far of real ale and keeping traditions alive, I was more than curious about this title by Andy Hamilton, where it claimed you can get booze for free. What this title does in fact is give you a good all round grounding in the various options that you have available whether you want to make some wine, a beer or even cordials or tea's to help refresh your palette.

All of the options are explained in an easy to follow manner, takes the time to explain the terminology and also provides the reader with easy to follow recipes that will allow them to get to know what they like so that they can develop their own range at home. Obviously I haven't brewed anything up yet due to the time delay for the stock to mature, but I have made some of the cordials of which I have to say that the Dandelion and Burdock is my favourite as it has a fresher taste than the shop bought ones and to be honest, if you want it fizzy I'd say to make it with either soda water or even sparkling mineral, really refreshing and apparently healthy for your liver.

All in I have had a lot of pleasure reading this book and I'll have a lot more making a number of the products within. My only real disappointment is that I couldn't' find a recipe for mead which is one of the oldest drinks around.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"But by the fifth consecutive beer sometimes its not easy to care whether you've even got your trousers on".

That line made me cry with laughter because its soo true and was the reason why I purchased in the book in the first place.

I had heard it was good and was fed up of drinking the tap-drivel from pubs and go it alone and make my own.

Having no previous knowledge and using second had equipment from Grampies cellar, I'm actually amazed with Andy's guidance from the book, I've made some really nice tasking ale.

Andy suggests foraging and covers this in a sub chapter, to be honest, I cheated and used almost all supermarket bought products. If I can do this and make ales that actually taste nice, I bet you can too.

Frankly my hopes were not high & vomit bags were to hand at tasting time. The simple hop beer went really well, it was quite tasty & enjoyable. Oh and the Bay & Rosemary Ale was actually quite nice. I was a bit concerned at the bay leaves, they can be really powerful, but Andy was right with just 20 leaves, although it got better as time went on or how drunk I got from it *hic*

Well worth the read, especially if you're going to actually follow the recipes and make some of your own, if I can now brw my own, I'm sure you can too, even without cheating like I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmass Read 22 Dec 2013
By Wodgey
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Always looking for slightly different presents for my 'Have a Go' Father. He has been making beer for ages, this seemed a little different. Still to try all the recipies but the 1st few have been good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read 7 May 2013
Nice and easy book to read and to follow. Well researched. Well written. Well worth the purchase. Would certainly recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 24 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
i bought this book for my husband and he loves it. It details everything you need to know and buy along with a lot of humour. would recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok 10 Jan 2014
By shaun
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book doesn't have many unexpected recipes but those it has are good solid ones with some interesting background stories to some of them. A good introduction to the subject.
The Bay and Rosemary Ale is worth a try. It turned out well when I did it for Christmas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good 16 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
brought as a present recipient enjoyed book and i look forward to some free booze, would recoment to others .
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab little book for would be Brewers!
Ordered and arrived quickly. Great little stocking filler for by boyfriend! Who I'm sure will love trying the various recipes. Recipes for all seasons.
Published 2 months ago by Miss Y M Salerno
5.0 out of 5 stars really good book
Pleased with the book can't wait to start using the recipes this book was recommended to me and I would do the same
Published 2 months ago by Moon
5.0 out of 5 stars good money saving recipes
Great money saving recipes with easy to use instructions. For all those people who like to live a slightly greener life style and save money.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. J. A. Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and informative
This book has lots of recipe`s for making booze. Clear basic tips on processes and has a lot of information. There is not a lot of pictures and mostly text based.
Published 5 months ago by norman strath
3.0 out of 5 stars Looking for another
Not really as expected, most recipes for foraged fruits etc. nothing about making mead from scratch unfortunately and not much about making fruit and alcohol infusions. Read more
Published 6 months ago by V Kane
3.0 out of 5 stars Curate's egg
The premise of the book is fine, albeit somewhat mis-selling. There's no free booze in here, everything will require you purchase some form of sugar. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lee Griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait to try it out!
Really informative and opened up my horizons to the vast amount of drinks I could make. Have already made elderflower cordial, very tasty. Going to make it as a wine next...
Published 9 months ago by sharron
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a very good buy
This book is not what you want if you want a step by step guide to making wine, beer, liqueurs etc. It is far too general and really gives no useful, practical advice on the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ja O'Riordan
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book
I have made a couple fo the recipes so far and the elderberry champagne is wonderful, still waiting for the wines I've made to mature..... Read more
Published 12 months ago by nicky
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