Peeked at this book at its launch & ordered it pronto and can't wait to try some of the recipes. I have been to Kate's restaurant in Bristol and what that woman can't do with a few imaginatively sourced but often humble ingredients, wouldn't fill the back of a postage stamp. The writing has a real zip to it and I look forward to the day with "Aperitif" in one hand and a Boston Shaker in the other, I can join the upper ranks of the home mixologists
How apposite that Kate Hawkings’ new book, ‘Aperitif,’ should so successfully whet my desire to restore that eponymous overture to civilised dining to my own humble table. And as a veteran of consuming a great many of them with her, I can attest to her vast authorial authority.
We’ve all waded through Stephen Hawking’s bestsellers hoping to discover the meaning of the universe, and now at last a book by an entirely unrelated writer with a slightly similar name is here to assist us not to bother about it, at least when meal times are looming. In an age when any pub washer-up who can spell Schweppes with fewer than two mistakes calls himself a mixologist, Hawkings is impressively qualified to write about the provenance, selection and service of pre-prandial alcoholic beverages, as her own work in licensed premises such as Bellita, the scintillating little bar/restaurant she runs in Bristol, her drinks journalism, and this excellent and highly readable volume, demonstrate. And the book itself is an appetite-whetter: Hawkings is believed to be planning a sequel on digestifs, and most excitingly of all, the definitive work on keeping glasses really sparkling, which is going to give a lot of washing up machine manufacturers a dreadful hangover.
Cook books I have a-plenty, a worrying addiction as my sagging shelves attest, but drinks? Not to date and when this jaunty cover caught my eye, I thought why not. I'm really just a Sauvignon Blanc princess, so came to this worryingly naïve. And it is, as it says on the cover "a spirited guide." Kate has a lovely writing style, she brings to life the history and then delivers a mass of recipes each with (important) a photo, and all with idiosyncratic asides rather than dreary repetitive listing. She never strays into the pompous, but clearly knows her stuff. I feel tempted from my comfort zone, and plan to linger at the spirits section so that I, too, can face with relish "the full gamut of the aperitif situation."
I love a book about anything to do with food and drink. My advice has always been to read it like any book. Books always tell a story about the author, their journey to the point that it made them feel confident enough to share their story and knowledge/ experience. Kate Hawkings’ book is a prime example of this. Her writing is honest, witty, heartfelt and very informative. This woman clearly knows about how to drink - well - and knows how to pull a reader in. Buy it. You will not regret it. Any season is the season for a well thought out drink no matter the occasion. I simply cannot wait for her next book if only to hear a bit more about her. Books about drink are rare these days.. This one is a must have for anyone and everyone.. you have to read it to drink it and then enjoy it all. You will all be mixing from this book for years to come.
Brilliant and sparklingly witty writing (reminds me of AA Gill) "the cocktail years, given a boost by the execrable 1988 film Cocktail, in which Tom Cruise introduced us to 'flair bartending' - the ridiculous show off circus trickery of juggling bottles, shakers and other bar tools RATHER THAN JUST GETTING ON AND MAKING THE BLOODY DRINK." The recipes are faultless (have already tried two) and far from making you increase your booze intake it simply makes you more discerning and therefore actually imbibing slightly less. Buy it.
A massively promising book that I hope to read and read again, full of not only interesting booze ideas - I usually just drink wine, so hoping to learn to be much more adventurous ;-)) - but also fascinating history and anecdotes and little 'snippets' of boozy wisdom. This woman clearly knows her drinks and writes like a dream.
All the recipes you need - naturally - to appreciate the world of aperitivi, but also a brilliant, witty guide to take you by the hand and lead you down the path to sybaritism and happy oblivion. A lovely book that combines rigorous knowledge with brilliant wit and a truly fresh and original voice. Buy it for everyone you care for.