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The subtitle says 218 Cocktails & Appetizer for the "Best Time of the Day." I didn't count the recipes, but the book is chockfull of great drinks and small foods for every time of the year.
In the opening pages, Sandra gives advice for stocking a bar--from glassware to mixers--and offers some tips for what types of food to serve.
The chapters are divided by month, which is a great way to organize this kind of book. Hot drinks for the winter months, lovely red drinks for February, and light and refreshing drinks for summertime. The index is very well organized so you'll always be able to find what you want.
One thing I particularly like about Cocktail Time is that Sandra offers several alcohol-free drinks that make fun and pretty alternatives for you, your guests, and your kids.
I made two of the drinks and found them easy to put together and delicious to sip. I picked the cocktails based on what kinds of spirits were already in our cabinet. The drinks are not inexpensive when you think about buying all the different mixers and liqueurs.
The finger and snack foods all follow Sandra Lee's "semi-homemade" style, which means they rely on spice mixtures and ready-made products. The foods look very appealing, but I generally cook from scratch. I made her Ginger-Garlic Shrimp (p. 40), basing my from-scratch version on her recipe. The shrimp were a hit, and I'll be making them again (if I can remember exactly what I did!).
Here are the two cocktails we tried and will be making again. Note that Cocktail Time suggests brand names, but I am listing generic ingredients.
Makes 1 drink
1 ounce vodka
1 tablespoon cold water
½ ounce creme de cassis
½ ounce amaretto
1 lime wedge
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, water, creme de cassis, and amaretto. Squeeze in the lime juice. Cover and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled glass Garnish with cherry.
Beth Fish Read's note: We left out the cherry.
Makes 1 drink
1¼ ounces gin
1 ounce lemon drop cocktail mixer
¼ ounce blood orange bitters
1 lemon wedge
In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, mixer, and bitters. Add ice, cover and shake until very cold. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with lemon wedge.
Published by John Wiley & Sons / SL Books, 2009
Source: Review copy (see review policy)