24 February 2018

Weekend Cooking: Day Drinking by Kat Odell

Review: Day Drinking by Kat OdellThe publisher's press release for Kat Odell's Day Drinking (Workman, 2017) begins, "Who day drinks? Everyone." And that's true. If you drink at all, you've certainly had a drink or two before 5:00pm. Think mimosa with a Sunday brunch, champagne at a wedding shower, an eggnog on Christmas Day, or a cold beer after mowing the lawn on Saturday afternoon.

If you live anywhere but the United States, you're probably thinking, "Day drinking? Well, duh!" That's because you don't live under our social sanctions that say we have to wait until evening before we can have a glass of wine.

Review: Day Drinking by Kat OdellAnyway, whatever your attitude, if you day drink (pretend it's vacation!), then you'll appreciate the variety of cocktails found within the pages of Day Drinking. These drinks have been specifically formulated to have a low alcohol content, to be food friendly, and to make you feel relaxed and social (not drunk).

A lot of the recipes are based on liqueur, wine, and sherry; some are built on beer or hard cider; and few call for whiskey. You'll find familiar cocktails with a twist: Irish Coffee transformed by hazelnut milk and cocoa powder sounds heavenly. And you'll find totally new creations (at least new to me), such as Fete Poire, which is a mixture of pear syrup, orgeat syrup, vermouth, lemon, and cardamom. Perfect for fall?

Don't drink or want something special for the kids? Odell includes a handful of mocktail recipes, which are every bit as pretty and delicious as the real thing. Try the ginger-lemon hot toddy. There's another chapter on large-batch party drinks. One that looks good to me is a cucumber gin punch that looks beautifully spring green with green chartreuse, parsley, and green apple slices.

Review: Day Drinking by Kat OdellOddly enough the thing I really love about Day Drinking is the very thing I don't like about the book. Many of the recipes include subrecipes for making syrups and other flavorings. I don't drink enough cocktails to justify making a batch of, say, kumquat syrup, and I'm also too lazy. On the other hand I love the idea of making my own instead of buying. And now, as I'm typing, I'm wondering if I could repurpose those syrups into ice cream toppings . . . hummm.

As with any good cocktail book, you'll need a well-supplied liquor cabinet that contains a variety of liqueurs, bitters, juices, mixers, and syrups. Because we drink mostly wine, beer and straight whiskey, I wouldn't be able to use Day Drinking without planning ahead. On the other hand, I plan to explore more of the cocktails this coming summer, when a refreshing day drink on the deck would be most welcome, whether I'm alone with a book or gabbing with a friend.

I recommend Kat Odell's Day Drinking to anyone who is looking to expand their cocktail repertoire, who doesn't mind a little prep work, and who appreciates the idea of a lower-alcohol drink. You don't have to drink during the day, but sometimes it's just the right thing.

I tried a coffee and rye cocktail, and though I would have never guessed that coffee and rye would be a good combo, I quite liked it. I garnished my drink with a lime for the photo because I liked the color.

Review: Day Drinking by Kat OdellFresh Thinking
Makes 1

  • 5 ounces tonic water
  • 1/4 ounce fresh yuzu or lemon juice (I used lemon)
  • 1 ounce rye whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce cold-brew coffee (I used regular brewed coffee)
  • 2-inch piece of orange peel
Fill a 12-ounce tempered glass halfway with ice cubes and add the tonic, lemon juice, rye, and coffee. Stir gently to combine, then squeeze the orange peel over the glass to express the oils (discard the peel).

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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Marg 2/24/18, 6:26 AM  

In order to make any cocktail I am sure I would have to buy nearly every single ingredient which tends to make it an expensive exercise!

Mae Travels 2/24/18, 6:37 AM  

Good question: how many people here drink during the day? If 5:00 is still daytime, I'm guilty, at least sometimes, though it's usually wine -- I haven't kept cocktail ingredients on hand for a long time. But overall, Americans are not really big drinkers, I read recently, not by day or night. Most of the alcoholic beverages that are consumed in the US are consumed by around 15% of the population, and nearly half never drink at all. Maybe those mocktail and syrup recipes need their own book. (Source: The Bad Food Bible by Aaron Carroll.)

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

rhapsodyinbooks 2/24/18, 6:43 AM  

My husband and I have alcohol during the day if the food we are eating calls for it, so to speak. ("Calling for it" may not mean the same thing to everyone! For me, a good cheese with crackers "calls for" a good wine! For my husband, "lunch" of any kind calls for a beer.)

jama 2/24/18, 8:10 AM  

Good to hear there are some mocktail recipes in this book, since I don't drink alcohol at all.:)

Jackie McGuinness 2/24/18, 10:09 AM  

We will have beer at lunch on vacation but not at home. Don't really like mixed drinks other than a vodka tonic occasionally.
But growing I remember my mother and aunts liking Pink Ladies.

Deb in Hawaii 2/24/18, 12:05 PM  

Great review! This looks like a fun book and I like the "make your own components" aspect. That Fete Poire sounds amazing and I like the looks of your coffee and rye cocktail. It definitely looks like a cocktail book worth checking out.

bermudaonion 2/24/18, 8:50 PM  

We definitely day drink around here! I bet I could find some good recipes for book club in that cookbook.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 2/25/18, 7:09 PM  

This sounds like a fun book, and the coffee rye cocktail sounds good!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 2/26/18, 1:38 PM  

Interesting idea for a book! Thanks for sharing it.

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