cover image The Irish Spirit: Recipes Inspired by the Legendary Drinks of Ireland

The Irish Spirit: Recipes Inspired by the Legendary Drinks of Ireland

Margaret M. Johnson, . . Chronicle, $24.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-5042-1

In her newest Irish cookbook, Johnson (Irish Pub Cookbook ; Irish Heritage Cookbook ) dares to take the drink from the glass and pour it right into the pot. In doing so, she raises the bar, creating rich and complex flavor combinations while instilling a good dose of Eire drinking history along the way. Chapters are organized by spirit. There are a dozen sweet recipes in the Irish Creams chapter, for example, but rooting out the many other dessert options involves browsing through the index or, better yet, paging through the many wonderful photographs. Black and Tan Brownies in the "Affable Brews" section catch the eye: a cup of Guinness stout darkens half the treat while light brown sugar and pecans make up the tan underside. Savory selections made with beer include Medieval Stew with Stout, and Oysters with Bacon, Cabbage, and Guinness Sabayon; entrees with whiskey include Bushmills Duck au Poivre with a sauce thickened by heavy cream. The resources appendix is a necessity for those seeking the traditional tastes, since Kerrygold Irish butter is used throughout, as is Irish bacon. And for those who would rather sip than chew, there are informative pages on such topics as Irish whiskey history, brewing techniques and the origins of cider. (Oct.)