cover image Nixology: Low to No Alcohol Cocktails

Nixology: Low to No Alcohol Cocktails

Elouise Anders, illus. by Claudia Frittitta. Smith Street, $19.95 (152p) ISBN 978-1-922754-54-7

“You don’t need alcohol... to make a day special,” asserts mixologist Anders (Spritz Fever) in this refreshing guide to sophisticated booze-light and booze-free beverages. These 60 recipes are sorted into five categories: shaken, stirred, shared (alcohol-free punches and large-batch drinks), sipped (low-alcohol cocktails), and syrups. Many are designed to imitate bar staples: tea stands in for whiskey in the whisktea sour and the new fashioned (“Does it taste the same as bourbon? No. Does it make for a great drink? Yes”), while juniper syrup captures the botanical notes of gin in the juniper and tonic. Most offer creative solutions to stand in for the flavors of various liquors, but some, like the shareable “sansgria,” call for nonalcoholic wine. Low-alcohol cocktails include several classics (such as an Aperol spritz and a Pimm’s cup), as well as a “reverse Manhattan,” made with more vermouth than whiskey (“Low-ABV solutions are sometimes as simple as swapping ratios”). The section on syrups is perhaps the most valuable, arming home bartenders with some delicious and unusual infusions, with flavors including elderflower, raspberry, and rose petal, as well as a workable alcohol-free substitute for vanilla extract. Frittitta’s cute and colorful illustrations lend a feel of breezy fun. This appealing guide makes cutting back on alcohol no great loss. (Sept.)