We’ve got to admit to having an almost unhealthy obsession for cookery books. And don’t get us started on anything to do with cocktails… On our shelves Jamie Oliver and Sophie Dahl hang out with Dale DeGroff and Simon Difford, while Italian treats from The River Cafe live only inches away from classic London cocktails from The Savoy.
Nice as it is to dip into one reference source for food and another for drinks, it’s abso-blooming-lutely fabulous to have ideas and instructions for both contained in one book. Particularly when it’s as drool worthy as Hawksmoor At Home…
Thumbing through the 300 or so pages of unadulterated deliciousness will test your resolve – not only is the writing so engaging you’ll find the book hard to put down, you’ll want to dive in to Dan Lepard’s photographs and bite into/take a sip of the goodies on show (tip: don’t read on an empty stomach).
On the food front there’s an ode to the superior beasts that end up on the plate, invaluable tips on choosing and cooking the perfect steak, moving on to mouthwatering recipes for everything from Hawksmoor ketchup to the famous kimchi burger. There are puddings too, including apple pie with Tom & Jerry custard, good old-fashioned trifle and a recipe for cornflake ice cream
But it’s the cocktail section that really caught our attention. Every bit as informed and informative as the food pages, the Hawksmoor Cocktail Guide (or How To Make Drinks and Intoxicate People) – their words, not ours – is packed with reader-friendly, thoroughly engaging stuff like the A History of the Cocktail in Ten Drinks, The Art of Punch-Making and The Evolution of The Martini.
As for the recipes, they take in bitters, syrups and infusions and all our favourite Hawksmoor classics such as a bottle of Manhattan, Marmalade Cocktail, Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew and our new guilty pleasure, the Pina Colada.
With a section on wine to round off – we think this is the perfect pressie for foodies and cocktail lovers alike. And just in case you’re wondering, we’re not on the payroll – the guys here just get it right, both in the three restaurants and bars and now in this excellent book. Order your copies for Christmas now.
(All photography by Dan Lepard)
Published by Preface Publishing. Available from all good bookshops, priced £25 with all proceeds going to Action Against Hunger (which makes us love them even more).