Barroom Bookshelf 3 – How to Drink at Christmas

It has been a while since I have undertaken a Barroom Bookreview and, as I was recently sent a new cocktail book for Christmas, I thought it was time for another. The book in question is Victoria Moore’s “How to Drink, at Christmas”, which follows on from her previous beverage tome, “How to Drink”. 

How to Drink at Christmas

This book is a very neat tome that gives you both basic and advanced guidance on cocktails and drinks over the festive period. There is a fine introduction on spirits, liqueurs and wines, and I’m particularly pleased as Victoria and I share many views on Gin; I can safely say that she knows what she is talking about.

 Cocktails are divided into different sections and the drinkbelow are taken from a variety of them.


L-R: Applebuie, Pavonian G&T, Sloe Gin Sour, Cava-Calva, Blood & Sand

#1 Sloe Gin Sour
“From Christmas is Coming – Glamorous Apertifs for Small Parties”
[50ml Sloe gin, 20ml Lemon Juice, 1tsp of Egg White, Shake & Strain]
Superb, very refreshing with a great balance between tartness and sweetness.
#2 Cava-Calva
“From Larger Parties”
[1pt Calvados, 1pt Apple Juice, 8pt Sparkling Wine]
A nice way to liven up a sparkling wine; with Calvados and apple juice, it’s a bit like drinking a fine Champagne Cider or Alcoholic Appletizer. A perfect drink to welcome your guests with.
#3 Pavlovian G&T
From “Drink for Drivers”
A fresh drink, but is little more than just tonic water. Victoria suggests that this drink is as much about its looks as its taste, as it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between it and a normal Gin & Tonic, just by looking at it. You can therefore use this drink to pace your festive merriment across the day.

#4 Blood & Sand
From “Retro Kitsch”
[1pt Scotch, 1pt Red Vermouth, 1pt Cherry Liqueur, 1pt OJ] SHAKE
Reminiscent of a Manhattan, but with a bolder flavour, being sweeter and more fruity, almost like a cocktail for kiddies. Despite my saying this, I thought it wasn’t half bad, with some lovely jam and almond notes.

#5 Applebuie
“In from the Cold”
[100ml Cloudy Apple Juice, 100ml Hot Water, 30ml Drambuie, 1 Cinnamon Stick]
Lovely; a really good winter warmer and a treat to discover. The alcohol is quite subtle and the apple juice goes very well with the honey, anis, herbs and spices of the Drambuie. Mrs. B loved it. For an extra indulgent version, why not use the Drambuie 15yr Old?

Whether you are looking for a small gift for novice or a more experienced drinker, “How to drink at Christmas” would make a pretty neat gift and a fine addition to their library of imbibement.

Victoria Moore’s “How To Drink of Christmas” (Hardcover, 128 pages) is Published by Granta Books.
RRP £9.99 But Amazon UK are currently selling it for a bargainous £5.89 here and delivery is free.

This entry was posted in Vintage Cocktails and tagged , , by DTS. Bookmark the permalink.

About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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