Beer, cocktail and wine books

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Bend an elbow and pick up one of these extremely readable books about drinks and drinking

How to Drink

Victoria Moore, Granta, £15.99

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The Guardian’s drinks correspondent Victoria Moore has written an approachable, highly practical consumer guide to quality drinking at home. Every common category of drink is covered, from coffee to spirits; only wine is perhaps given too little space.

Most drinks books tend to be lavishly illustrated, with too much information about the history and mythology of drink, but not this one: it’s mostly narrative, and tells you what works and what doesn’t without too much extraneous background.

Take, for example, tonic water. Moore confirmed my own independent research, which had already discovered that Waitrose make a passable cheap version, that Fever-Tree is excellent but not worth the premium price, and that every low-cal version tastes awful. But Moore’s advice on only using small cans of Schweppes, so the bubbles stay perky in a G&T, was news to me.

The book is packed with useful tips, not only for what to buy and make, but also for what to avoid. Expect your cocktail-making repertoire to increase dramatically if you read this book – but avoid reading it if you’re trying to cut down on alcohol units, as the book suggests many excellent new excuses for setting restraint aside.

Guy Dimond, Time Out London Issue 2022: May 21-27 2009

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