Wow, just wow. If the cocktail recipes alone don’t do it in the book “Good Things to Drink with Mr. Lyan and Friends” any cocktail fan will also appreciate Lyan’s sage advice on cocktails, like wine, bringing people together. He makes you feel that the drinks are right there in front of you with an abundance of mouth-watering crisp colorful photographs and drawings, descriptions that include both his “Method” and “Magic”, equipment and techniques.
Smaller and finer are better as glass choices.
You can scissor-snip a plastic ice cube tray’s dividers to make long columns of ice.
The proper way to shake, stir or muddle.
How to (successfully and easily) make different flavors of simple syrup.
Different cocktails for different occasions; the book is divided up with chapters on “Brunch”, “Friday Nights”, “Winter Feasting” and “The Perfect G & T.” (Note for newbies: a G & T is a gin and tonic, Lyan serves up a few different options to the traditional recipe.)
The chapter on Infusions really appealed to me as I also love putting things in a crock pot to enjoy later. There are 4 recipes, at least, in that section that I want to try: Grapefruit and Rosemary Gin with Ginger Ale, Peach and Sage Bourbon, Elderflower and Chocolate Scotch with Soda, Rhubarb, Pear and Cardamom Vodka with Fresh Lemonade.
A chapter on Juleps? Yes, much to my husband’s thrill, there is.
There are plenty of cocktails in the “Alfresco Days” chapter that also appealed. Lyan writes, “Summer days in the sun are near heaven. To make them better, a balance of bittersweet drinks (great before food) following up with spirited and zesty numbers is ideal…”
For my wine 101ers…yes, there is a recipe to make your own Chocolate Wine!
Lyan says that the warm drinks in the “Fireside Serves” chapter “provide a similar comforting warmth” to days gone by spent by a “crackling fire.” I agree.
As I read through the book the recipes didn’t seem as hard to understand as I did when I started the book. Clearly, I was picking up knowledge and, a little more gumption to try new things.
And if I forget which chapter a fave recipe is in there is, thankfully, an index.
From the Press Release
Words and illustrations by Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr. Lyan, with photographs by Kim Lightbody.
(October 2015) — Cocktails aren’t just for fancy nights out and snobby home mixologists. In Good Things to Drink with Mr. Lyan and Friends, Mr. Lyan (the man behind the award-winning White Lyan and Dandelyan bars in London) shows you how 60 innovative and exciting cocktails can be part of your everyday life. Easy to make and beautifully photographed, the cocktails cover every mood and occasion, from sunny day drinks and winter warmers to Friday night cocktails and morning revivers. Mr. Lyan perfects classics such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan, and experiments with new intriguing combinations and ingredients. *Gift Guide Consideration for on-trend foodies, lovers of a great drink! **Ryan was recently featured in W Magazine.
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com