Sometimes, not often, but sometimes there comes a book that will truly transform how you eat. Or drink. How to Drink With Drinking by Fiona Beckett is just that book. And a timely one for this holiday season.

The book’s subtitle explains it all: celebratory alcohol-free drinks for any time of the day. Yes, anytime, from breakfast to a late night sip by the fireplace.

The chapters here cover both techniques and drinks:

  • Cordials and Shrubs
  • Alcohol-free Cocktails
  • Alcohol-free Wine, Beer and Cider-based Drinks
  • Fermented Drinks
  • Lattes, Shakes and Lassis
  • Juices and Smoothies
  • Teas, Tisanes and Coffee

My eyes popped open with an early recipe: Apple Lemonade. We made an apple Pie for thanksgiving — how could you not. And of course, our sink was piling up with apple peels and some squeezed lemon halves — we use that lemon juice to keep the apple slices from browning and to add some tartness to the pie.

Well, those squeezed lemon leftover are called shells. This recipe calls for putting the apple peelings and the shells into a saucepan, covering with water, and simmering for twenty minutes. Strain, add sugar, and you have this different and I suspect quite delightful recipe.

How can I tell my wife that this weekend she needs to make an apple pie so that I can make lemonade? My credibility is already pretty low with her. I suspect she’s going to need to see this book for herself. And then she’s probably going to adopt this book page by page for herself.

We do enjoy cocktails. But, we don’t want to drink every night and in the holiday season, you can be seeing a counter of cocktails spread before you many times. So here in the chapter Alcohol-free Cocktails, you find non-alcoholic versions of classics:

 Mai Tai

Hurricane

Smokey Mary with Chipotle

Habanero Mary [if you need even greater fire]

The chapter on Fermented Drinks will take you a little time — you need a couple of days or so to get the bubbles bubbling. But the ideas are intriguing:

Water Kefir in 3 versions: orange, cucumber and coconut

Tepache: fermented pineapple from Mexico

Lattes, Shakes and Lassis gives you some spicy options:

Latte: Spiced Pumpkin Latte [better than Starbucks!]

Turmeric Latte

Iced-Coffee Shake

In Juice and Smoothies, Fiona notes that we have been juicing and smoothing for a couple of decades. But only recently have we learned some key techniques. If you process only fruit, you get flavor for sure but also a sugar rush. For a calmer experience, and a healthier one, you need to add some veggies or sour citrus to tame the sugar. So we are offered:

Pineapple, Mango and Lime Juice

Carrot and Apple Juice

Pear and Avocado

Even if you are not a tea-drinker, you might be interested in exploring:

Hibiscus Agua Fresca

Golden Turmeric Teas

T & T [tea and tonic]

I truly love this book. I’m going to blog one of the recipes just after I post this review, a beverage that is perfect for the holiday: Christmas Cranberry Cordial. Here’s a picture preview:

See? You’re going to have so much fun with How to Drink Without Drinking.

Having given you lovely recipes, the book concludes with when to use them. What to drink instead of red wine or white wine? What are the best bets for alcohol-free beverages in pubs? And what to drink with beef and lamb, pork and chicken, seafood, salads, cheese and dessert dishes.

This book will be published on January 7, 2020. Time for a New Year’s Resolution.

[Oh, Suzi just turned down my request for apple pie so soon after Thanksgiving. I’ll wait a day and hit her with an apple crumble recipe. As long as it has pomegranate seeds, I’m going to have my apple peels.]