Witchcraft Cocktails is a well formulated recipe book for craft cocktails with a side of magic. The recipes are listed in sections by seasons and there is a nod to the Wiccan wheel of the year. The first section of the book has an introduction to both bar-tending skills and supplies and magical spells and intent. I spent the last few months making as many of the drinks in this collection as I could manage. My prior bar-tending experience was virtually nil but the recipes are well written, easy to follow and delicious.
All the recipes are alcoholic except for the shrubs. Craft cocktails rely on a variety of liquors and ingredients to create a unique twist on old classics. The results are bar worthy. For the average person, the sheer number of ingredients is more than you already have stocked. Either buy mini bottles when possible to affordably try single servings or be willing to invest several hundred dollars to collect the required liquors. Some of the herbs and ingredients may be seasonal or like the shrubs, require you make them before you can make the drink recipe. It helps to plan ahead and make time for this. You will also need to measure ingredients carefully.
Witchcraft Cocktails is beautifully photographed. The design from cover to photos to typeset is lovely and shows what you can achieve in terms of bookmaking in this modern age. For visual learners, the layout of this book will be very satisfying.
Every drink comes with a simple spell or intent to focus on while making the drink. Each recipe starts with a short spell. The recipe is in the middle and advanced magic with use of gems or Tarot cards lies at the bottom of the page. If you practice magic, the introductory section will be unnecessary. You’re probably reading this book because you want to learn bar-tending. Not really interested in magic? Skip this and make the recipes. For readers who are new to the Craft, take the time to read how and why spells are done.
I’m not entirely sold on the idea of cocktails as a means to do spellwork but I am neither a big drinker nor a professional bartender. If you can’t hold your liquor, you probably can’t focus enough while drinking to do a spell. The recipes are what really sell me on Witchcraft Cocktails. I will be keeping this in my liquor cabinet.
~review by Larissa Carlson
Author: Julia Halina Hadas
Simon & Schuster, 2020
pp. 223 , $16.99