There’s something to be said about a good drink – it can cure most of life’s ills.
A serious case of the Mondays.
You name it, there’s probably a craft cocktail that can ease your situation, whatever it may be.
In their new cocktail book, Doctor’s Orders, authors Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza have devised a beautiful book around the art of the craft cocktail, as both am imbibing pleasure, as well as a holistic remedy to all (most?) of life’s ills. Doctor’s Orders dials back to the origins of many drinks and explores how and why drinks were originally used as medicinal remedies. How cool is that?
The book is organized into two parts:
Part One, the Set Up explains all of the necessary tools and ingredients required to make the cocktails in the book. Personally, I think the authors provide a great crash course for anyone unfamiliar with cocktail essentials, like knowing the difference between different kinds of spirits, as well as how to make various bases ahead of time (which saves SO MUCH time- would highly recommend paying attention to this part).
Part Two is the meat of the book where you’ll find more than fifty recipes that rance from sweet and fruity, to tart and robust in flavor profiles. One of my favorite things about this book is how it’s laid out. Each recipe has a photo (major props, because many cocktail books don’t…and if you’re like me, you want to know what the final product should look like/when I pick a recipe, it’s oftentimes with my eyes first).
Each recipe comes with a “Doctor’s Order,” which includes: specific cures and remedies associated with that drink, vitamins & minerals, style/tasting notes, what kind of glass/vessel to use, and what kind of alcohol creates the “perfect serve.” I don’t think you could ask for more from a cocktail book – it’s literally like the bartenders/authors are right there with you making the drink, which I thoroughly enjoy, because I always worry I’m making recipes wrong.
Another aspect that I really enjoyed about this book is the variety of cocktails. It’s not just rum or vodka focused; each of the drinks have their own personality. Some are riffs of classic favorites, like the Sazerac to the Future Pt 1 is a twist on the tried and true sazerac, but with some innovative ingredients (I won’t tell ya what, so it doesn’t spoil the surprise if you pick up a copy and want to make it yourself). Get Him to the Greek is another fun cocktail that takes a watermelon martini to a whole other level with the addition of a Greek salad and some really festive garnishes.
FIELD NOTES (p. 40): This is an “earthy cocktail” said to boost the immune system with a natural, fresh zing to it. Instead of using mushroom syrup, I followed one of the doctor’s notes to add thinned out truffle honey instead. The egg white gives the drink this light fluffiness and really cuts down the bitterness of the fresh lemon juice. You can garnish this drink with a black truffle, but alas, my local grocery store was out of said accoutrement. Definitely refreshing and would highly recommend serving on the rocks, preferably one big ice cube instead of lots of little ones.
JUNGLE FEVER (p. 66): Described as a “Thai-inspired pina colada,” this was probably my favorite drink that I taste tested (but I’m probably biased because I loooove pina coladas (and getting caught in the rain…)). I added a few extra garnishes to this one, but the doctors suggest garnishing it with lemongrass stalks, honey, and fresh chili (if you like a little spice). The coconut milk adds a creaminess to the drink, while the muddled ginger and lime bring tropical notes. I didn’t have a fun bamboo cup (as pictured in the book), so I opted for a large cordial glass which did the trick. Again, highly recommend and you can make this one as spicy (or not) as you like!
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (p. 116): The candy rim is what sold me on this one, plus it’s supposed to help cleanse the body (or cure a cold if you’ve got one of those). The drink’s a bit cloudy because it has fresh apple juice, mixed with blanco tequila and poppy liqueur. As always, I embellished the garnish – instead of a grapefruit peel, I put whole pieces; I like how the taste sinks in a bit more than with a peel. This drink should be served in a champagne coupe, but until my bar glassware collection grows, this basic cup will have to do…and do it did, this drink is so refreshing!
All in all, even if you aren’t big on drinking, this is a beautiful book that’s so thoughfully put together. If anything, the whimsical pictures and clever names are great inspiration to make non-alcoholic versions as well (but that might be hard for some of the drinks that are more spirit-forward and less juice-based). If you are a cocktail aficionado though, I would HIGHLY recommend checking this out (especially if you’re planning a party and want some not so typical signature drinks).
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. All photography featured in this post is my own unless noted otherwise; please seek permission before copying or reproducing the images.
Purchase this title — Doctor’s Orders: Over 50 inventive cocktails to cure, revive & enliven
Score Card: Cover Art 5/5 | Content 5/5 | Ease of Read 5/5
Book Stats: Doctor’s Orders: Over 50 Inventive cocktails to Cure, Revive & Enliven by Chris Edwards & Dave Tregenza
Page Count- 143
Binding- Hardcover with whimsical color photography
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I'm a twenty-something year old recent law and business school grad living with a chronic health condition. Follow along on my shenanigans.