…this drink — named the Harry Caray, after the famed Chicago Cubs announcer — immediately made me fall in love with Maggie Savarino’s new book, ‘The Seasonal Cocktail Companion’ (Sasquatch Books). Savarino, based in Seattle, has always been one of the most refreshing and irreverent drinks mavens in America. Over the past 20 years, she has held just about every restaurant job there is, from bartender to waiter to grill cook to sommelier. Until recently, she also wrote my absolute favorite drinks column, for Seattle Weekly, called Search and Distill. If there is such a thing as a punk cocktail geek, Savarino is it. ‘The Seasonal Cocktail Companion’ is full of cool, unique cocktails — who knew brandy, nocino and stout tasted so weirdly good together? — and DIY recipes for liqueurs, bitters and amari.”
The Washington Post
With the craft cocktail renaissance in full-swing, who better to give us a shot of DIY-confidence than Seattle’s high priestess of hooch, Maggie Savarino? In her “Seasonal Cocktail Companion: 100 Recipes & Projects for 4 Seasons of Drinking” (Sasquatch Books, $18.95), the longtime bartender — and former cocktail columnist for Seattle Weekly — is as much at home in the kitchen as she is behind the bar. Either/or, she spills her secrets (grapefruit-juice ice cubes for a summery negroni!), sasses back at snobbery (Jagermeister, anyone?), shows her amore for amaro (with a recipe, natch), and tempts with a tinkerer’s treasure-trove of ideas for homemade garnishes.
All You Can Eat, The Seattle Times
Among the number of cocktail books being published these days, Savarino, a bartender and sommelier who wrote a beverages column for the Seattle Weekly, here takes a seasonal approach to drinking. Instead of focusing on how to make martinis or gimlets, she emphasizes using fresh, seasonal ingredients and encourages creativity with spirits. The book is broken into two parts. The first reviews the basics, including a brief discussion on spirits, equipment, and tools, but shines in its extensive information on using fresh herbs and spices in beverages, with flavor profiles and weight-to-volume measurements. The guide stands out here with its recipes for flavored syrups, infusions, liqueurs, vinegars, and bitters. The second, seasonal section of the book features additional recipes for Brewed Ginger Beer, Mead (Honey Wine), and other DIY beverages. While the recipes call for some hard-to-find ingredients (Savarino includes source lists), the instructions vary from the easy (e.g., combine spirits and herbs and let it sit for three weeks) to more hands-on (e.g., sieving herbs through cheesecloth).
For an in-depth exploration of the joys of drinking seasonally, check out Maggie Savarino’s just-published book, The Seasonal Cocktail Companion. A mash-up of arts and crafts and booze, the guide bridges the gap between distilling and bartending, yet keeps the enterprise entertaining and accessible.
Maggie Savarino learned to bartend from her mom. She’s since worked every position in the booze industry, accumulating enough expertise to fill a book. Literally.
A good local guide that weaves in drink recipes with profiles of shops where local bartenders get their supplies…
The Seattle Times
The Seasonal Cocktail Companion: 100 Recipes & Projects for 4 Seasons of Drinking by Maggie Savarino is a charming book.