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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Review of Andy Hamilton's Booze for Free

These days the price of everything is going up but that doesn’t mean the availability of the best things in life has to go down – what was it someone said about ‘necessity breeding invention’? And so it was that I came to open Andy Hamilton’s excellent new book ‘Booze for Free’.

Long have we bleeted on about the merits of nettle beer (garnered from Andy’s own site, and indeed enjoyed its hedgerow fizz, so it was with excitement that we came to this book looking for further inspiration for some more exotic, and yes preferably cheap, home brews.

Nevertheless, low cost does not have to mean low quality and this book painstakingly sets about providing you every bit of knowledge you’ll need to produce something tasty and different.

In part one he sets out what equipment you’ll need with thorough descriptions of the various implements, pots and boilers required before you can make the most of the ingredients he also suggests with great detail.

Part two of the book is where you get to the good stuff. Literally! Birch Sap wine? Boozy dandelion and burdock? Holy water (made with marmite)? All these and more are set out season by season, brew by glorious brew.

If you’re already a home brewer, welcome to seventh heaven. If you’re not but you occasionally enjoy a sip along with the rest of us, god knows why you wouldn’t give at least one of these recipes a go! They’re fun to try, excellently explained and just waiting to tingle your taste buds – and they’d even make a great gift if you’re as strapped as you like to make out.

Highly recommended.

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