Patience Gould on Make Mine a Martini

More gin cocktails they include the Bronx, the Queens, as well as the Gibson, which, with its pearl onion content, makes it the ideal dinner cocktail, provided said ‘dinner’ is “a rare grilled steak”. Not for me that, but I do like the thought of Parmesan crisps with beef carpaccio and rocket.

At this point I scrabbled through the pages to find out what dish is selected to go with a Negroni, which is considered “as a drink endorsed by proper drinkers”. But, disappointingly, no foodie accompaniment is suggested. 

It has to be said that I’m also slightly disappointed that this Bonne Dame, with all her opinionated forthrightness and clarity of thought, considering the huge panoply of tastes which now abound in the gin world does not state her preferred gins to use in the different cocktails. I know she wants people to have the confidence to select and use their favourites but it would have been very interesting indeed.

Come to that I’d have liked her opinion on the Scottish Independence vote, what she thinks of Barak Obama and many more questions besides. I mean, anyone who contemplates the coldness of a penguin’s foot has to be good news. As is this book. It is no also-ran – it’s a refreshingly upbeat read and some of the 50 or so canapés both look and sound out of this world. Consider crab, saffron and gruyère tart, or Vietnamese summer rolls and Thai peanut brittle dipping sauce – it really is transporting stuff.

And while I’ve concentrated here on the gin cocktails – Plunkett-Hogge has in-depth knowledge across the spirit spectrum – there are 80 cocktails recipes in total. So I leave you with one last thought – Bun Bang Fai, and with one clue only, it’s made with white Tequila.

(Make Mine a Martini is out now, published by Mitchell Beazley – Hardback £14.99).