Mocktails, Punches, and Shrubs: Over 80 Nonalcoholic Drinks to Savor and Enjoy – Vikas Khanna

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

“Inspired, I embarked on a quest to collect and catalogue as many flavors and scents from foreign cultures as possible. A plethora of tasting experiences provided me with insights on what is mixable, edible, and most importantly, what can stimulate and benefit us in a positive way.”

Award-winning Michelin starred Indian chef and restaurateur Vikas Khanna introduces a collection of varied non-alcoholic drinks from floral and fragrant to tangy shrubs, refreshing to hot, in his latest cookbook, Mocktails, Punches, and Shrubs: Over 80 Nonalcoholic Drinks to Savor and Enjoy.

From teas to elixirs to smoothies and slushes, there is something for everyone. While many are considered Superfoods, some are so decadent that they could even act as a dessert course.

He has a pantry list, but what I appreciate is how he describes the ingredients and how best to use them in your own drink recipes. He also explains technique and equipment needed in detail.

Some of these exotic drinks are more complicated and require unusual ingredients not readily available, so my eyes just skimmed past these. However, there are enough simple delicious recipes to make this book worthwhile. I especially liked the raspberry lemonade and some of the carbonated drinks (that is, when club soda is added.) I also liked the idea of creating your own sugar syrups infused with different herbs.

Khanna gives serving and presentation suggestions, so these recipes—or ones you concoct yourself—will be perfect for entertaining, like the various teas.

I have to admit that while reading many of these recipes I couldn’t help but think how wonderful they would taste with an ounce of tequila or vodka. However, this book will especially appeal to those who want to keep their beverages healthy and alcohol free.

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