Just in time for the parching months ahead (and, come to think of it, for Memorial Day, too) comes “Summer Cocktails” by food stylist-constant Maria Del Mar Sacasa and photographer Tara Striano (Quirk, $23, 160 pages).
It’s 100-plus recipes for “punches and pitchers, shakes and sherbets, classics and cure-alls” is a solid reference for beginner-level home mixologists. The casual book is no “Bartender’s Companion,” but it’s lots more fun.
It starts with basic necessities (staple ingredients, the well-stocked bar, glassware, bartending tools, step-by-step prep work — say, for cutting up a pineapple) and segues to cocktails and punches.
The familiar tipples are there (Cuba Libre, Dark ‘n’ Stormy, Negroni), but more seasonal are the offerings in the “Frosty Drinks” chapter. Belly up to icy concoctions such as the Midas (with frozen pineapple cubes), the Luxe (vanilla ice cream) and Prosecco-Blueberry-Lemon Pops (sparkling wine with a summer twist).
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In the “Fill Your Plate’ chapter, find drink-compatible small plates such as pickled shrimp, charred shishito peppers and prosciutto-and-butter tartines.