Nixology: Low-to-No Alcohol Cocktails, written by Elouise Anders, features over 60 non-alcoholic and low-ABV drinks perfect for every season and occasion. A few highlights include Hibiscus Sour, Lavender & Cucumber Smash, Blackberry Fizz, Sgroppino, and Pineapple Agua Fresca. I will also be sharing her recipe for Spiced Apple Punch following the review.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Smith Street Books in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Elouise Anders is a mixologist and writer currently based in Melbourne, Australia. She also consults with bars and restaurants in the city by curating their drink lists.
Elouise begins Nixology with a short introduction behind the creative use of ingredients to bring together these delicious and festive drinks.
She also provides a few notes on ABV (alcohol by volume), garnishes, adding a rim to glasses, and more simple steps to elevate each beverage.
Chapters are divided according to drink style: Shaken, Stirred, Shared, Sipped, and Syrups.
I especially love the section on homemade syrups. A few of the flavors include vanilla, rose petal, jalapeño, and orgeat. They often take only a couple extra steps and add such a wonderful flavor (plus they are good for coffee and other uses!).
The fun illustrations are provided by Claudia Frittitta. Instead of photos, each drink is paired with a full page, vibrant drawing of the finished beverage.
Measurements are listed in Metric and US Customary. Titles are written in English. Each recipe has a short headnote with background information, yield, tips, and ingredient notes.
Spiced Apple Punch
With the upcoming fall season, I wanted to focus on the Spiced Apple Punch for this review. This easy drink pairs apple juice or cider with a warming combination of spices and thinly sliced apples.
It is served warm in heatproof glasses with a festive cinnamon sugar rim and crystallized ginger pieces on cocktail picks.
This punch is enough for about 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) per person, but the ingredients can easily be doubled as desired.
Simmer the ingredients for at least 4 minutes for a hint of the spices or a bit longer for more flavor.
Make sure the glasses are heatproof to keep them from cracking.
I also made the Cosmonot, Balsamic Strawberry Fizz, Lemon-Lime Sunrise, and Piña Colada.
The Cosmonot is an easy and refreshing drink with an exciting combination of orange marmalade, cranberry juice, lime juice, and orange blossom water. It all comes together in less than a couple of minutes. The drink is topped with sparkling water immediately before serving.
I absolutely loved the flavors in the Balsamic Strawberry Fizz. The classic pairing of balsamic vinegar and strawberries is muddled together with fresh basil leaves and served with chilled sparking water.
The Lemon-Lime Sunrise has such gorgeous layering with grenadine slowly added to a glass with lime juice, orange juice, and lemon lime soda. The drink is topped with an orange slice and maraschino cherry to garnish.
This non-alcoholic version of a Piña Colada has a creamy blend of coconut cream, homemade pineapple juice, and crushed ice. It is garnished with pineapple wedges and the leaves from the fresh pineapple.
Nixology is a great pick for those interested in fun and easy drinks for every occasion using little to no alcohol. Many come together in as little as 5 minutes, often using everyday pantry staples.
Most of the ingredients are readily available in larger American supermarkets. A few items that may require further searching include hibiscus tea, blood orange juice, passionfruit, matcha, black sesame seeds, lavender sprigs, rose petals, elderflower, and cardamom pods.
Spiced Apple Punch Recipe
Excerpt from Nixology
Spiced Apple Punch
- Handful of crystallized ginger
- Maple syrup to finish
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1.25 liters (5 cups) cloudy apple juice or apple cider
- 125 milliliters (1/2 cup) water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 centimeters (1 1/4 inch) piece ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- 1 apple cut into thin slices
- Thread some cocktail sticks with one or two chunks of crystallized ginger- enough for your guests- and set aside.
- Pour a small amount of maple syrup onto a small plate, then mix the cinnamon and sugar on a second plate.
- Dip the rim of a glass into the syrup, and then press into the sugar and cinnamon to coat, repeating with each glass.
- Pour the apple juice or cider and water into a saucepan and add the spices, brown sugar, fresh ginger, and vanilla extract.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reached your desired level of spice.
- Remove from the heat and add the apple slices.
- Serve in heatproof glasses, garnished with the prepared cocktail sticks.