Author: John Schlimm
Publisher: Lifelong Books
Pages: 164 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
I’m generally a Grinch when it comes to novelty cookbooks (or novelty anything), but this small and colorful book charmed me. Maybe it’s the holiday season, or more likely the focus on booze, but The Tipsy Vegan warmed me up like a spiked soy eggnog.
Although the book doesn’t take itself seriously, it’s not chintzy: considerable thought went into its design. It’s easy to read, nice to look at, and the cheeky humor works.
I also appreciate that every recipe incorporates alcohol in some way; it’s a nice hook and the pairings are often clever. Some alcoholic inclusions are a bit of a stretch – sorry, but splashing sake, rice wine vinegar, or your average cooking wine in a stir fry doesn’t cut it! But others are more clever: I particularly liked the French Toast with cognac, sweet-and-sour Oktoberfest cabbage made with beer, baked acorn squash with apple brandy, and merlot sorbet.
The dishes lean on the side of basic. If you’ve ever made sangria, you can make anything in here. There aren’t many recipes calling for meat substitutes or specialty items and you don’t need special equipment. You will have a harder time finding the apple brandy than any food ingredient.
I do have a major gripe, though. Outside of a brief sentence toward the front, the author doesn’t explain that some types of alcohol AREN’T vegan. A few pages discussing WHY certain types of alcohol aren’t vegan and how to identify them, as well as how to find vegan-friendly brands, would have been useful and considerate.