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Peterson's Happy Hour by Valerie Peterson

A Sassy Book Served Straight Up with a Smile

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Peterson's Happy Hour by Valerie Peterson - Cocktail Book Review

Peterson's Happy Hour by Valerie Peterson

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Valerie Peterson knows books and she knows cocktails and Peterson's Happy Hour brings the two together in a fun book that is nothing short of enjoyable. A part of series that opened with Peterson's Holiday Helper: Spirited Cocktails and Helpful Hints to Brighten Daily Life, this is a bartending guide that the hipster, the cocktail enthusiast with style, and those who simply enjoy a great drink and a great read (in combo, of course) are going to want to add to their library. Filled with vintage imagery, retro page design, and Peterson's smart commentary, from start to finish, this is a winner.

Drinks for the Daily Grind

Read the book jacket and you have a feel for what you are in for when it comes to Peterson's Happy Hour:

"Whether you need to cool off after a computer meltdown, dilute a deer-icidal impulse when Bambi's relatives are eating your garden, or subdue the sticker shock of your grocery bill, the refreshing solutions and helpful tips in this book will keep you afloat."

That sort of smartly written, snappy prose is found on every page and Peterson does a wonderful job when making light of those every day foibles that get in the way of our bliss. Need to chill out after dealing with the supply-crazy office manager? Check out the Hole Punch (whiskey, pear, wine, and ginger ale) in the chapter filled with "Workday Unwinders". If a break from that extensive remodel or disastrous plumbing break are getting you down? Turn to the "Home Improvement Infusements" and find cocktails like the Demolition Daiquiri (dark rum, apricot, and lime) or the Silver Lining (tequila, orange, lime, and mango). It seems that she has found a drink for every major and minor annoyance in modern life and each is presented with a comedic word play that is so easy to relate to that you will be laughing (or at least smiling) before you even get around to making the drink.

As an added bonus, this bartending guide is illustrated with fun (often in a satirical context) vintage photographs of everyday life. For example, opposite the Fish-Story Punch recipe (spiced rum, peach schnapps, black tea) a full page Kodachrome-esque photo of two young boys with their "big" catch - a whopping half-pounder. Other illustrations are of vintage advertising such as the "What every young girl should know... coffee perks you up!" spread complete with a rolly polly grandmother who seems to have already had her Adulterated Coffee Break (Kahlua, coffee, milk) for the day.

The quirks and enjoyment in Peterson's Happy Hour are endless. It is a book you will want to have around for those days when you need a little help finding your smile and a great drink to help maintain it.

A Note About the Author: Beyond penning books, Valerie Peterson also writes for About.com as the Book Publishing Guide. She has wonderful advice for current and aspiring authors who wish to learn more about the industry and get advice for working in it. Peterson has also contributed to Cocktails.About.com, covering the 2012 Manhattan Cocktail Classic. In no way has this affiliation influenced the outcome of this review.

About the Book

  • Published in 2010 by Clarkson Potter
  • 128 pages
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9780307590510
  • Cover Price: $17.00 U.S. ($20 Canada)

A Note About the Author: Beyond penning books, Valerie Peterson also writes for About.com as the Book Publishing Guide. She has wonderful advice for current and aspiring authors who wish to learn more about the industry and get advice for working within it. Peterson has also contributed to Cocktails.About.com, covering the 2012 Manhattan Cocktail Classic. In no way has this affiliation influenced the outcome of this review.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the author. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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