My reviewrating: 4 of 5 stars
Appetizers may well be my favorite food group. Dips, spreads, baskets of bread, crudités, amuse-bouches, miniature what-have-you, any variety of fried cheese, from saganaki to jalapeño poppers. My new cookbook boyfriend Sips & Apps combines an array of pre-or outside-meal noshes with a section of horizon-expanding libations, the latter of which has served to lift me well above my college-honed here’s-some-booze-here’s-some-mixer drink-makin’ skills. I’ve become a lime-squeezing, simple-syrup-dolloping, cocktail-shaking fool: fresh margaritas with a touch of chili, sunset-pink hibiscus rum punch, a concoction of cucumber, lime, and soju (Korean sweet potato vodka) as subtle and refreshing as a good night’s sleep with a kitten curled on your pillow. I find myself longing for winter, to try the Harvest Pumpkin Toddy (like pie laced with brandy!) or the Holiday Hot-Buttered Rum. As for the nibbles, I haven’t had a less-than-perfect one yet, though the bacon, blue cheese, and pecan “cocktail cookies” are early standouts. The dishes are well and unusually spiced (a roasted red pepper and almond spread, e.g., is perked up with orange juice), and yield just enough for one to have leftovers after a party or film festival or art opening—or whatever excuse you generate to keep cooking.