Pantry Cocktails turns everyday ingredients into unbelievable mixed drinks.

By Lisa Cericola
May 18, 2021
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Did you know that you can make a gin gimlet with sweet pickle brine? Or used canned peaches and vanilla extract to make a Bellini? The new book Pantry Cocktails will have you looking at your home bar in a whole new way.

Written by Katherine Cobbs, author of Cookies & Cocktails and Tequila & Tacos, the book is filled with fun and creative ways to incorporate everyday kitchen staples from the pantry, garden, and cupboard into drink recipes. With ingredients like jam, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and a few basic spirits, Cobbs says you can whip up drinks everyone will talk about.

"It took a pandemic to get many of us to realize just how creative we could be with the ingredients that we had on hand," says Cobbs. "That same improvisational approach is easily applied to home bartending, too."

Some of the cocktails might sound a little unusual: the liquid from a can of baked beans adds sweetness and spice to a Campfire Brown Derby, and peanut butter, milk, and Concord grape juice syrup are used in the Liquid Lunch, a rum-based drink. But the ideas are so intriguing that you'll want to try each one. (Even if only to say you drank a cocktail made with baked beans.)

Pantry Cocktails is beautifully illustrated with watercolor paintings, and even includes ideas for food boards, or platters of appetizers designed for grazing. Cobb's food boards are a smart mix of homemade and store-bought items that are designed to pair with specific drinks. A tiki-themed board includes recipes for Spam Musubi, Savory Shrimp Drip, Island Rukami, Coconut Dip, and Pickapeppa Nuts, with plantain chips, sesame crackers, and several types of tropical fruit to round out the board. The party host can copy the whole menu or pick and choose a few items from the list.

Happy hour is about to get way more interesting.