The Two Thirsty Gardeners
You don't actually need a beard (hipster or non-ironic) to buy Brew It Yourself. But a sprinkling of New Age stubble, like that on the eponymous thirsty gardeners, will certainly help.
The book is arranged into sections starting with The Basics before moving on to the tricky areas of wine and mead.
I have had various flirtations with home brewing and, unless you find natural wines a bit too crowd-pleasing and mainstream, it is generally easiest to stick with cocktails and liqueurs with an occasional foray into beers.
The novice, then, should start at the back of the book with Glogg, a Swedish mulled wine that uses ingredients you are likely to have lying around and requires a preparation time of minutes rather than weeks
Likewise, the egg nog recipe is equally straightforward and Christmassy.
Other infusions, liqueurs and cocktails are more versatile and simple enough to give the confidence to move onto something more ambitious.
Beers and ciders require more kit, attention and patience but the end results can be a pleasing source of reliable quaffing - a good alternative to a six-pack from the supermarket.
If you want to go all Good Life, there is parsnip wine (extra authenticity if grown on your own allotment), oak leaf, rhubarb and fragrant fig.
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