Blog, Book Reviews

Wild Drinks and Cocktails by Emily Han [Review & Giveaway!]

Amber Shehan November 9, 2015

Emily Han (photo credit Laure Joliet) making delicious drinks for her book "Wild Drinks and Cocktails" - see the review on
Emily Han (photo credit Laure Joliet) making delicious drinks for her book "Wild Drinks and Cocktails" - see the review on

Emily Han making delicious drinks for “Wild Drinks and Cocktails” (image credit Laure Joliet)


My regular readers already know that we keep things pretty simple around here. Thereis  a basic equation:

Herbs+Foraging+Booze = One Happy Pixie!  

So I am pleased as punch (pun totally intended) to be hosting a spot on the blog tour welcoming the new book from Emily Han, “Wild Drinks and Cocktails.”  

I have been following Emily Han for a while now. I know her work as an herbalist, writer, and recipe creator, as well as from her position as the Communications Director at That’s why I was jazzed to hear about her new book!

Wild Drinks and Cocktails is about foraging wild foods and crafting them into drinks of all types. Emily teaches you the basics of how to forage in your own backyard, nearby forest, or your farm market. Find fresh herbs and fruits and make your own handcrafted waters, syrups, vinegar drinks, spirits, wines, and sodas! It’s easier than you think!  

Seriously. Do you have sugar? Water? Peppercorns? Rosemary? Maybe some fresh mint in the yard…or a pine tree? You can make infused sodas, water kefir, syrups, and even cocktail bitters that will make your local hipster bartender twirl his mustache with approval.

[bctt tweet=”#WildDrinks is perfect for anyone who wants to up their #cocktail game! #foraging”]

Wild Drinks and Cocktails offers something for every level of experience. Emily has created a collection of recipes and techniques that are accessible to beginners. She guides the reader through basic foraging, infusing, and drinkmaking tips and tricks. Even if you are new to herbalism, foraging or mixing cocktails and mocktails, you can make a delicious drink after reading this book! Best of all, you can do it all using a few simple ingredients and equipment that you already have on hand. 

I consider myself to be an advanced infuser o’strange things. I’ve made infused salts, sugars, honey, wine, booze, and vinegar. Even so, Emily’s expertise has taught me a few new tricks and given me some new ideas to explore in my kitchen. 

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Wild Drinks and Cocktails is not just a book of recipes! The research that Emily put into the resource material at the beginning of the book and start of each chapter is solid. There are lists of the types of sweeteners and how to use them, and a detailed etymology of the word “syrup” among the information in this book – honestly, more text than I expected from a cookbook. No complaints here, though!

One part of the book that got my attention was the making of “Squashes.” Squashes are syrups made with fresh fruit, a condensed and potent blast of flavor!  It turns out that I have made blackberry squash and citrus squash, but didn’t know there was a special term to describe them. “Smashes” are much the same concept…muddled fruit preserved into a syrup. Who knew? It gives me a great excuse to stomp around my kitchen like the Hulk, snarling and shouting “PIXIE SMASH!!!!” as I mush up fruit.

A previous blog tour stop was my friend Colleen at “Grow Forage Cook Ferment” as she made a Rose Hip Syrup and Rose Hip Whiskey Smash from the book’s recipes! (WHISKY SMASH!!!) 

To see the full schedule of the blog tour, click here to visit Emily’s site.  

Want to win a copy of Wild Drinks and Cocktails? Enter below! 


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Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!


  1. Julie on November 9, 2015 at 11:28 am

    I am loving the concept of this book, and not sure if I’ve seen one like it yet on shelves! I love using herbs and tonics as healing remedies. I’m still learning a lot about the practice of herbalism, but would love to learn more with this book and get some recipes going!

    • Amber Shehan on November 10, 2015 at 11:34 am

      Thanks for your comment, Julie! Emily’s really done a good job with this book – you don’t have to be a hardcore herbalist to make these awesome drinks. 🙂 Good luck!

  2. Emily on November 9, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Thank you for your lovely review, Amber! PIXIE SMASH!!! 🙂

  3. maysa on November 9, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    The drinks look and sound amazing!

  4. Gretchen on November 10, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Right up my alley—I love using herbs and such to infuse beverages!

  5. Micah on November 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I’m a new Pixie reader – loving your blog. 🙂
    Thanks for the intro to Emily and her new book!

  6. Amber on November 11, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I love some sage in my G&T’s! Awesome book!

    • Amber Shehan on November 11, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Oooh, never tried that one. That sounds lovely! 😀

  7. Chris on November 12, 2015 at 2:17 am

    I’m completely intrigued by your review. Amber. I recently read Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers by Buhner. Before that I never thought about alcoholic beverages as being herbal or medicinal. And now after reading your review I realize I have a lot still to learn about the possiblities for healing brews.

    • Amber Shehan on November 12, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Thanks, Chris! Buhner’s book opened my eyes, too…or at least let me know that some of my wacky ideas weren’t so very wacky. At least wacky with historical reference. 🙂

      The kinds of cordials and vinegar-based drinks that Emily writes about is already making an impact on my kitchen brewing. My citrus syrup/squash that I made following her method tastes brighter and better than my own past attempts. 🙂

  8. Tina on November 12, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Great info for someone just getting started on using herbs..I just love this blog also…

  9. Joy on November 14, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Gin & tonic, which is boring but always good!

  10. Wild Drinks & Cocktails Blog Tour | Emily Han on December 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    […] read the post […]

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