When you think about bar food, you probably think of salty, savory snacks. But at Butter & Scotch in Brooklyn, the bar food is always sweet. The place is a combination bakery and cocktail bar, which is just the kind of place that I would open up if I were to open a bar myself. Butter & Scotch: Recipes from Brooklyn’s Favorite Bar and Bakery is loaded with recipes that are either for drinks or for enjoying with drinks. Like the bar, it’s a little different than your average cookbook and that’s what makes it fun.
The book opens, of course, with an introduction to the owners and founders of Butter & Scotch that tells you a little bit about how they came to open a bakery-bar hybrid. From there, it gets into the the recipes. The first section includes basic recipes for both baked goods – simple cupcake batters, frostings, pie crusts and sauces – as well as cocktail basics – syrups for sweetening and flavoring drinks, as well as instructions for infusing spirits at home. The rest of the book is divided up into times of the day when both eating and drinking are appropriate: brunch, happy hour, night and late night. Brunch covers sweet and savory items, as well as bloody marys and pickles. Happy hour serves up a few sweet drinks, as well as boozy floats and hot toddies. Night offers a wide array of desserts and late night gets crazy with boozy shakes and “jell-ohh” shots.
The recipes are well-written and fun to make. There are plenty of photos in this book to inspire your baking, as well. Some of the baked goods are infused with spirits or liqueurs, but many are not, so you don’t need to drink to find recipes worth making in here. What you will find is a lot of inspiration for how to up your brunch game or improve your dinner parties by making them seem like an experience, rather than a meal.