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Book Review: Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook

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Hi! It’s Amy from Amy Nichols Special Events. I’m here to review a super FUN new book called Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook.

If you’re not familiar with Mrs. Lilien, you’ll have to check out her amazing style blog – chock full of visual inspiration in every post. If you love color and savvy style, then you’ll love Mrs. Lilien’s blog. And if you love cocktails, you’ll REALLY love Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook! Keep reading for just a few of the things that make this book a worthy addition to your bar…

retro cocktail green martini



1. Compact size.

Styled literally like a swatch fan, the book is a collection of recipes that fan out from a central pin. You can easily flip through the recipes to find one that suits your fancy. It is also the kind of book you can pack in a weekend bag and take with you if you’re heading out on a boat or to a summer house without adding much weight.

2. Color color everywhere!
Like just about anyone who is into party planning, what’s not to love about colorful rich images? All swatches are in full color, and the back of each recipe has a colored festive pattern too. The recipes include pictures of each ingredient, right down to the suggested barware!

3. Easy organization. The book is divided into three types of recipes: blended bevvies, shaken cocktails, and recipes suited for parties that serve 6 or more (party punch bowl anyone?).

4. Styling secrets.
Each recipe comes with a suggestion on the type of glassware to use, garnish directions, and a little sass too to make your drinks delightful (colored straws, silly swizzle sticks, etc).

5. Coated, waterproof pages.
This is one of the other ingenious things about this book, and one I appreciated while I was testing recipes! The pages are coated, so if you spill one of your concoctions, simply sponge off.

6. Tips galore.
The back of each recipe has a helpful tip and some alternatives for swapping ingredients. There’s also a helpful list of her preferred purveyors for barware.

Mrs. Lilien's Cocktail Swatchbook - Pink Lady Recipe



So which of the 100 or so recipes did I choose to test? For my tippler test drive, I chose two blended drinks: the Pink Lady and the Rock Lobster. Both are “frozen” treats, but if you don’t have a blender handy you can also enjoy them on the rocks!

pink lady drink from Mrs. Lilien's Cocktail Swatchbook

The Pink Lady (pink lemonade, vodka, lemon juice) would be really refreshing at any summer party or fun at a bridal shower.

Rock Lobster from Mrs. Lilien's Cocktail Swatchbook

As for the Rock Lobster, I really loved – it was the perfect combination of pomegranate juice and fresh raspberries. I will definitely make the Rock Lobster over and over again, and I can see tweaking it as the mood suits, perhaps garnishing with some fresh mint or adding a little lemon or lime juice. It was tasty and I think it would also be great served up in a martini glass.


I can’t wait to try more recipes, and now that summer is here, it’s the perfect time to whip out Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook and try all of them! The book would make an adorable hostess gift – you could pair it with a bottle of Stirring’s simple syrup, some striped straws, or a set of cute drinking glasses. Cheers!

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