Sunday, August 22, 2021

ART BOOZEL (Cocktails Inspired By Modern and Contemporary Artists) by Jennifer Croll and Illustrated by Kelly Shami August 2021


Written by Colleen Tsoukalas

Jennifer Croll is a prolific writer, in addition to working full time as the editorial director at Greystone Books. She has written about Fashion: Bad Boys of Fashion, Bad Girls of Fashion, and Fashion That Changed The World, reviewed here. So, Fashion came first, but then, along came Cocktails and Art and I read, loved and reviewed, Free the Tipple here. Very much in awe of the recipes created to honor Artists' individual talents, I just had to attend Jennifer's latest book launch, recently, at the beautiful Polygon Gallery at the North Van Quay. All of her book launches are in fantastic locations, often in collaboration with other Artists and events. When you go to get your book signed, you will always be somewhere memorable, and you will always have a commemorative cocktail. The two served up this time were The Yoko Ono and The Diego Rivera! Both books, Free the Tipple and Art Boozel, are full of recipes that you can make to celebrate your favorite Artist or learn to make new ones to celebrate an Artist new to you. Basic Equipment, Glassware, Cocktail Ingredients, Garnishes and Rims, and Syrups are all there. You can easily make the syrups and most ingredients can be found in specialty sections of the larger grocery and food supply stores. I know, Do The Research, but, I might just consult Mixologist extraordinaire, Amber Bruce, as she is another creative who has the lowdown on the hows and wheres of fabulous concoctions.

Art Boozel is a read that will take you to local and international Artists and will inspire you to make a drink that brings them and their work to your table. There are more than 50 here and a cocktail for each. Having seen the patterned world of Yayoi Kusama (see below). I loved Kelly Shami's illustration of Kusama wearing a polka dot top and carrying pumpkin cocktails. I knew about the dots and patterns but not about pumpkins, which are also common motifs in her world. Cindy Sherman recently had an exhibit The Vancouver Art Gallery and I did my best to be part of that (see below). I adore the idea of transformation- as Croll says, Sherman, "transforms herself into clowns, movie stars, socialites and misfits-and proves that identity is easily manipulated." (Pg. 108)  The recipe for The Cindy Sherman, includes Butterfly Pea Flowers which change the colour of the drink to purple. Shami's illustration shows Sherman, surrounded by a purple drink with limes and, she is wearing purple lipstick.

Performance Artist, Yoko Ono will have an exhibit The Vancouver Art Gallery, this October, 2021 through May 2022 and I am sure this will be a special event, hopefully with signature cocktails. Hers is "inspired by Grapefruit, the influential artist's 1964 book, which is full of performance pieces called "event scores" for readers to enact." (Pg. 24) Yoko, with her signature long, black hair, is enveloped by her apricot brandy cocktail with grapefruits spirals, swirling around her.

I knew about Artist Banksy, but Jennifer Croll helps you to create your own Art (or at least a good copy) by making a stencil for the surface of the Banksy Cocktail that she says, "disappears as you drink it". 

Jennifer Croll's research, writing and imaginative cocktail recipes provide a unique and foolproof way   to host your next bash, especially for those in book clubs, or to take as a gift to those who host you!

Let's toast Art Boozel by Jennifer Croll!  Raise a glass, (the right vessel, please) to Kelly Shami for her delightful illustrations!

Via Instagram 

Jennifer Croll's latest book: Art Boozel

Illustrations by Kelly Shami

The patterned world of Yayoi Kusama 

At a recent exhibit of Cindy Sherman at The Vancouver Art Gallery

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