Dinner and a Cocktail? Sign Us Up!


What if we told you that there is a way to combine your favorite cocktails with your favorite meals? And no, we don’t mean separately. From Kristy Gardner comes Cooking with Cocktails, a cookbook that is designed to combine alcohol with different recipes from around the world for a mouth-watering meal. Rooted in Italian and French cuisine, this is a way to celebrate all that a meal has to offer; the alcohol of your choosing is meant to pull flavors from the meal that you may have never noticed. It makes every meal an adventure!


Some of our favorites include:

  • Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs
  • Apple Cider Pork Loin with Thyme and Rosemary
  • Whiskey-Soaked Vanilla Anise Cherries
  • Limoncello Spot Prawns with Fresh Black Pepper


We love this book so much that we wanted to share one recipe with you – one for Mushroom Thyme Sherry Soup, and it is to die for.


5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 large shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. fresh mushrooms (button, Portobello, oyster, shiitakes, morels or chanterelles are all good), chopped into half-inch pieces
1 cup dry sherry
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
½ to ¾ cup heavy cream
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh chives and crusty bread, to garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy-based pot over medium heat. When sizzling, add the shallots. Soften for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook through, 12 to 15 minutes. If using more delicate mushrooms, such as shiitakes, morels or chanterelles, lessen the cooking time by 5 minutes. Pour in the sherry. Reduce for 2 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the flour and cook for 3 minutes to develop a roux (this will thicken the soup). Whisk in the stock, Italian seasoning, herbs, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a light boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cream: If you like your soup creamier, add it all; if you like less cream, only use about ½ cup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Pick up Gardner’s book on February 14, grab a cocktail, and let us know what your favorite dish is!

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