Disclosure: This is an honest review written by us based on our experience using this book to make cocktails. Although we were not compensated to write this review, this post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here.
About The Book
The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book: Appropriate Libations for All Occasions, written by Lou Bustamante, is a 160-page recipe book that’s filled with a mix of eighty-two classic cocktails as well as original recipes that are inspired by the show. The recipes included in this book are divided into categories by type—the Stirred Drinks & After-Dinner Drinks, Refreshing Drinks, Party Drinks, Predinner Drinks & Hangover Helpers, and Everyday Drinks—so you can easily choose which you want to try.
• 82 cocktail recipes with ingredient lists, methods, and brief descriptions of each cocktail
• Beautifully styled photos of most of the cocktails
• Photos from scenes in Downton Abbey
• A foreword written by Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey
• An introduction written by Annie Gray, a food historian
• A short illustrated glassware guide
• A table of contents that includes page numbers for the beginning of the book’s five sections
• An index with cocktail names and ingredients for easy navigating
What We Liked
1. Theme: We’re both fans of the show, so we really enjoyed that this book was created for people like us. To be honest though, Downton Abbey is really just a broad theme. It’s almost as if this is a cocktail book filled with very interesting, respectable, complex recipes that just happened to have a bunch of screen grabs from the show in it. It’s not kitschy at all like many movie or show-themed books can be.
2. Bookmark: Unlike all of our other cocktail recipe books, this one has a fabric ribbon bookmark that you can use to keep your place. And it’s even a coordinating gold color that matches the book.
3. Design: The Official Downton Abbey Book is beautifully designed; it’s honestly the most glamorous book we own. It features intricate details just like the show, including gold foil elements, swashes, and lovely fonts all throughout—a graphic designer’s dream.
4. Photography: From start to finish, stills pulled directly from the show (with accurate glassware used for each cocktail on-screen) and beautiful original photos of the drinks that look as if they could’ve been taken on-set are weaved between the recipes.
5. Descriptions: Short histories of the classics as well as fun facts for originals that tie them into the show (and not in a kitschy way) are included with each recipe. We especially enjoyed learning about the inspiration behind the recipes created just for this book.
6. Sections: This book is divided into categories by drink type, and each is cleverly named after places in the show—The Library, The Grounds, The Village, etc. This was helpful when we wanted to find specific types of drinks.
7. Libation Notes: Short tips and fun facts, called “libation notes,” are included with many of the recipes, and all of them are printed in a white font against the lovely gold foil background. These were often related directly to the show, so it was fun to learn more about characters and cocktails while reading them.
What We Disliked
There was honestly nothing about this recipe book that we didn’t like. If we had to nitpick, there were maybe two recipes that listed cups as a measurement for an ingredient instead of ounces so we had to convert them ourselves, but that’s all. And we’ll also say this book did give us major glassware envy, so you’ve been warned.
Who Should Buy This Book
In our opinion, The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book: Appropriate Libations for All Occasions is best for readers who:
• Are Downton Abbey fans (You may get a little less out of the experience if you aren’t a fan of the show)
• Are cocktail enthusiasts who enjoy more complex, dry, and bitter recipes
• Would like a new beautifully designed cocktail book for their coffee table