Book Review of Shadows: WitchCraft Cocktails by Julia Halina Hadas

🔮🔮🔮🔮🔮/5!

This beautiful book provides you with a whole new way to cast spells and honour the planet with REAL magic potions. The author herself contacted me and offered to send me a copy of her book, and I’m so glad because I absolutely loved it! It’s beautifully written, super informative, full of really gorgeous photography, and just so creative. It’s more than a book of drink recipes, it’s a whole grimoire of magical potions and everything you need to know to make them and use them in spells and rituals.

🔮 – Though it’s more than just a book of recipes, they do make up the bulk of the book so let’s talk about that. The cover tells you there are 70 seasonal drinks throughout the book so you think 70 recipes, right? WRONG. In addition to the drinks themselves there are recipes for bitters, shrubs, syrups, and infused alcohols using a wide variety of flavours and magical botanicals. Then, in the back of the book you find an appendix that lists classic cocktails and all of their recipes – so your manhattans and martinis and sex on the beach. When I see this I know that this is a book that will encourage me (and you!) to start creating our own magical cocktails. Julia gives us all the parts, and all the meaning, and after experimenting with her potions you have everything you need to continue personalizing your practice. Brilliant!

🔮 – I was totally blown away by the variety of drinks, and how creative they were. Though many are riffs on classic drinks like an Aviation for Dreamwork or a Lemon Drop for Imbolc, they’re all completely unique and unlike recipes I’ve seen anywhere else. The recipes are divided by season and the selections for each season reflect things like the astrological signs and sabbats we encounter around those times, and wacky events like mercury retrograde! There was also a wide variety in types of drinks, so you have beer drinks, hot chocolates and ciders, frosty ice drinks and even coffees. There really is something for everybody.

The Prosperous Pumpkin from WitchCraft Cocktails

🔮 – Speaking of having something for everybody, there are quite a few drinks that either do not contain any alcohol, or offer a substitution for those remaining sober. The Love Witch’s potion is one of my favourites in the book and its alcohol free! The flavourful syrups that contain witchy botanicals are also alcohol-free and there’s no reason you can’t use these in other drinks like coffee or pop or even just soda water. The book does focus on alcohol and even talks a bit about the history of alcohol in magic, but I like that it provides these recipes so people know everyone in the group doesn’t have to be drinking alcohol to be included. The stigma of sobriety SUCKS and it’s nice to see witchcraft cocktails for all kinds of witches!

🔮 – So let’s get to the main event – the magical cocktails themselves. Each of the 70 drinks have a recipe with a background on what makes it magical and easy-to-follow steps, suggestions for ritualizing the creation of the drink, and then “advanced magic” meaning a crystal or tarot card that resonates with the energy of the drink, and that you can use for your spell or ritual. This was SO well done and all the correspondences are so real and accurate! This isn’t a gimmick, this is real witchcraft. In drinks focused on the moon she includes lunar flowers and flavours like lavender and violet, and encourages you to drink it under specific phases for specific purposes. The first drink in the fall section is called Persephone’s Descent and includes pomegranates and the high priestess tarot card. A purifying drink may include sage or eucalyptus in the ingredients and recommend meditating with selenite – which are all perfect for that! I love the names given to these potions like The Prosperous Pumpkin, The Blockage Buster, The Witch’s Offering, and the Strawberry Moon Daiquiri. They all sound so delicious. There are some drinks that require a lot of ingredients you may not have on hand, especially if you don’t have a cocktail pantry, but many that us newbies can try without going broke.

The Witch;s Cauldron from WitchCraft Cocktails

🔮 – Finally, let’s talk about the photography. Oh my god, you guys. This book is BEAUTIFUL. It’s a hardcover book with lots of gold elements and dark photography showing witchy ingredients with bar tools and many of the cocktails themselves. Since they’re such unique recipes, you know these aren’t just remarkably accurate stock photos and they’re absolutely beautiful. If you don’t think a cocktail counts as a magic potion I bet you to check out some of these photos! Purple drinks dressed with jasmine flowers surrounded by pieces of apatite and Chrysocolla, a Witch’s Cosmo on a stack of old magic books with amethyst chunks nearby, chamomile-infused bourbons in antique glass jars, and the tarot deck in with the shaker and mixing spoon. It’s just fantastic. It really ties together how beautiful and creative the entire book is, and shows you just how spooky and magical some of these potions can be.

I highly recommend this book, like, in general. I found it really interesting to read, and the photography has had me flipping through over and over just to look. The magical correspondences of different foods and flavours and drinks has had me thinking about the magic of my actual food a little bit more. It also reminded me how excited I am to be able to do witchy stuff like this with others again. I miss my friends! My people! Reading the book, I imagined having friends over and making special cocktails for a full moon and infusing those with magical energy. It sounds like heaven! For now I’ll sip on my Spiritual Healing Elixir while wearing my Chrysocolla pendant and keep those happy vibes for the future.

Image of author Julia Halina Hadass holding a pink cocktail

About the Author: Julia Halina Hadas
Julia Halina Hadas is a practicing witch and avid craft cocktail fanatic and bartender. Having worked at a distillery and as a craft cocktail bartender in the San Francisco Bay Area, she combined her love of the craft cocktail movement with her witchcraft practice. She holds a BA in anthropology, and is a certified crystal healer, shamanic, and reiki practitioner. You can learn more at WitchcraftCocktails.com or her website, FireLotusCreations.com.

Buy Witchcraft Cocktails: 70 Seasonal Drinks Infused With Magic & Ritual at Indigo.ca

Buy Witchcraft Cocktails: 70 Seasonal Drinks Infused With Magic & Ritual at IndieBound.org

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