Giveaway: Quench by Ashley English

October 27, 2014(updated on August 30, 2021)

Quench cover

For first 23 years of my life, homemade drinks were limited to coffee, tea, and orange juice reconstituted from frozen concentrate. Soon after I moved to Philadelphia, I learned what a pleasure it could be to make infused iced teas (black spiced with lavender and green steeped with a few apple slices are still favorites from those days). Since then, I’ve played with syrups, shrubs, kombucha, and the occasional homemade soda carbonated with champagne yeast.

Quench intro

However, Ashley English‘s new book (which officially comes out tomorrow!) makes me realize that I’ve only just tapped at the surface of what is possible in the world of homemade beverages. Called Quench, this lovely little hardback features shrubs, infused spirits, fermented sips, herbal tisanes, sweet/tart sodas, party punches, and inventive cocktails.

Quench infused liquors

What I particularly like about this book is that there is something here for just about everyone. Kids will love helping to make the homemade Lemon Lime Soda (page 23), while parents will be happy that it only requires five ingredients (and other than citric acid, they’re all kitchen staples). Hard core DIY folks will dig the wine making tutorial (page 155), while those of us who like a good infusion will happily explore the chapter called Spirited (it starts on page 103).

Quench gin and tonic punch

I am also taken by the fact that Quench includes both recipes for seasonal, serviceable basics (like the Pear Bitters on page 143) and then suggestions for how to use them in something delicious, like the Cozy Cardigan Cocktail, (further down on page 143). I’ve also made a mental note that I must someday frost a cake with the Lavender and Honey Ganache that is used in the Lavender Hot Chocolate on page 84.

Quench back

I’ve had a serious crush on this book since last winter, when Ashley’s editor sent me a copy of the bound manuscript and asked if I might write a blurb for the back. I spent half a day lost in the words and recipes, and have looked forward to the finished book ever since. The completed version is better than I could have imagined, printed on sturdy paper and illustrated with Jen Altman’s perfect photography.

Quench spine

Thanks to Ashley and Roost Books, I have two copies of Quench to give away. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite homemade beverage. It can be hard or soft, simple or complex. OR, if you prefer, share something that’s on your to-make list.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, November 1, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by the end of the day on Sunday, November 2, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to all.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Roost Books sent me three copies of Quench. One was for photography and review purposes, and the other two were to give away. No additional compensation was required and, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely mine. 


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387 thoughts on "Giveaway: Quench by Ashley English"

  • This book looks lovely! I’ve started making my own ginger ale using wine yeast, but I’d really like to try growing my own ginger bug for a real brewed ginger ale.

  • Lemon ginger tea with a splash of locally made ginger liqueur. Just the thing if you’re feeling a little under the weather.

  • I’ve been taking the cinnamon sticks & vanilla beans from the pear butter we’ve been making and using them to infuse rum, then mix the rum with ginger beer, ginger ale or apple cider. Tastes like October!

  • I’m kind of addicted to a sort of a shrub I make by the glass — a shot of blackcurrant balsamic in seltzer with a squirt of lime juice. It’s refreshing because of the acid, but not too flimsy.

  • this winter, i’m going to plan a drinking garden — lots of herbs that make fantastic drinks. I’m looking forward to making camomile & lavender tea from my own garden!

  • Tis the season for mulled wine! I follow the Joy of Cooking recipe as soon as it gets chilly. Protip: keep a batch of spiced simple syrup in the fridge.

  • I haven’t made a lot of drinks at home outside of tea, but I would love to try! I have tried infused peach vodka before which was wonderful.

  • Goodness, I need this book. I’ve fallen in love with infused spirits. I’m planning a spiced pear rum and an aquavit-type of liquor. I’d love to branch out beyond just booze.

  • Rosemary ginger lemonade – simple syrup that is infused with rosemary and ginger. Mix with lemon juice and sparkling water, OR lemon juice and vodka. Delicious!

  • Have on hand sparkling waters… plain and flavored. Pour in glass.
    Stir in lemon or lime simple syrup.
    Stir in a spoon of good quality frozen juice concentrate.

  • I have a weekly shot of a drug that totally kills my vitamins, so I drink an entire pitcher of guilt free homemade strawberry lemonade. I can the concentrate and share it with my mom.

  • Juicing a red pepper, 4 carrots, 6 cara cara oranges… My favorite mix. Sometimes I add kale for fun. 😉

  • Oh wow, this book sounds amazing. I love making Ginger Ale. I talk about this to people sometimes, and they get this confused look on their face and say something like, ginger ale is ok I guess. i only drink it when I’m sick. At which point I rush to inform them that they have not really had a true ginger ale, as the ones sold in stores have next to no real ginger left in them. I get a little over enthusiastic on the subject, i wont lie.

    When I make ginger ale, My home smells like ginger for days afterward. Its an amazing thing to come home to, and the drink itself is so much better than anything you can buy.

  • My favoite custom beverage is to steep a vanilla bean in lemonade. It also works quite nicely in a jug of iced tea.

  • My very favorite is the most simple of all: A simple glass of ice tea with lemon – – and a leaf of fresh mint!

    The problem in my NYC apartment is having fresh mint available at all times. I am always growing them in my sunny, south-facing window and they always die before their time.

  • we used to make beer and hard cider, now I want to make root beer and ginger ale! This summer we did all kinds of flavored lemonade – bought lemons by the case.

  • I drink alot of seltzer with any fruit I have around—peach slices, strawberries, apple slices, etc. thrown in. I also just started infusing vodka and I tried thai peppers in the vodka. I took them out after about tw weeks, and the vodka was amazing. It had just the right amount of heat!

  • we infuse vodka with lots of lemon slices and it tastes like a lemon drop. I also love homemade mocha, yummy.

  • I like to find ways to use foraged wild fruits and herbs that grow around the farm. Crabapples, choke cherries, mint, honeysuckle and Hawthorne.
    This year I really enjoyed a mint liquor made with grated cucumber. Very fresh and super chilling, not Creme-de-menthey at all.

  • I guess I’m a pretty basic drink maker – ice tea, hot tea, lemonade. I’d love to get into more (for me) exotic drinks!

  • How to pick a favorite?! It is hard to go wrong with classic sweet tea made with simple syrup and some fresh mint. Fruit infused simple syrup makes it even better or fruit tea. Then of course this time of year coffee or hot chocolate with homemade Irish cream liqueur.

  • I love homemade lemonade. I would like to learn how to make alcoholic drinks as I like to entertain and right now I’m limited to wine/beer.

  • Oh my – what a lovely book! One of my recent favorites is strawberry infused rum mojitos. Once the summer strawberries come in I always have a batch of this rum at the ready! The strawberry flavor is so fresh tasting and a nice variation on the traditional mojito.

  • this looks like an amazing Christmas present for a foodie friend of mine! Are there any canning-type recipes or just awesome beverages?

    1. There’s not a lot in the book that is designed for canning. That said, a number of the infusions would be shelf stable for a good long time because of their high alcohol content.

  • Have only experimented with making wine, would love some more ideas. This book sounds like what i’ve been looking for.

  • Every Jan or Feb I make a bottle of Lemoncello. I try to use Meyer lemons. The process is simple.
    I like the repetitive process of removing the pith of the strips of lemon rind. Making this in dreary winter brings some “sunshine” inside as memories of sipping Lemoncello with friends on a hot summer night warms me up! It won’t be long now!( till it’s sunny & warm again) is what I think every time I open the fridge & see the lemon strips infusing the alcohol!

  • Beautiful book! One of my favorite drinks is watermelon, fresh basil, and a generous pinch of sea salt—blended with a few ice cubes and and topped with some chilled sparking water.

  • I always keep 2 pitchers of iced tea in the fridge. I use 8 tea bags per 2 liter pitcher. While the water is boiling for the tea a one inch finger sized length of ginger very very thin. Then I toss the ginger with a sprinkle of sugar to start extracting the gingers flavors. After the tea bags have steeped for 5 minutes I add 1/4 cup honey. Then I pack the ginger slices in one of those egg shaped tea ball and let it steep in the tea for at least 4 hours. Let it steep for longer if you want it spicier.

    This is my go to drink instead of soft drinks.

    Hint: I totally sold on the super space saving Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre Jug with Hermetic Lid, 2-Liters. They are square and you will not believe how little space they use as compared to a round pitcher!

  • I have many favorites, but lately all I can think about is this years batch of Rumtopf. I cannot wait till the holidays so I can make some yummy cocktails with it!

  • I have to say that I make a wicked mojito! But that is truly a summer beverage. Along with lime mint syrup for a refreshing summer non-alcoholic treat. I don’t have a favorite winter beverage with the exception of a great cup of tea or coffee.

  • I’ve been making homemade kombucha for about 3 years and enjoy using a variety of teas. Lately I’ve been wanting more. This book sounds like it fills that want.

  • My answer is rather boring compared to most but what I drink the most of is coffee and / or lemonade and of course lots of water.

  • A while back I went a little nuts picking sour cherries. They’ve been mingling with sugar, vodka and a cinnamon stick for the past 15 months . The little bottle I keep in the freezer looks like frosted rubies and warms a fall night in the Berkshires.

  • I made strawberry applesauce and the remnant juice is amazing. So, now I’m experimenting with making the juice without the sauce.

  • This year I made blackberry bourbon for Christmas presents 🙂 I’d really like to learn to make a variety of iced teas.

  • My favorite (as of right now) is mineral or sparkling water with some lemonade or pomegranate juice. Not too sweet but some flavor and very refreshing!

  • I love an elderberry gin and tonic…I currently use an elderberry liquor, but am hoping to try to make my own elderberry syrup some day!

  • I started making kombucha this year. I am addicted and have sent many happy scobys on to new homes to produce more batches of love. I kinda like it simple second fermentation with ginger and lemon. Next on my list is cherry chia buch.

  • Love Jen altman’s photography and I’m such a beverage person so I’m looking forward to this book! I love a nice cocktail but the beverage that ends up at our table every meal is good ol’ sweet tea 🙂 never gets old.

  • A friend of mine makes a great summer cocktail – Tito vodka with ginger syrup and club soda. Add a spring of mint and you have a fabulous hot weather drink.

  • Cherry Bounce! (A sweet cherry infused bourbon or whiskey.) George Washington’s favorite drink. We currently have 8 mason jars on our bar waiting to be consumed. It goes down smooth straight and really changes any cocktail its mixed into. My mom claims the cherry’s eaten after they are soaked in the bourbon help her knees.

  • I enjoy canning my own juices from the bounty of the Willamette Valley – apple, grape, plum, blueberry – and then adding them to iced tea or mixing with sparkling water.

  • Every first week in October we gather with all our neighbors. We each bring all the remaining apples on our trees and sound windfalls up to our friends. The day is spent chipping the cleaned apples in a grinder and then placing them in two large antique hand operated people powered apple presses. Thousands of liters are pressed, then pasteurized and we syphon the juice to 10 liter bags. The result looks like boxed wine but is in 10 liter boxes instead. It is shelve stable until we run out or the next October comes. The day ends with a huge feast of roasted wild boar that has been cooking slowly all day outside and pot luck salads, sides and desserts. And of course freshly pressed cider, the perfect drink!

  • My newest interest is infusions, some alcoholic, some not. My most recent success was a plum-cinnamon-and-vanilla infused vodka. Delightful out of the freezer after dinner.

  • I like to heat up and shake together whole milk, honey, and cinnamon and add that to my coffee in the mornings. It’s gently fall-like but not very sweet. Perfect!

  • I’ve been experimenting with beverages over the past couple years. It started with the time consuming process of turning wild grapes into yummy juice, has continued through sumac-ade (not a success), red clover lemonade (need to find some red clover seed so I can do this all summer long) plus alcohol based experiments like quince liqueur and noccino from green walnuts. My favorite so far probably the quince liqueur when it’s mellowed for a year. This book would provide lots of new experiments I am sure.

  • Probably one of my favorite things to make has been homemade strawberry lemonade. I saw a tip online about saving your strawberry hulls that have some fruit attached to them and freezing them to use later. I added a gallon bag of them to a cup or two of water and a cup of sugar and made a boiled strawberry syrup, intensely ruby, drained out the hulls, and added the syrup to fresh squeezed lemonade. You can obviously do it with puréed strawberries too, and I’ve done that as well; if you do that in the summer, save the hulls for a batch when strawberries aren’t in season. It was fantastic! Can’t wait to do this again later this winter for a summery treat.

    I would love to get my hands on that book! I love everything Ashley puts out. Thanks so much for the giveaway! 🙂

  • This summer I made boozey peaches. (sliced peaches infused 5 weeks in a vodka and spiced rum simple syrup). They were to die for!! I am seriously kicking myself for not making more.

  • I made homemade vanilla from vodka and it is so much better than what you buy in stores. I hope to infuse fruit in vodka this winter.

  • I love making liquors, infustions, homemade Khaula is my favorite,as well as non alchoholic flavored tea…I am always looking for new ideas!!

  • I’ve been enjoying chaga tea tonic. It’s a mushroom with many healing properties– has a good body to it and is neutral yet deep tasting. It would be nice with almond or coconut milk for a creamy drink too.

  • I always like to keep a container of filtered water in the fridge, with some organic lemon slices & mint from my garden. Sometimes will use cucumber slices in place of the lemon. I’m currently trying to grow my own SCOBY to make Kombucha. Would love to explore the ideas in this book!

  • I’ve been making my own kombucha for several months now, and love it! I want to learn more about flavouring it… Also on my to-do list is some apple scrub with some tasty but not so pretty foraged apples. Mmm!

  • I have 2 — Cranberry Liqueur and Rico’s South-of-the-Border Coffee Liqueur, both recipes from the book “Cordials from Your Kitchen” by Pattie Vargas & Rich Gulling.

  • Herbal infusions and teas are my standard. I forget to play with herbs, fruit, and spirits until holidays come around, but when they do, boozy cranberries are amazing.

  • Infusions–mostly with the summer fruit I’ve squirreled away in the freezer. It helps keep the beverages (mostly water–but I’m thinking of branching out to carbination…..) cold and adds flavor as well!

  • I have three fruit infused liquors aging at the moment and would love to expand my cupboard. The book sounds wonderful!

  • Currently I’m trying to refine a spiced tea blend.. or really a tea made out of spices and maybe a little rooibos. And I’m trying to grow herbs indoors for herbal teas.

  • My go to drink, no matter the weather or time of day is a large mug of boiling water, 1 inch chunk of grated ginger, 1 whole lemon reamed out to get all the pulp and juice, generous…very generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

  • In the spirit of not wasting anything, my partner has experimented with using the last of the syrup in our canned peaches. The resulting drink is amazing – vodka, peach syrup &maybe a little bit of tonic is the basic that she works from – and it was really ratched up a level or three when she added the left-over syrup from our brandied peaches (which had been sitting there for about 18 mths). Yum.

    The best home-made liqueur I have ever tasted was feijoa liqueur made by a fellow kiwi – I tried it when I visited her back home in New Zealand. It was devine (feijoas are sometimes called pineapple guava).

  • I’d like to try making infused iced teas like you mentioned above since I have always used regular black tea for that. Thanks for the idea!

  • Hot cocoa is certainly my favorite homemade drink. Usually I just microwave it in the mug but making it on the stove is even better.

  • Oh, this book could be a lot of fun! I love making beer because there are so many creative variables. I’ve recently started making kombucha and experimenting with different flavors. I’ve tried hard apple cider (turned out decent) and this year am trying a wine from neighborhood grapes.

  • When I was in Romania this past summer I discovered “syrup de brad,” or syrup of the pine tree. It is made by gathering the green sprouts from the tree in the summer and boiling water and adding some sugar. The sprouts are taken out and you are left with a delicious sweet syrup. I had it mixed with lemonade. I got the recipe and you can be sure I’ll be on the lookout for those buds.

  • Sparkling water + (everything from Meyer lemons to cranberry and sparkling wine) = all good. I’m ready to explore more beyond shrubs which I explored this past summer with homemade vinegar.