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"

  • To avoid all the added junk, I can a lot of juice concentrates. We then just add water to taste and fresh fruit if we want and presto!

    1. I make a ” woodman’s refresher ” when I can not fall asleep
      Heat 1-2 cups of milk (I do not do dairy so use almond/ coconut etc.) to medium simmer
      add 1-2 Tbsp of real maple syrup
      a dash or 2 of high quality cinnamon
      a dash of salt if so inclined
      use your nose, inhale deeply then sip slowly

  • During pomegranate season I make fresh juice and then make martinis. For the new year fresh blood orange juice mimosas.

  • I made lavender syrup this summer for the first time, and it was absolutely delicious added to sparkling water–and quite a few cocktails. Next summer I will definitely be making more of this! And I want to try other herbal infusions, and fruit infusions, and cocktail mixes, and and and!

  • While living in Germany, I was introduced to Apfelschorle, which is a 50:50 mix of sparkling water and your favorite apple juice. A great everyday drink.

  • I was a bartender during college, and mojitos were all the rage in the summer. Oddly enough I don’t drink much alcohol aside from a nice glass of Sauvignon blanc on occasion, so to deflect the constant pressure from coworkers and patrons to imbibe, I created a “water-jito”: muddled mint and lemon wedges in water with a tiny spritz of soda water. It was delicious and refreshing, and very much in line with my non-alcoholic taste preferences! The best part is that everyone just assumed I was drinking a mojito!

  • My very very favorite drink to make at home is rosemary-infused lemonade. It is the #1 reason I’m so excited for summertime! Lounging poolside is a very close second, however. 🙂

  • My favorite is apple peel tea – so simple and comforting and also a great way to use what would otherwise be waste!

  • Herbal hot teas are still our favorites, although flavored lemondades are a close second. We have a constant pot of tea from September until April.

  • Kombucha! I love the versatility of flavor potentials. I’m currently brewing an elderberry hibiscus and am second fermenting hibiscus grape and a coconut chai.
    After brewing I set my spent tea bags outside in a mason jar of water for a batch of sun tea.

  • My Grandmom’s homemade apple cider. Some people think it tasted to vinegary, but I loved it. This book looks great!

  • The 1st year I canned, I made your spiced pickled cherries. After eating eh cherries I used the liquid along with club soda as a refreshing and spicy drink.

  • Shrubs of all kinds, mostly the brine from pickled fruits but I made a concord grape shrub with our own grapes and red wine vinegar that is pretty great. Even my 9yo loves it.

  • My favorite? a whiskey hot toddy on a winter night (or when nursing a cold), or seltzer with a homemade syrup stirred in on a summer day.

  • I’ve been on a lemonade kick lately and my favorite is strawberry lemonade or vanilla lemonade.

    For strawberry lemonade: 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, 1 pkg of frozen strawberries, 2 quarts of water. Crush the strawberries and mix everything together.

    For vanilla lemonade: 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, 2 quarts of water, couple teaspoons of real vanilla extract. Mix everything together.

  • I would love to explore shrubs. I’ve seen them around on blogs but never tried them. I love vinegary things so I think I would like it. Looks like a great book!

  • Our favorite drink to make is lemonade with ‘fancy’ ice cubes (something’s frozen inside, like a berry, edible flower, mint leaf, etc.)

  • To be honest, ever since I bought my soda stream, my favorite beverage is just plain carbonated water! But I’m always open to tossing new things into it, or into making tea blends, or whatever 🙂

  • I started juicing, and so far my favorite has been carrot-orange-ginger. But before juicing, myfavorite homemade beverage has to be espresso shakerato! (espresso shaken with ice and simple syrup).

  • my favorite cocktail is Aperol with a little gin and lots of grapefruit but I am always looking for a new way to make and preserve fruit This book sounds like just the ticket.

  • My favourite home-made beverage is likely hot chocolate. If I’m short on time, I use cocoa powder as a short cut, but I love starting with decent chocolate and milk…..

  • I love ginger soda made with home-brewed ginger syrup. I read about putting some peppercorns in with the ginger — gives it a really nice kick! I’m sure it would be great in a cocktail, but it’s never lasted that long!

  • I like collect elderberries that grow wild near my house and make elderberry syrup. It’s great to mix in sparkling water on a hot day. Or add a spoon full to a smoothie.

  • A few years back, before kids, I made basil lemon syrup to complete basil lemonade (or basil gimlets). So easy and so good. And as I’m writing, I’m remembering I have some basil at home to use up…

  • I love making kombucha, and my boyfriend makes a mean homemade soda. We’re both always experimenting with new flavor combinations!

  • I love trying a variety of drinks . . . but my favorite is brewed iced tea with a bit of sugar to sweeten and a slice of lemon. So refreshing.

  • I was so surprised and happy when I found out how easy it is to make my own almond milk. I thought I would have to give it up completely when I discovered the problems with carrageenan. But in fifteen minutes I can make it even better than what is store bought.

  • we discovered a mint herbal water while vacationing this summer in upper Michigan. We could not get enough of it! The gal that made it said she used 7 different mints and “a few other herbs”. We are now growing 3 kinds of mint inside over the winter to be able to make a mint infusion water. My neighbor and friend grows a lot of herbs and this summer we used lemon balm, 4 types of mint, and lemon grass to make our own concoction. It was “almost” as good as the one from Michigan.

  • My favorite adult drink to make is Rumptopf. Basically my husband picks wild red and black raspberries and I them mix together equal parts crushed berries, the raspberry juice from a bunch of the berries, sugar, and rum. Put into a mason jar (or a larger crock with a lid if making a larger batch) and let macerate for 4-6 weeks. It lasts for a long time and I like to use it like Chambord. I use the berries over pound cake or vanilla ice cream – so good!!

  • I think my all time favorite is fruit syrups!!
    I get a two quart jar, fill it one third to half with soft fruit/chopped plums, add two cups of sugar & top up with over proof vodka. Let sit for at least two weeks.
    The longer it sits, the nicer it gets – especially with plums. When I’m achy & coughy I take a shot glass or two. Yuppers, makes you warm & glowing & makes you want to sleep all night.

  • I really would like to try and make a ginger beer. It just sounds so delicious and to be able to make it myself would be so wonderful!

  • Shrubs from the leftover brine when I’m pickling fruit! Cranberries and cherries have both made fantastic shrubs. I would love to put this book to good use. It looks lovely!

  • I made some ginger ale last year with yeast for carbonation and it was so tasty and just pleasant to drink. I think I might make some more this week actually.

  • Warm spiced carob milk is a fall/winter favorite; having become lactose-intolerant, now I use soy or nut milk.
    Someone mentioned how exciting it was to learn to make almond milk; I had that joy, too, last December. But living in Oregon, where we grow a lot of filberts, and no almonds, I switched to filbert milk (that would be hazelnuts to most of you). It’s delicious, too. Especially in hot chocolate.

  • I made cranberry infused vodka’s for my family for Christmas last year and put them in pretty bottles with gift tags – they loved them! This year I am thinking about trying shrubs or limoncello – it’s so much fun and my family gets a big kick out of it.

  • I make my own Chai syrup – starting with loose English Breakfast tea and adding my own blend of whole spices – cinnamon, star anise, sometimes even some dried orange peel. If I’ve roasted some pumpkins – I make pumpkin chai. It is fabulous, and you’ll never spend $5 at Starbucks again!

  • I love to make tea with coffee. It is popular in the far east where I came from. I use Hong Kong Tea bags purchased from Asian supermarkets. Put one tea bag and one heaping teaspoonful of instant coffee in a 12oz mug and fill it with boiling water. Then sweeten it with condensed milk.
    p.s. Hong Kong Tea is supposed to be different from Lipton black tea.

  • I’m looking forward to using the rhubarb syrup I put up this spring using your recipe – I’m also planning on giving a half pint away with a soda machine at this year’s family Yankee Swap!

  • I have many faves, but the one I drink most often is a shrub made with blackberries, star anise, and white balsamic vinegar. In the summer time I add gin.

  • I made chocolate candied cherry ice cream this year, and we mixed the leftover cherry syrup with soda water for a week or so. It was really, really good, not unlike Italian sodas.

  • Our favorite new drink this year that we have tried making is the apple pie infused bourbon. Great hit at parties. YUM!!!!

  • I’ve become a big fan of bitters. I’ve been getting seasonal bitters from Kings Road Apothecary in L.A. and am also interested in trying my hand at it.

  • In the summer I make cherry limeade with club soda, fresh lime juice [sweetened with sugar] and
    maraschino juice, of course a couple cherries in every glass. We grow mint and all summer we keep
    iced tea with bruised mint leaves in the fridge So refreshing
    In the winter I love homemade cocoa or hot sweetened vanilla milk

  • I pretty much want everyone’s recipes now, blackberry-white balance shrub? yes please! I love fruit shrubs But I’ll give you a recipe for our favorite pick-up when you need a bright flavor in the Midwest winter: Detriot Daisy: make real grenadine syrup by barely boiling equal parts sugar and pomegranate juice. Slap 8 mint leaves and combine in a shaker w: 2oz dark rum, 3/4 ounces each of your syrup and lime juice. strain over ice.

  • Shrubs! Made a peach shrub this summer with approximately 1 cup peaches, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 cup white balsamic and a knob of ginger (grated). Delicious. Especially mixed with rye, soda and lemon.

  • I add a pinch of yeast to bottled apple juice or cider – leave it on the counter until it gets bubbles and then refrigerate. Even reconstituted juice works.

  • spiced chai, a handful of spices (whole) boiled then strained, I then add honey and warmed milk it’s delicious, tastes like christmas!

  • I def need help in the drink dept. I don’t drink enough because I’m not a fan of water (who really is) and don’t want to drink calories of other drinks. My boyfriend drinks way to much pop and needs new and interesting drinks to stay away from it.

  • I love gin and tonics, and experimenting with different gin additives. My favorite so far is a blueberry rosemary gin. Yum.

  • That Chai Tea syrup is outstanding. I also added it to my Bar-B-Q sauce recipe,,,,MMMMMMMM
    Thank You Quench!!!

  • I was given a jar of homegrown grape juice and now I am just itching to try my hand at making more made at home drinks, juices and the like. Thanks for the chance to try out Quench in my kitchen.

  • Wow! Looks like a gorgeous book!

    When I visit my boyfriend, I arrive fairly late at night. He always shows up at the airport with a cup of hot tea with a bit of honey and milk. It’s the best welcome home gift I could get from him!

  • I don’t make a whole lot of homemade drinks (unless you count dumping lemonade mix into water!) but I think it would be fun! My husband and I have tried our hand at a few cocktails, and really like making White Russians. Yummy!

  • Last summer, someone gave my elderly neighbour four shopping bags of pears. What’s a little old lady who lives by herself going to do with that many pears?? So she gave some to me and one of the things I made was a Pear-Fennel syrup. OH BOY! That syrup sweetened green tea in the winter, and made a lovely tipple in white sangria in the summer. I only shared one bottle – with my pear benefactor. May her friend’s tree provide such prodigious produce every year!

  • I have fallen in love with making my own shrubs. I love the sweet sour punch that they pack and they easily replace a fizzy, sweet drink craving.

  • I never even knew you could make anything more than tea and lemonade at home until I started reading your blog! And now I’ve been curious about it ever since. I tackled my first shrub (I think) by mixing some leftover sweet and vinegary brine from a batch of pear pickles. It was delicious and I’d love to explore more!

  • I like to make cherry bounce to have for the winter and fell in love with home-made blueberry lemonade with mint this summer. Warm apple cider has always been been a favorite…and I’m excited about making almond Mike (I hear it’s wonderful)
    Thanks for this opportunity. ..have both your books and love them!

  • I haven’t been that adventurous in this regard, however I have been looking into alcoholic beverages now that I am retiring. I have been looking at making my own bitters and creating other syrups to use. This summer I experimented with adding alcohol to my jams (marsala wine, rum, bourbon and amaretto). Now I’d like to reverse the process and create some fruit or spiced syrups to use in drinks.

    To this point the only thing I’ve done is mix things with seltzer water. When I visited my Aunt in Germany she preserved her own cherries. These were sour cherries. They had no soda in the house but they did have selzer water. My Aunt mixed some of the juice from the canned cherries with seltzer water and voila, cherry soda. It was fabulous. I’ve tried that here in the U.S. by saving the juice from canned sour cherries when I make pie, as well as other juices but haven’t really explored anything formally.

    This book sounds really great. Something I would take advantage of.