Peaky Blinders is a UK television series, currently in its sixth season. The series tells the story the fictional Shelby family, and their criminal exploits, in the immediate aftermath of World War I. The TV show is lauded for its stylish cinematography, and, like the series, The Peaky Blinders Cocktail Book is visually stunning. The photographs of the cocktails align to the period and style of the Peaky Blinders TV series, with vintage-looking glassware, lots of timber and wood elements, bartenders dressed in waistcoats, amber lighting and golden tones. Photographs from the TV series accompany the cocktail photos and recipes.
The cocktails are not original/unique to the show (as far as I can tell) - they're classic cocktails named after characters in the series, for example:
- Mr Sabini = a Boulevardier
- Changretta = Hanky Panky
- Charles Strong = Classic Martini
The table of contents, and the order of recipes in the book, is sorted by the primary spirit in the cocktails, which fall into three categories: Whiskey, Gin, and Other Spirits. It makes it convenient to flip to the style of cocktail you'd like to make. There are 15 whiskey-based recipes, 15 gin-based recipes, and 10 "other" spirit recipes (generally rum and cognac).
The index lists each cocktail ingredient separately, along with the associated cocktails, so it is easy at a glance to determine what cocktail to make based on flavour profile, or the ingredients on your shelf. The index highlights a gripe I have with a lot of cocktail books; there are quite a few 'one-off' liqueurs and brandies that get used in only one cocktail. To make quite a few of the cocktails, you'll need to purchase ingredients that you probably won't use very often - like elderflower liqueur, peach brandy, cherry liqueur - or will end up throwing out after using 10ml of it (e.g. peach nectar and mango syrup).
I'd also like to see some more information on the show, not just photographs. The book is lacking text; there's no mention/introduction to Peaky Blinders and no commentary on the series. Some insights or behind the scenes stories would make it more interesting, and give it more value to fans; something other than just the still frames alongside renamed classic cocktails.
Overall, it is a beautiful book, and I suspect a fan of the Peaky Blinders TV Series would be happy to receive the Peaky Blinders Cocktail Book as a gift.