Ice cream, jam, and cocktails: must-have summer cookbooks

Seira Wilson on July 28, 2020

Ice cream, jam and cocktails: 5 summer cookbooks

Now that we're hitting the peak of the season, I'm seeing roadside stands piled high with brightly colored fruit, the smell of grilling is in the air, and icy cocktails are going down easy. Below are a handful of new cookbooks that just say "summer" to me, including a gorgeous cookbook for making whole fruit preserves, an ice cream book from baking master Rose Levy Beranbaum, and a book of cocktails from Latin America that will definitely be getting some action in my kitchen.

You'll find more of our favorite new cookbooks in our list of editors' picks for the Best Books of the Month in Cookbooks, Food and Wine.

It Starts with Fruit: Simple Techniques and Delicious Recipes for Jams, Marmalades, and Preserves by Jordan Champagne

Summer is the season for gorgeous fruit and the author and co-founder of Happy Girl Kitchen, Jordan Champagne, makes the most of it with simple techniques and master recipes, but using less sugar. Want to take a classic jam flavor to the next level? Try the recipe for Raspberry Lemon Jam. Champagne doesn't just do jam, either. It Starts with Fruit also covers fruit sauces, shrubs, and recipes for using your delicious jams and preserves in cookies, bars, and more.

Rose's Ice Cream Bliss by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Beranbaum is probably best known for her baking books, including The Cake Bible and The Baking Bible, and now she's turned her attention to a summertime favorite: ice cream. Beranbaum offers her foolproof base method, plus tips and tricks she's discovered along the way, including a way to prevent those pesky ice crystals. Ice cream and other frozen treats are all easy to make using this cookbook, and Beranbaum's recipes include both classic flavors and inventive twists.

Spirits of Latin America: A Celebration of Culture & Cocktails, with 100 Recipes from Leyenda & Beyond by Ivy Mix

Not your typical cocktail book, Spirits of Latin America goes beyond recipes to transport us into the history and culture of Latin spirits. Author Ivy Mix spent years getting to know local flavors, from the tequilas of Mexico to the grape-based spirits of Chile and Bolivia. The 100 recipes included in Spirits of Latin America are all favorites from Mix's Brooklyn bar, Leyenda, as well as cocktails inspired by her travels.

Wilderness Chef: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Outdoors by Ray Mears

Author Ray Mears has spent years traveling the globe learning survival skills and bushcraft. He's cooked thousands of meals outdoors and brings his experience and knowledge to this new cookbook, which is packed with tips and recipes. For anyone spending time in the wilderness this summer, Wilderness Chef is a book you'll want to add to your pack. Minimal equipment is needed, and Mears guides readers through getting your fire going, different cooking methods, and how to make a variety of dishes in the open air—including curry!

The Complete Summer Cookbook: Beat the Heat with 500 Recipes that Make the Most of Summer's Bounty by America's Test Kitchen

One of the biggest challenges of cooking in the summer is keeping the oven off and and keeping the temperature in the kitchen down. America's Test Kitchen rises to the occasion with all kinds of dinner salads, dishes that can be made ahead and served at room temperature, and fresh ideas for meals that can be made entirely on the grill. The Complete Summer Cookbook takes inspiration from both farmers' markets and what home cooks are looking for during the hot days of summer.

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