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Book Review: Witchcraft Cocktails by Julia Halina Hadas

About Witchcraft Cocktails

Alcohol and Witchcraft. These are two words that, admittedly, have given me a bit of pause in the past – at least as it relates to my own personal practice. I realize, of course, that there are countless witches out there who regularly incorporate wine and other libations into their workings, and probably just as many who opt for juices, blessed waters, or other non-alcoholic beverages instead. If there is one thing we learn from the start of our magickal journey, it’s to follow your intuition and do what feels right for you – and the incorporation of alcohol in your practice is no exception to that rule. Upon picking up Witchcraft Cocktails and exploring the early chapters, I found some of my hesitation almost immediately falling away. While the discussion is rather brief in order to leave ample room for magickal recipes, Hadas is quick to highlight that the intertwined history of alcohol and sacred ceremony is an extensive one – and that connection is as strong today as ever.

“Beyond enhancing a spell, the magic of cocktails can be used in your witchcraft to inspire the specific energy needed to produce a potent spell in the first place.” 

Witchcraft Cocktails

The process of crafting a cocktail with intention, as you’ll discover in this book, is one that is positively steeped in magick – and in some ways that you may not have considered before. Of course, there are the herbs, fruits, flowers, and other edible elements with which you might be used to crafting brews and potions, but consider too that the various alcohols are also derived from such natural elements as grains, root vegetables, succulents, and more. In the case of barrel-aged beverages, the type of wood used in the construction of the barrel has it’s own magickal properties, which are then infused into the alcohol as it ages. All of this, before you even get your hands on the ingredients and begin imbuing them with your own personal magick!

The recipes themselves are grouped according to season, making it easy to find something for pretty much any occasion. You’ll find Sabbat-themed recipes like the Awakening Yule Mule, lunar-inspired mixes like the Blood Moon Margarita, astrologically-aligned fusions like the Venus Spritzer, and some just-plain-fun fusions like the Green Man and the Witch’s Cauldron. With 70 total drinks, there is something for everyone who wishes to explore the intersection of witchcraft and cocktails.

Awakening Yule Mule from Witchcraft Cocktails by Julia Halina Hadas

If you don’t consider yourself a professional mixologist, fear not! Hadas breaks it down bit by bit, taking you through individual ingredients, cocktail-crafting terminology, and then starts off with some recipes for non-alcoholic magickal shrubs and syrups (which have a wide variety of applications) before diving into the cocktail recipes. In addition, all of the recipes found in Witchcraft Cocktails can be made into non-alcoholic mocktails, and Hadas regularly shares recipe tutorials of both varieties on her social media and blog.

New Witches will Love…

…that Hadas does not assume that everyone who picks up this book is already well-versed in magick and witchcraft. In fact, she intentionally sets aside dedicated space in the opening chapters in order to lay a functional framework for those who might be newer to the practice. In Chapter 3 specifically, you’ll encounter high-level information on celestial bodies, astrology, sabbats, moon phases, crystals, herbs, ingredients, and more! Additionally, there are brief tutorials on simple magickal acts such as preparing your working space, centering, and grounding. Of course, this information is not meant to replace more in-depth study, but it is rather helpful context.

Experienced Witches will Love…

…the Advanced Magic tidbits shared along with each recipe! Highlighting either a tarot card or a crystal, these sections invite you to take your exploration of magickal cocktails to a deeper level. Some offer activities like visualization, intention-setting, and meditation, while others guide you in more hands-on practices. These may be as simple as placing a particular stone nearby as you craft your concoction or holding it in your hand while you sip, or they may involve creating a crystal grid, stirring in a particular fashion, or doing some in-depth journaling. While it is not necessarily critical to work with the Advanced Magic activities in order to enjoy Witchcraft Cocktails, they certainly add an extra pop of magick to a book already bursting with it.

Curious to learn more? Tune in to my interview with Julia on the Worldwide Witchery Podcast!

About the Author

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 her blog, WitchcraftCocktails.com or her website, JuliaHalinaHadas.com.

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