Just the Tipple – Introducing the Boat Drinks Book

Now there are two things very close to my heart, one is my fickle mistress – the sea. The other is good food, wine and company. So, imagine my delight when I found both these married nicely in a splendid new book out by local foodie aficionado, and award winning food and wine writer – Fiona Sims.

The Boat Drinks Book – aptly named – is self billed as ‘a boozy book for boaters’ and is an experts look at the drinking culture in key sailing spots around the world (many of which I have personally sampled during my years at sea). The book is split into five regions: Atlantic, Med, Baltic, Pacific, and Caribbean, and encourages us to explore each region and discover what locals like to drink, how it's made, where to go to drink it, and what is best to eat with it. In doing so she uncovers distilleries, breweries and wineries all within a short taxi ride of the harbour and shows us how to make the most of traditional markets.

This is just my tipple – and has a section that covers England’s South Coast and the dear old Isle of Wight. And the best bit is it also has over 30 drink recipes to try at home! This is a fab follow on from her first book – the Boat Cookbook which was UK based and featured great recipes, simple cooking techniques, top tips on buying locally and seasonally as well as loads of useful info on all things nautical.

Both books are definitely not to be read in one sitting, but need time to peruse and really savour all the tips, hints, recipes and guides that are peppered throughout (checkout the great photos too all taken by our very own My Isle of Wight photographer extraordinaire, Julian Winslow).

Perfect for anyone who loves food and loves the Island, they are worth a gander for the recipes alone – and if you don’t want to take my word for it maybe you’ll trust some of Fiona’s other friends who added their contributions and recommendations to the book itself.

“Big, simple flavours combined brilliantly – inventive, unpretentious and delicious.” Heston Blumenthal OBE

“Fiona’s passion for all things nautical is only eclipsed by her passion for good food and a glass of wine, preferably at sea. With or without a boat, Fiona’s book is a delicious treat.” Michel Roux Jr“

Fiona cooks from the heart and her recipes really hit the spot for rustling up a quick, delicious meal, whether on board or at home.” Angela Hartnett MBE

So if there is one momento you take home from the Island this summer, make sure it’s a copy of The Boat Drinks Book or The Boat Cookbook, and keep Island living alive with you wherever you go.