I got two books through the post yesterday. One was Richard Mabey's "Food For Free" which lots of people have been telling me I must get. Thanks to my sister, Steph, for sending me that one.
The other was a copy of the now out-of-print Marguerite Patten book "500 Recipes Home-Made Wines and Drinks". I remember mum had this, and I suspect it is the source of her ginger beer recipe, so I'm going to give it a try.
The book is delightfully 1970s, with tips on throwing the perfect cocktail party (apparently Campari is becoming increasingly popular), and suggestions for dinner parties (she recomends serving creme de menthe, Drambuie or cherry brandy with after-dinner coffee). But it also has recipes for home-made wines, cider, perry, beer and mead. It also has instructions for a variety of liqueurs (like sloe gin), cordials and fruit syrups, and mulled drinks. I don't really need the cocktail recipes - I have survived this long without being able to mix the perfect Singapore sling - but there is plenty more in here I'd like to try.