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Our Latest Release: Cocktails & Kicktails by Hugh Stewart was published at the beginning of November 2021 and is available now.

Rowan Books is a publisher and bookseller that was established to promote books written by the late Jean Cantlie Stewart. Jean wrote on subjects about which she felt passionately: Scotland, education, adventure and maritime, animal stories and latterly on China.

Jean’s grandfather, Sir James Cantlie, was a lifelong friend of Sun Yat Sen, the founder of modern China. Rowan Books is now managed by members of Jean’s family and we are broadening the scope to cover the publication and sale of material by other authors, including books by Jean’s son Hugh Stewart and her grandson Geordie Stewart.

Cocktails & Kicktails


Cocktail Archives



Published by Rowan Books, 1st November 2021

Inspired by a delightfully witty poem by Ogden Nash about a Martini called ‘A Drink With Something In It’, Cocktails and Kicktails – Recipes and Rhymes to Lift Body and Soul contains twenty three cocktail recipes, each accompanied by amusing anecdotes, phenomenal photographs, entertaining illustrations and a poem in the same style. The book is accompanied by “Shaker”, an interactive App with some 400 recipes for cocktails and alcohol-free “mocktails”, and lots of useful features to make your cocktail party go with a bang. The Shaker App sells for £3.99 as a standalone but is free if you buy Cocktails & Kicktails off this website. Click Here for more details on the book and Click Here for more details on the App.

Some Classic Cocktails

From our cocktail “Shaker” App.

The Boulevardier (2 parts bourbon, 1.5 parts campari, 1.5 parts sweet vermouth, garnish with a maraschino cherry)

Created by Erskine Gwynne, who also founded a monthly magazine in Paris called Boulevardier. Gwynne was a member of the Vanderbilt family and Boulvardier focussed on the lighter side of Paris life between the wars – “He will not tell one-tenth of what he really knows” was their intriguing catch-phrase. As a marketing strategy, however, it didn’t really work and the magazine closed in 1932.

Ritz Sidecar (5 parts cognac, 3 parts cointreau, 2 parts lemon juice)

Using the rarest Champagne Cognac and Cointreau this drink makes it into the list of top ten most expensive cocktails in the world. In 2017, one cocktail costs $1,670 at the Bar Hemingway at the Hotel Ritz in Paris. Well…you only live once.

Fandango (2 parts gin, 2 parts vodka, 1,5 parts green chartreuse, 0.7 part water, garnish with a mint sprig)

Named after the exuberant Spanish courtship dance where the couple tease, challenge and pursue each other in a passionate duel of love. In Wigan, however, the word fandango is used to mean a right palaver.


COCKTAILS & KICKTAILS by Hugh Stewart (Published by Rowan Books, Nov 2021)

“This is an engaging and entertaining collection. If some of Hugh’s ‘innovations’ are half as good as his Breachacha Prayer I will abandon Scotch…”
Charles Maclean M.B.E., Master of the Quaich

“An infusion of whimsey garnished with doggerel and a twist of finesse, served long with a splash of savvy. This is a frisky and effortlessly elegant literary concoction highly recommended to all cocktail lovers.”
Henry MacRory, journalist and author

“I write a lot of obituaries and given the amount of burrling, cavorting and generally engaging in hazardous activities described in this marvelous book I may well be writing a few more. But what a way to go, powered into the next world by these delicious rocket fuel concoctions and tickled pink by a barmy rhyme. Cocktails and Kicktails lifts cocktailing to a new art form.”
Sir Maxwell Macleod, polemicist

“Mildly amusing”
Author’s wife

Click here for more reviews.


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