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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.

Our most recent book is Cocktails & Kicktails by Hugh Stewart which will be published at the beginning of November 2021.

Cocktails & Kicktails


Cocktail Archives
2209, 2021

Ryders on the Storm

The poor old lady – if only she’d added gin. Here’s the recipe for the Ryders on the Storm: 2 parts gin, 1 part apple cider, 1 part lime juice, 1 part ginger beer, garnish with apple slice and cinnamon stick. The name is an echo from the Doors’ song, spelt “riders”. Intriguingly their producer is rumoured to have walked out of the recording studio because he thought the song was ‘cocktail music’! Here is an extract from Cocktails & Kicktails by Hugh Stewart.

2009, 2021

Chelsea Flower Show

Have you got your tickets yet ? You’d better travel there on foot or by bicycle as the 2021 message is green, green, green. Think Tom Jones. As the Guardian put it “a green message for the green-fingered”.  Despite the green theme the bar at the Flower Show is the Jardin Blanc (named after Raymond) where there are “exciting cocktails”. Well, what qualifies as exciting ? How’s about Ryders on the Storm ? Made from green apples, and inspired by an old lady’s sad demise:



Published by Rowan Books, 1st November 2021

Cocktails & Kicktails is a light-hearted book of anecdotes, recipes and rhyme, with phenomenal photographs and cartoons that are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. It will be published at the beginning of November 2021 priced £13.99. At the same time its sister App, “Shaker”, will be launched, containing over 350 superb cocktail recipes that will help you to plan your party with panache. Shaker is downloadable as a stand-alone App for £3.99 or 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.


A ROLLING STONE by Geordie Stewart (Published by Rowan Books, Oct 2020)

‘I haven’t come across a journey like this before. Choosing the unfamiliar path is risky but with that comes great insights and rewards. A Rolling Stone is a captivating insight into the mind of a solo traveller. A courageous and bold endeavour.’

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

A ROLLING STONE by Geordie Stewart (Published by Rowan Books, Oct 2020)

‘A true pioneer and an inspiration for tenacity and resilience’

Bear Grylls

PINE TREES AND THE SKY by Jean Cantlie Stewart

If there was a perfect time to read this charming little book, may I suggest outdoors on a lazy, balmy summer afternoon in relaxed half-hour snatches.

Keith Lobban, Leopard Magazine

Click here for more reviews.

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