Reviews for Whiskey in a Teacup

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Actress and book club host Witherspoon pays tribute to her Southern roots in this charming collection of recipes, how-to's, and personal stories. She draws heavily on life lessons learned from her grandmother, including how to be a good hostess ("Serve dinner about one hour after the start time on the invitation") and guest ("When in doubt about how fancy it is, dress up"). Recipes are grouped by events with suggestions for what to serve at, say, a book club meeting (red and white wine, baked brie, hot spinach-artichoke dip, olive medley, cheese and fruit) or a pre-concert gathering (smoked pecans, crab puffs, champagne and ginger ale cocktail). Almost without exception, recipes are emblematic of country fare and feature classics including fried okra, creamy gravy, and shrimp and grits. Fried chicken, ribs (in her brother's Tennessee barbecue sauce), and pulled pork sliders with bourbon sauce are highlights among the many enticing dishes. The book's scope is wide and ranges from Southern expressions ("madder than a wet hen") and must reads by Southern authors (Walker Percy's The Moviegoer) to Witherspoon's love of Dolly Parton and monograms. Readers looking to make a foray into Southern cooking and etiquette will find Witherspoon an enthusiastic guide. (Sept.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

It is hard not to respond to actor-producer-writer-entrepreneur Witherspoon's southern cooking and lifestyle guide, presented with warmth and no small amount of wit. Many features attract, such as sidebars on everything from valuable tips for hosting to the specifics of hot-rolling hair. Nearly 50 recipes and 8-plus menus will suit almost any celebration, gathering, and occasion, such as a southern dinner party (mud pie trifle and shrimp and grits), the Kentucky Derby (Kentucky hot brown bites), and condolence calls (Witherspoon's chicken potpie casserole fits well here). Not to mention Witherspoon's memorable sayings that define southern life: The best things in life are not things. No one is depressed when they see a cake plate. There are even road-trip ideas and holiday playlists to occupy eyes, hands, and ears. Connecting it all is Witherspoon's very hospitable narrative, sharing stories of growing up, family, and traditions that many will relate to. Just don't call her the southern Martha Stewart.--Barbara Jacobs Copyright 2018 Booklist

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Proud of her Southern heritage, actress Witherspoon, founder of the retail brand Draper James and media company Hello Sunshine, unabashedly spreads the Southern women's ethos of graciousness and hospitality; giving suggestions for treating others respectfully, keeping a home, and entertaining friends. Considering the book a tribute to the poised, strong women she admired growing up in Nashville, Witherspoon uses a warm, conversational tone to reminisce about her accomplished grandmother, mother, and others who taught her that multifaceted women can build a strong family home and impact the wider world. Her sense of humor and ability to poke fun at herself shine in childhood anecdotes (and photos of her hot-roller technique), though seriousness shows in comments about favorite books, the family table, and doing good deeds. Sincere descriptions of making family and friends comfortable in her home-whether for book club night or a holiday-are punctuated with almost 50 uncomplicated, sentimental recipes (like her grandmother's tea punch) and playlists of favorite music. This is not a Hollywood tell-all or shameless self-promotion though there are mentions of other celebrities. VERDICT Sure to be popular with Witherspoon's fans, this pleasant book could have wider appeal to anyone interested in modern Southern living and style.-Bonnie Poquette, Milwaukee Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.