Though narrower in scope than Robert Ackart's all-over-the-place Spirited Cooking (p. 1005), this is all the better for its smaller and more coherent focus: most of the recipes are well-thought-out variants of traditional or currently voguish cakes, pies, cookies, and pastries with a dash of spirits added. Frozen desserts, in which the character of the original alcohol tends to be somewhat more central, are also heavily represented. The emphasis throughout is on rather lavish concoctions with fillings, icings, toppings, and other more or less complex components--for example, a light hazelnut sponge (curiously called ""meringue"") filled with one buttercream mixture and topped with another, a walnut meringue (curiously called ""torte"") with a vodka-laced buttercream filling, tulip wafers filled with three different-colored sherbets. Simpler options include peach mousse ice cream (""mousse"" because the cream is whipped) with cognac, pound cake with raisins, pecans, and a good dose of bourbon, and old-fashioned brandy snaps. The recipes will be best used by experienced cooks who have handled such confections (particularly ices and ice creams) before and know when to be flexible. It's a pity that there's no serious explanation of the behavior of alcohol in cooking (boiling point, for example), but there is a lengthy and surprisingly thorough introductory essay on the chief modern forms of firewater and their origins.