The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks Review

Every great drink starts with a plant. Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley. Gin was born from a conifer shrub when a Dutch physician added oil of juniper to a clear spirit, believing that juniper berries would cure kidney disorders. "The Drunken Botanist" uncovers the enlightening botanical history and the fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 plants, flowers, trees, and fruits (and even one fungus).

Some of the most extraordinary and obscure plants have been fermented and distilled, and they each represent a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history. Molasses was an essential ingredient in American independence: when the British forced the colonies to buy British (not French) molasses for their New World rum-making, the settlers outrage kindled the American Revolution. Rye, which turns up in countless spirits, is vulnerable to ergot, which contains a precursor to LSD, and some historians have speculated that the Salem witch trials occurred because girls poisoned by ergot had seizures that made townspeople think they d been bewitched. Then there's the tale of the thirty-year court battle that took place over the trademarking of Angostura bitters, which may or may not actually contain bark from the Angostura tree.

With a delightful two-color vintage-style interior, over fifty drink recipes, growing tips for gardeners, and advice that carries Stewart's trademark wit, this is the perfect gift for gardeners and cocktail aficionados alike.

Title:The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks
Edition Language:English

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    The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks Reviews

  • Sean Gibson

    Waaaayyyy back in my undergrad days, I fulfilled my science requirement in part by taking classes like Practical Botany and Environmental Plant Biology. So, I know a thing or two about those things th...

  • Margitte

    Horticulture in bottles. Booze and botany. The elixir of life—the aqua vitae—that the plant world has given us."Every great drink starts with a plant". So, depending on the mission, one person wil...

  • Jeanette

    I was so relieved to learn that I wouldn't have to root around in emu droppings in order to enjoy a quandong cocktail.Amy Stewart is sort of the Mary Roach of the plant world, but not quite as funny. ...

  • Mary Deacon

    I have been clean and sober for 8 years after going through A.A. This Thanksgiving I slipped and partook in a little drinking and.... oops! There went my sobriety. Since all that went down the toilet,...

  • Carmen

    This is a great book, very interesting. It all started when Stewart went to a liquor store with her friend.We had arrived at a liquor store by then, and I was gesturing wildly at the shelves around us...

  • Erica

    PreambleJune, 2017:I'm buddy-reading this with the victim of my attention, Todd, although he doesn't know it, yet. He doesn't even know I bought this book, though he did know I was going to because wh...

  • Cissa

    Brilliant!I loved this book. While the format is something like an encyclopedia, I read it cover-to-cover, and was sad when i reached the end; the entries were that informative and well-written that i...

  • Peter Tillman

    A good book to read a bit at a time, and a painless way to learn some botany. Stewart writes well, and her botanical vignettes are (mostly) entertaining. There are drink recipes and liquor lore, mostl...

  • Doris

    As the subtitle says, this is about the plants behind (alcoholic) beverages. Besides the obvious candidates, such as barley, grapes, rice, agave, etc. that form the backbone of drinks, the author also...

  • jennifer

    This book goes into meticulous detail in listing all the plants, trees, herbs, nuts, flowers, spices and pretty much anything else that has ever been fermented and distilled to make alcohol. Stewart t...