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The drunken botanist : the plants that create the world's great drinks
2013
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
NonFiction
Culinary
Nature
Science
Topics
Plants
Botany
Science
Beverages
Recipes
World history
Setting
- International
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  Library Journal Review

Stewart's (Wicked Bugs; Wicked Plants) new book explores the botanical beginnings of our favorite drinks. Like her previous books, it is so rich in details, little-known facts, and actual science, that readers won't even notice they are reading an encyclopedia. Each plant description includes history, propagation, and usage details. Stewart includes sidebars with recipes, field guides, planting instructions, a description of the role of bugs in getting from seed to plant to table, and in-depth historical details. She includes archaeological finds such as the presence of barley beer on clay pot fragments dated to 3400 B.C.E. and the legal details that changed the course of birch beer, which started as a mildly alcoholic beer, morphed into a soft drink during Prohibition, and recently began to be produced as a liqueur. -Verdict With more than 50 drink recipes, and growing tips, this highly entertaining book will please both cocktail enthusiasts and backyard gardeners. The inclusion of rich history throughout will delight armchair historians and the naturally curious. Highly recommended.-Ann Wilberton, Pace Univ. Lib., Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
<p>Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet?  In The Drunken Botanist , Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries.</p> <p>Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs--but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.</p> <p>This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology--with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners--will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.</p>
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