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 medieval physicians boiled juniper berries with wine to treat stomach pain. The Drunken Botanist uncovers the surprising botanical history and fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 plants, flowers, trees, and fruits (and even a few fungi).
Some of the most extraordinary and obscure plants have been fermented and distilled, and they each represent a unique cultural contribution to global drinking traditions and our history. Molasses was an essential ingredient of American independence when outrage over a mandate to buy British rather than French molasses for New World rum-making helped kindle the American Revolution. Captain James Cook harvested the young, green tips of spruce trees to make a vitamin C-rich beer that cured his crew of scurvy - a recipe that Jane Austen enjoyed so much that she used it as a plot point in Emma.
With over 50 drink recipes, growing tips for gardeners, and advice that carries Stewart's trademark wit, this is the perfect listen for gardeners and cocktail aficionados alike.
©2013 Amy Stewart. Recorded by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing Company, Inc. (P)2013 HighBridge Company
"A rich compendium of botanical lore for cocktail lovers." (Kirkus)
I have not read the print edition.
As someone who is interested in starting a craft distillery, I'm interested in soaking up all the info I can to make creative, desirable products. You have to want to listen to a subject like this or have an interest in botany. I would recommend to friends interested in reaching deep into the subject.
Her very exact pronunciations of words became difficult to listen to. Eventually I started listening to the way she was reading rather than focusing on the subject. It wasn't "comfortable" to listen to. That said, I wouldn't tell someone interested in the subject to avoid the book. Here's a tip: Put the speed of the book on 1.25X. It helped tremendously and made me focus on the subject rather than the narration.
No. This was a book that wasn't necessarily a story from beginning to end. I enjoyed the subject but needed a break from taking in all the info at points.
I'll remind readers of this review I chose this book because I'm interested in starting a craft distillery and wanted to do more than throw together moonshine. I wanted to dig deep into the subject and find out more than just how to ferment corn. This book has a wealth of knowledge. It has some recipes, but it is not a recipe book.
I would recommend it as a physical book, which could be referenced or quickly reviewed when thinking about an ingredient or a type of drink to make or plant to grow.
This is a much better book thank my rating. The author does a great job with a very complete list of ingredients. It is well organized and full of interesting information. Audio is not the optimal format for this book.
New narrator. Please.
No. Absolutely not.
The content of the book is interesting, and I think the print version must me more enjoyable. A talented narrator could do wonders for any book, and this audiobook is begging for one. Ms. Marlo sounds like she's imitating Siri-only with worse pronunciation, which is a major no-no for me.
The story behind so many herbs and spices that at various times, drove men to extreme measure. Intriguing and beguiling at every turn. In this book you get something worth toasting.
Realizing the power many countries derived from the control of many herbs. The Dutch in particular, proved to be quite unscrupulous in their drive to control the trade.
I enjoyed Coleen Marlo's performance. She's eloquent and energetic in her delivery.
This book had lots of surprises and "now way!" moments for me. You see the best and worst in people and the lengths at which they'll go to for the power and wealth that come from botanical gems like nutmeg and vanilla. Things we take for granted today.
I loved this book. Its packed with all kinds of interesting and surprising facts what could be a rather mundane subject. Amy Stewart puts a lemon twist on this top-shelf cocktail of a book.
The contents of the book are very interesting combination of history, chemistry, culture and botany. The structure can be confusing to listen to and the recipes may be good to have in text format. I would suggest the paperback version rather than the audio book for those interested in making the most of this book.
History, world religions, pop economics, food and wine, agribusiness and audiobooks
I have to agree with many of the reviews here that I didn't bother to read before buying: a great reference and interesting material but much better for a book than audio. I bought 3 copies of the BOOK as gifts for bartenders! Plus the useful technical knowledge is difficult to use as intended - to go back and reference. I enjoyed the first part but once the encyclopedia started, the limitations became more apparent despite interesting content!
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
Perhaps this is stupid, but I was expecting this book to be a combination of a book about drinks and a book about plants. I'm not much of a drinker and I will not try 90% of the recipes or ideas in the book.
I was hoping for interesting anecdotes and history about the plants that go into our drinks. This was like reading a cookbook with factoids in little boxes next to the recipe description.
What I'm trying to said it this was super dullness mixed with itty bitty bits of interesting history or mini-anecdotes. If you wanna read history and anecdotes related to beverages (alcoholic and not) read "A History of The World in 6 Glasses" by Tom Standage. It is way better.
If you want to make a lot of drinks and be an alcoholic drink snob, by all means, Stewart's is the book for you.
Yes by Amy (love the hardcopy), no on the narration by Coleen.
Amy Stewart's book is very interesting, but sadly, Colleen Marlo's narration is not.
I bought the hardcopy of this book, which is great, I recommend it.
But give the audio-version a miss.
Pace is all wrong,...too fast and dry to make the material interesting. No sense of fun or curiosity comes through in the narration, which it does in the hardcopy.
This is a book about COCKTAILS for goodness sake, what could be more fun? But sadly, the audio-version is no fun at all.
Ms. Marlo should probably listen to some podcasts like the Dinner Party Download, to gain a better understanding of what it takes to make an audio version of a handy reference book like this come alive for an audience. Not a bad voice, just a lifeless delivery. And the producer(s)? Didn't they try to listen to it first before publishing? If the pacing had been less frenetic, with more pauses to absorb information, it might have helped.
Disappointment. I gave audiobook as a gift to several people, since I so like the hardcopy. I could return the one I bought for myself, but I can hardly return the gift copies after I've given them! :(
Sorry audible, this one is a dud due to the narration and production, not the author.
This book won't change your life but it will entertain you and inform you for many rewarding hours. The one downside is that the book must contain lots of great beverage recipes. The recipes are read but it would be a little challenging to remember them all. I'm looking forward to checking out her website. The narration was perfect. I'm sure I got it as a Daily Deal and probably wouldn't have used a credit on it.
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