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)
Very well narrated, very written and certainly some amazing history and information provided about a plethora of topics. It can get a bit dense from time to time though in ways that probably make this a better book to experience most of with your eyes, not your ears.
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 would recommend this book, but in physical form. The book is more of a reference guide full of great information, but it doesn't listen well as an audiobook. Lots of great recipes just aren't accessible in this medium.
The history of several different types of alcohol is the best part of this book. I learned a ton about the liquor cabinet I inherited from a relative.
The narrator does her best with the material, and really infuses emotion and excitement into the words. It sounds like a friend sharing an exciting tidbit she learned at the store, but this book was just not built for the audiobook.
The history is worth the listen if you are running low on reading material and are interested in the history of food, but I would spring for a paper copy.
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.
I might get lost in the written version of this book and I am definitely sure I would not know how to pronounce many of the botanical names, so for that reason, hearing it is better than reading.
I have found myself laughing throughout the book. There is a lot of dry humor, so if that's your thing...
I LOVE hearing about the details and imagery in my head of all the weeds and plants of every kind being turned into a useful product. I like botany. I like chemistry. I love the combination of the two.
Con: If you want to apply the recipes you will need paper and pencil.
Say something about yourself!
Learn how people have used each and every plant, fruit, herb and tree to make spirits, but also, what are the differences between the different types of spirits.
This book is very geeky, for people who love plants, trivia and alcohol not for its flavor but its place in history and after finishing it you'll be itching to try all the things recommended here, from growing your own plants, to making your own Marraquino Cherries and wanting to destill moonshine with plants and herbs.
This book is fun, but I'll buy the hardcover version, since you'll need pen and paper ready for the recipes and I'd also would've liked some more growing tips, but overall if you're into botany, bartending or into the history of alochol, you'll love 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.
Content was so fun and cool to learn about, but there are a lot of lists and things I'd like to refer back to. If you're actually interested in retaining some of this info or the recipes she gives, I've been thinking that it's probably better to read this one rather than listen to!
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