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<p>Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In <em>The Drunken Botanist</em>, 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. <br /> 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> (from the catalog )
<strong>An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2013</strong>: Peppered with fascinating facts and well-chosen anecdotes, Amy Stewart’s brisk tour of the origin of spirits acquaints the curious cocktail fan with every conceivable ingredient. Starting with the classics (from agave to wheat), she touches on obscure sources--including a tree that dates to the dinosaur age--before delving into the herbs, spices, flowers, trees, fruits, and nuts that give the world’s greatest drinks distinctive flavors. Along the way, you’ll enjoy sidebars on bugs in booze and inspired drink recipes with backstories that make lively cocktail party conversation. Like <em>Wicked Plants</em>, this delightfully informative, handsome volume isn’t intended as a complete reference or DIY guide, but it will demystify and heighten your appreciation of every intoxicating plant you imbibe. --<em>Mari Malcolm</em>