The Drunken Botanist

The Drunken Botanist

Audiobook CD - 2013
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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 fifty 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.

Publisher: Minneapolis : HighBridge, p2013
Edition: Unabridged ed
ISBN: 9781622311392
Branch Call Number: CDA 581.632 STE
CDA 581.632 STE
Characteristics: 8 sound discs (ca. 10 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Marlo, Coleen

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BryceOdell
Nov 02, 2016

It is a good book, but I would advise against borrowing it as an audio book. There are a lot of recipes and lists that make it difficult to listen to. It would be more enjoyable to read and be able to skim over some parts.

SchroederTribe Aug 13, 2015

This book is such a delight. Having passed it in the library for the last two years I finally picked it up to read, deciding that it might be more than simply an amusingly titled oeuvre.

I am entirely disappointed that it took me so long to read this fascinating book. To say that it is simply about drinks or the plants from which those drinks are derived would be to do no justice to the beauty of this book. Politics, myth, legend, herb-lore. science, oh - and some cocktails. I've developed an entirely new appreciation for all of these things and am trying to figure out how to get some local place to do a lecture series along the lines of the book with tastings. What fun. An excerpt:

Vanilla
"...and it is unusually difficult to cultivate. Like most orchids, it is an epiphyte, meaning that its roots need to be exposed to air, not soil. It climbs the trunks of trees, thriving in limbs a hundred feet above ground, and unfurls just one flower per day over a two-month period, awaiting pollination by a single species of tiny sting-less bee, Melipona beecheii. If the flower is pollinated, a pod develops over the next six to eight months. And although pods contain thousands of tiny seeds, they are incapable of germinating unless they are in the presence of a particular mycorrhizal fungus." - The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

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