The Drunken Botanist (Hardcover)

The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks

By Amy Stewart

Algonquin Books, 9781616200466, 381pp.

Publication Date: March 19, 2013

List Price: 22.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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.

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.

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.

Praise For The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks

"If you're getting into cocktails and looking to expand your understanding of spirits, wine, beer, and mixed drinks, reading Stewarts book is a great way to do it. You'll come away with a knowledge of what exactly is in your glass and you'll be able to understand how those elements play together to form the flavors and aromas you'll encounter in a well-made drink ... a cover-to-cover read." --Serious Eats

"This wide-ranging mix of alcohol and plant trivia, drink recipes, and scientific research deserves a place on every home bar book­shelf for its conversational value alone . . . There are enough 'did you know?' moments in this book to fill a lifetime of conversational pauses."--Buffalo Spree

"All drinkers should have The New York Times bestselling author Amy Stewart's The Drunken Botanist in their library . . . Its fascinating tidbits make perfect happy-hour conversation fodder."

"Book drink geeks would be crazy not to buy."--Class Magazine

"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."--Library Journal, starred review

"Gardeners, nature lovers and mixologists will find themselves reaching frequently for this volume . . . A rich compendium of botanical lore for cocktail lovers."--Kirkus Reviews