Need a subject for small talk at your next happy hour? The origins what goes into our drinks makes a great topic of conversation in The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart. Did you know that the agave-based tequila is based on a drink called pulque, which dates back to 200 B.C.E.? Or that clove, which is used to flavor many popular liquors, is also used as a dental anesthetic? These factoids make The Drunken Botanist a fun, easily digestible read. Part botanical encyclopedia, part cocktail recipe book, this new popular science title explores the plants that are involved in brewing; the herbs, spices, and plants that flavor drinks; and the methods bartenders and home mixologists use to concoct them.
Even teetotalers can enjoy The Drunken Botanist. One of the best things about this book is how Stewart marries her botanical knowledge with an appreciation for human ingenuity (and charming illustrations). If you’ve ever wondered, “Who in the world figured out that you could eat this?” then you will appreciate this book.