The Drunken Botanist
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A New York Times Bestseller
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.
(from the catalog)
grazing. It a major cause of seasonal allergies. One species, darnel (L. temulentum) looks very similar to wheat and invades wheat fields. It is also host to a poisonous fungus, Acremonium, which causes “ryegrass staggers” in cattle. long, harsh winters and produce a crop in spring, before any other grain. It crowds out weeds and thrives in poor soil where little else will grow. It’s no wonder, then, that European settlers brought rye with them to the American colonies. Wheat proved difficult to
a distillery at the urging of his farm manager, a Scot named James Anderson. Anderson pointed out that Washington owned the entire supply chain: he grew and harvested the grains on his own land, ground them into flour or meal at his own gristmill, and could easily transport his products to market. Converting those grains to whiskey would be the most profitable way to sell them, and Anderson had the experience to make it happen. Washington’s whiskey was a blend of available grains; a typical
category in the broad class of Chinese sorghum liquors known as baijiu. Other grains can be used—millet, rice, wheat, barley—but sorghum has a long history in Asia, where the earliest distilled spirits from the grain were made two thousand years ago. 88 survival of the fittest Why sorghum? It isn’t the flavor, certainly: baijiu and sorghum beers aren’t winning many medals from tasting panels. But sorghum happens to be incredibly drought-tolerant and easy to grow in poor soils. It can wait out
introduced to Europe, parsnips were the starchy, nutritious, winter root vegetable people turned to for a satisfying meal. It’s no wonder colonists made it a priority to plant parsnips when they arrived in New England. 124 stewart And surely the colonists were thinking not just of mashed parsnips and butter for their winter meal. They were also thinking of parsnip wine, a fine old English tradition. This is one of many “country wines” that were popular in rural England and throughout Europe.
scolymus) asteraceae (aster family) T the drunken botanist he artichoke got its start as a cardoon. This leafy ancestor, C. cardunculus, probably originated in north Africa or the Mediterranean. It was actively cultivated by Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and through their efforts a separate species, the artichoke, emerged. The two plants look very similar, with long, silvery, deeply serrated leaves and thistlelike flowers. The two can even interbreed if planted closely together. Cardoon