The Drunken Botanist

Algonquin Books
75
Free sample

The Essential, New York Times–Bestselling Guide to Botany and Booze

“A book that makes familiar drinks seem new again . . . Through this horticultural lens, a mixed drink becomes a cornucopia of plants.”—NPR's Morning Edition

“Amy Stewart has a way of making gardening seem exciting, even a little dangerous.” —The New York Times


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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Algonquin Books
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Published on
Mar 19, 2013
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781616201043
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Language
English
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Genres
Cooking / Beverages / Alcoholic / General
Gardening / General
Science / Life Sciences / Botany
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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At the tips of our forks and on our dinner plates, a buffet of botanical dalliance awaits us. Sex and food are intimately intertwined, and this relationship is nowhere more evident than among the plants that sustain us. From lascivious legumes to horny hot peppers, most of humanity’s calories and other nutrition come from seeds and fruits—the products of sex—or from flowers, the organs that make plant sex possible. Sex has also played an arm’s-length role in delivering plant food to our stomachs, as human handmade evolution (plant breeding, or artificial selection) has turned wild species into domesticated staples.

In Sex on the Kitchen Table, Norman C. Ellstrand takes us on a vegetable-laced tour of this entire sexual adventure. Starting with the love apple (otherwise known as the tomato) as a platform for understanding the kaleidoscopic ways that plants can engage in sex, successive chapters explore the sex lives of a range of food crops, including bananas, avocados, and beets, finally ending with genetically engineered squash—a controversial, virus-resistant vegetable created by a process that involves the most ancient form of sex. Peppered throughout are original illustrations and delicious recipes, from sweet and savory tomato pudding to banana puffed pancakes, avocado toast (of course), and both transgenic and non-GMO tacos.

An eye-opening medley of serious science, culinary delights, and humor, Sex on the Kitchen Table offers new insight into fornicating flowers, salacious squash, and what we owe to them. So as we sit down to dine and ready for that first bite, let us say a special grace for our vegetal vittles: let’s thank sex for getting them to our kitchen table.
Most of us lump plants together in one big family, and when pressed can only explain their grouping by what they’re not—not an animal, not a mineral, and so just a plant. In reality, there are hundreds of different plant families, each grouped logically by a unique family history and genealogy. This brings sense and order to the more than a quarter of a million different plant species covering a diverse spectrum that includes soaring sequoias (Cupressaceae), squat prickly pear (Cactaceae), and luxuriant roses (Rosaceae).

Plant Families is an easy-to-use, beautifully illustrated guide to the more than one hundred core plant families every horticulturist, gardener, or budding botanist needs to know. It introduces the basics of plant genealogy and teaches readers how to identify and understand the different structures of flowers, trees, herbs, shrubs, and bulbs. It then walks through each family, explaining its origins and range, and describing characteristics such as size, flowers, and seeds. Each family is accompanied by full-color botanical illustrations and diagrams. “Uses For” boxes planted throughout the book provide practical gardening tips related to each family.

We have much to gain by learning about the relationships between plant families. By understanding how botanists create these groupings, we can become more apt at spotting the unique characteristics of a plant and identify them faster and more accurately. Understanding plant families also helps us to make sense of—and better appreciate—the enormous biological diversity of the plant kingdom.
Not so long ago, parsley was the only fresh herb available to most American cooks. Today, bunches of fresh oregano and rosemary can be found in nearly every supermarket, basil and mint grow abundantly in backyards from coast to coast, and garden centers offer pots of edible geraniums and lemon thyme. But once these herbs reach the kitchen, the inevitable question arises: Now what do I do with them? Here, at last, is the first truly comprehensive cookbook to cover all aspects of growing, handling, and cooking with fresh herbs.

Jerry Traunfeld grew up cooking and gardening in Maryland, but it wasn't until the 1980s, after he had graduated from the California Culinary Academy and was working at Jeremiah Tower's Stars restaurant in San Francisco, that he began testing the amazing potential of herb cuisine. For the past decade, Jerry Traunfeld has been chef at The Herbfarm, an enchanted restaurant surrounded by kitchen gardens and tucked into the rainy foothills of the Cascade Mountains, east of Seattle. His brilliant nine-course herb-inspired menus have made reservations at the Herbfarm among the most coveted in the country.

Eager to reveal his magic to home cooks, Jerry Traunfeld shares 200 of his best recipes in The Herbfarm Cookbook. Written with passion, humor, and a caring for detail that makes this book quite special, The Herbfarm Cookbook explains everything from how to recognize the herbs in your supermarket to how to infuse a jar of honey with the flavor of fresh lavender. Recipes include a full range of dishes from soups, salads, eggs, pasta and risotto, vegetables, poultry, fish, meats, breads, and desserts to sauces, ice creams, sorbets, chutneys, vinegars, and candied flowers. On the familiar side are recipes for Bay Laurel Roasted Chicken and Roasted Asparagus Salad with Fried Sage explained with the type of detail that insures the chicken will be moist and suffused with the flavor of bay and the asparagus complemented with the delicate crunch of sage. On the novel side you will find such unusual dishes as Oysters on the Half Shell with Lemon Varbana Ice and Rhubarb and Angelica Pie.

A treasure trove of information, The Herbfarm Cookbook contains a glossary of 27 of the most common culinary herbs and edible flowers; a definitive guide to growing herbs in a garden, a city lot, or on a windowsill; a listing of the USDA has hardiness zones; how to harvest, clean, and store fresh herbs; a Growing Requirements Chart, including each herb's life cycle, height, pruning and growing needs, and number of plants to grow for an average kitchen; and a Cooking with Fresh Herbs Chart, with parts of the herb used, flavor characteristics, amount of chopped herb for six servings, and best herbal partners.

The Herbfarm Cookbook is the most complete, inspired, and useful book about cooking with herbs ever written.

-8 pages of finished dishes in full color

-16 full-page botanical watercolors in full color
The definitive guide to the contemporary craft cocktail movement, from one of the highest-profile, most critically lauded, and influential bars in the world.
 
Death & Co is the most important, influential, and oft-imitated bar to emerge from the contemporary craft cocktail movement. Since its opening in 2006, Death & Co has been a must-visit destination for serious drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts, and the winner of every major industry award—including America’s Best Cocktail Bar and Best Cocktail Menu at the Tales of the Cocktail convention. Boasting a supremely talented and creative bar staff—the best in the industry—Death & Co is also the birthplace of some of the modern era’s most iconic drinks, such as the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, Naked and Famous, and the Conference. 

Destined to become a definitive reference on craft cocktails, Death & Co features more than 500 of the bar’s most innovative and sought-after cocktails. But more than just a collection of recipes, Death & Co is also a complete cocktail education, with information on the theory and philosophy of drink making, a complete guide to buying and using spirits, and step-by-step instructions for mastering key bartending techniques. Filled with beautiful, evocative photography; illustrative charts and infographics; and colorful essays about the characters who fill the bar each night; Death & Co—like its namesake bar—is bold, elegant, and setting the pace for mixologists around the world.
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