The Drunken Botanist

Amy Stewart


$20.66 $22.95
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 9781616200466
Cover type: Hardcover
Publish date: 3/19/2013
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Who knew that horticulture was such an intoxicating subject? In her follow-up to the New York Times bestsellers Wicked Bugs and Wicked Plants, Amy Stewart explores the odd, unusual, and surprisingly common plants that have produced the world's greatest spirits.

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.

Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of six books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world. She is the cofounder of the popular blog Garden Rant and is a contributing editor at Fine Gardening magazine. She and her husband live in Eureka, California, where they own an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Books.

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