Your Garage Best Books of the Month Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Melvins Fire TV Stick Sun Care Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer WienerDog WienerDog WienerDog  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Segway miniPro
Customer Review

82 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Writing with a dry wit!, March 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Drunken Botanist (Hardcover)
This book turned out to be an excellent reference on plants and their many uses by humans. The author discussed many plant uses beside fermenting plant starches into sugars by the addition of yeasts. One could tell the author loved discussing plants with the occasional witty remark and her extensive knowledge of each of the various species. If one could find a fault with the book, it might be the inclusion of many species of which all but those engaged in botanical research would be familiar. But that aside the book was a fun and informative read. The author chose to list all the various plants by their common names rather than list them by their Latin nomenclature, as is more typical in many botanical references, and this point was greatly appreciated.

Although there were hundreds of interesting facts regarding the various plant species, I would like to list just a few to give the readers an idea that the book was interesting and did not just discuss making booze.

1. We learn the Barley is the most prolific grain at converting its starches into sugar to make alcohol because it has a high level of enzymes and that it is an easy plant to grow not being much affected by cold, drought, or poor soil conditions.
2. Peat is what gives Scotch its particular taste.
3. Kentucky produces 90% of all the bourbon in the world. [p47]
4. Cork comes from the Portuguese Oak [Quercus Suber. It is stripped annually with each tree yielding about 4k corks, primarily used in wine bottling, yet the trees regenerate new bark each year and live for about 2 centuries before finally dying.
5. The real difference between American and Canadian whiskeys is that each batch of American whiskey reguires a new oak barrel, while Canadians can use barrels previously used for making wine or whiskey before. This gives it more flavor than American bourbon, but each batch may taste slightly different depending on what the barrels had previously held.
6. Absinthe doesn't make you drunk [crazy] because of the wormwood being fermented but the fact that it was originally bottles at 70% ABV as opposed to Brandy commonly bottled at 40% ABV. Since it was 75% stronger you got drunk and started acting crazy much sooner than had you been drinking Brandy which was very commonly drunk when people favored absinthe. In this regard think of Henry Miller and Anais Nin.
7. Vodka became popular in America only after WWII because distillers couldn't get enough grain to use, so begged potato growers to send them all the small and misshapen potatoes they had, since appearance wouldn't matter. Distillers sold 1M gallons of Vodka in 1946 and 30M by 1965. BTW, Vodka uses rye, wheat, and other grains in its manufacture, but most Americans think of it as only made from Potatoes. There is also a big controversy over where Vodka originated, whether Poland or Russia. [p70]
8. We also learn that that the agave plant used to make Tequila is not a cactus but a member of the asparagus family, and that each plant yields enough sap to make about 250 gallons of maguay beer, which was drunk some 2K years ago. How do we know that; well it is because some scientist analyzed some 2k year old coprofites. :-0
9. Although humans have about 25k different genes, an apple tree has 57k.

There was also a nice and lengthy section on herbs made from the green or fleshy part of plants and spices made from the bark, root, stem, or seed of plants.

As you can see there was a lot more to the book than the simple making of booze. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 30, 2015 6:23:58 PM PST
CDaniels says:
Nitpick: "it might be the inclusion of many species of which all but those engaged in botanical research would be familiar" should be "of which NONE but those engaged in botanical research would be familiar"
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer

D_shrink
(VINE VOICE)   

Location: SC United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,975