The Drunken Botanist Explains It All

You’re sitting in a new, swanky, mixology bar, probably with a speakeasy theme. In front of you are a myriad of garnishes sorted and lined-up in glasses for the all-knowing bartender’s easy convenience, including bacon, currants, and gummy bears. Next to you sits a man in his 30’s with a mustache that curls up at the ends.

Before you talk yourself into leaving, you overhear said hipster say something like, “You know, vodka was originally created in Russia from the potato.”

And you know he’s wrong. Why?

Because you’ve read The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create The World’s Great Drinks, by Amy Stewart. You know instead, that, though a distilled liquor much resembling what we would call vodka was already very much in existence in Europe in the 15th century, potatoes were only just being discovered by Europeans in the New World. You also know that the birth place of vodka is a very debatable and incendiary subject between the Russians and Polish.

Confident in your superior knowledge, you skip the cocktail menu and order a classic, a Manhattan. And also because you keep The Drunken Botanist at your bedside, you know that despite the endless options of bourbons for you to choose from, you’ll basically be drinking corn.

And for the record, maybe it’s you with the mustache, and the tourist with the faulty knowledge? Either way, here at Lust for Cooking, we won’t judge your life choices, but we do recommend you read this highly entertaining and informative book.


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