Drinking and Growing Stuff: an Enjoyable Book on Drunken Botany

Infotainment is a tricky business. Either the book will be entertaining, but lack information, or the book will be informative but only interesting to those who are already deeply committed to the field. I enjoy a drink now and again, and I also enjoy growing things. I was actually very excited recently to witness the bloom of a passionvine I had recently planted. I have spent the last three days out in the backyard, clearing out the August weeds and planting for the fall garden, and planting new fruit trees for our little orchard. This weekend, I will be chopping down a dying, old juniper tree, and using the wood in the garden for more organic matter, more organic matter, more organic matter. And, I will be drinking a beer on the patio afterwards, made by own two hands, and some other pieces of equipment. Anyway, I am the target audience for a book about drinking and botany, and the origin of drinks in botany. For this reason, my wise sister passed it along. The book is light and breezy, clearly written with an audience of everyday folks who are not familiar with the field of botany. Early on, there were things I clearly did not know and I was pleased to learn a broad overview of agave, and apple cider. Hooked, I continued on deep into the night, reading through all the entries and seeing what new things I could learn. The bugs and booze inserts were lots of fun. Plants need insects, and yeast need plants, and the connections of everything together may be a little disgusting, sometimes, but there is a pleasure in seeing the squishy origins of things.

It’s a fun, light, and breezy book for anyone interested in plants and libations, that still manages to be informative, and don’t get too serious about anything in a review of it, because it’s just not that kind of book.


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