A Manhattan or a Sazerac; neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of soda—no matter how it’s served up, whiskey is synonymous with the poet’s inspiration and the devil’s spirit. Be it bourbon, rye, corn, Irish, or Scotch, whiskey has an infamous and celebrated history from a sometimes lethal, herb-infused concoction to a high-quality, meticulously crafted liquor.
In Whiskey, Kevin R. Kosardelivers an informative, concise narrative of the drink’s history, from its obscure medieval origins to the globally traded product that it is today. Focusing on three nations—Scotland, Ireland, and America—Kosarcharts how the technique of distillation moved from ancient Egypt to the British Isles. Contrary to popular claims, there were no good old days of whiskey: before the twentieth century, consumers could never be sure just what was being poured in their cup—unscrupulous profiteers could distill anything into booze and pawn it off as whiskey. Eventually, government and industry established legal definitions of what whiskey is and how it could be made, allowing for the distinctive styles of whiskey known today.
Whiskey explains what whiskey is, how it is made, and how the types of whiskey differ. With a list of suggested brands and classic cocktail recipes for the thirsty reader, this book is perfect for drink and food enthusiasts and history lovers alike.
These stories are funny and serious, outrageous and completely familiar. Readers will meet a cast of characters ranging from a woman who cleans her soon-to-be ex-husband’s house to a woman who seduces her paper boy. These stories are short, but leave readers completely satisfied and reveling in the complexity of our strange lives.
Barrels—we rarely acknowledge their importance, but without them we would be missing out on some of the world’s finest beverages—most notably whiskies and wines—and of course for over two thousand years they’ve been used to store, transport, and age an incredibly diverse array of provisions around the globe. In this comprehensive and wide-ranging book, Henry Work tells the intriguing story of the significant and ever-evolving role wooden barrels have played during the last two millennia, revealing how the history of the barrel parallels that of technology at large.
Exploring how barrels adapted to the requirements of the world’s changing economy, Work journeys back to the barrel’s initial development, describing how the Celtic tribes of Northern Europe first crafted them in the first millennia BCE. He shows how barrels became intrinsically linked to the use of wood and ships and grew into a vital and flexible component of the shipping industry, used to transport not only wine and beer, but also nails, explosives, and even Tabasco sauce. Going beyond the shipping of goods, Work discusses the many uses of this cylindrical container and its relations—including its smaller cousin, the keg—and examines the process of aging different types of alcohol. He also looks at how barrels have survived under threat from today’s plastics, cardboards, and metals.
Offering a new way of thinking about one of the most enduring and successful products in history, Wood, Whiskey and Wine will be a must-read for everyone from technology buffs to beverage aficionados who wish to better understand that evasive depth of flavor.