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A Natural History of Spirits

Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall; Illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne

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 An imaginative natural history survey of the wide world of spirits, from whiskey and gin to grappa and moonshine

In this follow-up book to A Natural History of Wine and A Natural History of Beer, authors Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall yet again use alcoholic beverages as a lens through which to gain a greater appreciation of natural history.
 
This volume considers highly alcoholic spirits in the context of evolution, ecology, history, primatology, molecular biology, physiology, neurobiology, chemistry, and even astrophysics. With the help of illustrator Patricia Wynne, DeSalle and Tattersall address historical and cultural aspects and ingredients, the distillation process, and spirits and their effects. They also call on an international group of colleagues to contribute chapters on brandy, vodka, tequila, whiskies, gin, rum, eaux-de-vie, schnapps, baiju, grappa, ouzo, and cachaça.
 
Covering beverages from across the globe and including descriptions of the experience of tasting each drink, this book offers an accessible and comprehensive exploration of the scientific dimensions of spirits.

Rob DeSalle is a curator at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Biology and the Program for Microbial Research, American Museum of Natural History, New York City, Ian Tattersall is curator emeritus, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History. In addition to A Natural History of Wine and A Natural History of Beer, DeSalle and Tattersall are coauthors of The Brain: Big Bangs, Bahaviors, and Beliefs. They both reside in New York City.

“As a ‘natural’ follow-up to the authors' A Natural History of Wine, this sequel on spirits will prove equally informative and engaging and serve as a unique reference work for a range of spirits worldwide.”—Patrick E. McGovern, author of Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created (2018) and Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (2019)
 
ISBN: 9780300255157
Publication Date: May 24, 2022
328 pages, 7 x 9
71 b/w illus.
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