Saturday, December 27, 2008

50BC08 #25: The Joy of Drinking

The Joy of Drinking The Joy of Drinking by Barbara Holland

rating: 4 of 5 stars

This witty coffee table book in miniature is a fun, yet brief, ride through the historic and inexorable connection between alcohol and the human social spirit. Barbara Holland eschews the politically correct, exposing ironies of the sacred bottled water movement but admitting also the futility of dozens of hangover cures. Both the stumbling drunkard in the back alley and the elite wine connoisseur are given their due, taking their deserved places in Holland's pantheon of alcoholic engagers.

While the tone is anecdotal and tongue-in-cheek, Holland's sources are informed and intellectually intriguing. And, for those inspired by the history of moonshine and early American fermentation, the book includes two helpful how-to appendices--one with instructions for making various fruit wines, and the other on "Starting your own Still."

This would make a great gift for the most discerning of drinkers, as long as they have no fear of an author who calls it as she sees it.

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