Thursday, April 17, 2014

Empire of Booze


‘In the late 1990s I worked for a wine merchant. We were paid very little, but given a thorough education in wine. After a long evening tasting, a favourite topic of discussion was which country’s booze we could not do without. It was during one of these high-spirited arguments that I mentioned that without Britain, none of our favourite wines would exist. What chauvinistic nonsense, my colleagues said. And then we started naming drinks and trying to find the British connection. Champagne? The technology for making sparkling came from England and the taste for a bone-dry wine also came from these shores: without Britain, champagne would have been flat and sweet. Port? Well, the names on the bottles are a clue: Taylor’s, Churchill’s, Smith Woodhouse. We went on to other drinks: rum? Beer? Whisky? All British, I insisted . . .’

And so Henry Jeffreys was inspired to thoroughly research this hypothesis and write a book on the subject. Empire of Booze will be a loose history of Britain told through booze. Each chapter will focus on a drink and a period, but it will also look at how these classic drinks are faring today and also include recommendations so readers can drink their way through the book.

You can read a full synopsis and an excerpt from the book here: Unbound. If encouraged by what you read, you can make a pledge on the website (which will bring you rewards) to help Henry reach his funding target and produce his completed book.

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*Blogger's note: I read the excerpt and it was good. I like books about booze not because I drink because I do not (maybe a beer here here and there or a glass or wine) but because I read The Wet And The Dry by Lawrence Osborne and it was sooo good. It was all about a man from Great Britain, a drunk really but functional drunk, and he lived a lot and traveled a lot in the dry countries of the middle east. It was a very good book which I reviewed on my blog here and on goodreads and suggest it as a good read. It was funny at times and very informative. Not what you would expect a book about booze to be about. So try this book Empire of Booze. I think I may contribute to it. I would sure love to read it. At least go read the excerpt it is informative and interesting.