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.
About the Author
Kevin R. Kosar is the founder of AlcoholReviews.com. His writings on alcoholic beverages have appeared in American.com, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, the New York Press and the New York Hangover.
Table of Contents
1. Origins: From Seed to Spirit
2. Early History
3. Whisky in Scotland
4. Whiskey in Ireland
5. Whiskey in the USA
6. The Twenty-first Century Whiskey World
Some Widely Available, Recommended Brands
Websites and Associations
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Kevin Kosar's Whiskey: A Global History is a definitive guide to the spirit-how it's made, where it comes from, its mysterious history, how it shaped the identity and destiny of nations. It will tell you everything about whiskey except what, exactly, it did to your twenties. The book is a masterful guide to whiskies of all sorts, scotch, bourbon, Irish, Canadian and American. It is detailed and informative without being pedantic, and entertaining without straying off topic. From the cloudy particulars of biblical time, through Egyptian and Irish prehistory, through the alchemists' laboratories to the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791, prohibition and the present, Whiskey: A Global History tells a vast story without ever seeming to skim. A slender volume, the book nonetheless packs a wallop. In addition to a detailed and fascinating history, it has enough technical information that I was tempted to start distilling. Somehow, Kosar even found room for an impressive array of historical images about whiskey dating back hundreds of years. And at the end, once you've learned the space you occupy in whiskey's rich and raucous history, Whiskey: A Global History gives you a series of classic whiskey cocktail recipes so you may raise your glass and take your place in that history.
A fine, short introduction. Kosar's collection of poetry about whiskey is particularly fun.
Gives you a great and concise review of the history of whiskey. Quite informative and humorous.