A spirited narrative on the fascinating art and science of
alcohol sure to inspire cocktail party chats on making booze,
tasting it, and its effects on our bodies and brains.
Drinking gets a lot more interesting when you know what s
actually inside your glass of microbrewed ale, single-malt whisky,
or Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. All of them begin with fermentation,
where a fungus called yeast binges on sugar molecules and poops out
ethanol. Humans have been drinking the results for ten thousand
years. Distillation is a two-thousand-year-old technology invented
by a woman that we re still perfecting today. And the molecular
codes of alcoholic flavors remain a mystery pursued by scientists
with high-tech laboratories and serious funding.
In "Proof," Adam Rogers reveals alcohol as a miracle of science,
going deep into the pleasures of making and drinking booze and the
effects of the latter. The people who make and sell alcohol may
talk about history and tradition, but alcohol production is really
powered by physics, molecular biology, organic chemistry, and a bit
of metallurgy and our taste for those products is a melding of
psychology and neurobiology.
"Proof" takes readers from the whisky-making mecca of the
Scottish highlands to the oenology labs at UC Davis, from Kentucky
bourbon country to the most sophisticated gene-sequencing labs in
the world and to more than one bar bringing to life the motley
characters and evolving science behind the latest developments in