Proof: The Science of Booze

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Proof: The Science of Booze

by Adam Rogers

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | May 27, 2014 | Hardcover

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Named a Best Science Book of 2014 by Amazon,Wired,theGuardian,and NBC
Winner of the 2014 Gourmand Award for Best Spirits Book in the United States

"Lively . . . [Rogers's] descriptions of the science behind familiar drinks exert a seductive pull." -New York Times


Humans have been perfecting alcohol production for ten thousand years, but scientists are just starting to distill the chemical reactions behind the perfect buzz. In a spirited tour across continents and cultures, Adam Rogers takes us from bourbon country to the world's top gene-sequencing labs, introducing us to the bars, barflies, and evolving science at the heart of boozy technology. He chases the physics, biology, chemistry, and metallurgy that produce alcohol, and the psychology and neurobiology that make us want it. If you've ever wondered how your drink arrived in your glass, or what it will do to you,Proofmakes an unparalleled drinking companion.

"Rogers's book has much the same effect as a good drink. You get a warm sensation, you want to engage with the wider world, and you feel smarter than you probably are. Above all, it makes you understand how deeply human it is to take a drink." -Wall Street Journal

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.95 in

Published: May 27, 2014

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0547897960

ISBN - 13: 9780547897967

Found in: Food and Drink

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– More About This Product –

Proof: The Science of Booze

Proof: The Science of Booze

by Adam Rogers

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.95 in

Published: May 27, 2014

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0547897960

ISBN - 13: 9780547897967

Read from the Book

Introduction Deep in New York's Chinatown is a storefront made nearly invisible by crafty urban camouflage. The sign says that the place is an interior design shop, which is inaccurate, but it doesn't matter because a cage of scaffolding obstructs the words. Adjacent signage is in Chinese. Even the address is a misdirect, the number affixed to a door leading to upstairs apartments. If you weren't looking for this place, your eye would skate right past it.   But if you have an appointment and can figure out that address-number brainteaser, you might notice a scrap of writing on a piece of paper taped into the window at about waist-level. It says booker and dax.   A savvy New Yorker would know that Booker and Dax is the name of a homey, brick-walled bar on the Lower East Side, about twenty blocks north of here. Drinkers revere the place-it is, arguably, one of the most scientific drinking establishments in the world. Cocktails at Booker and Dax aren't poured so much as engineered, clarified with specialized enzymes and assembled from lab equipment, remixed from classic recipes to more exacting standards by a booze sorcerer named Dave Arnold.   The Chinatown storefront is the sorcerer's workshop.   Trained as a sculptor at Columbia University, former director of culinary technology at the French Culinary Institute, technologist behind some of the world's most experimental chefs, host of a popular radio show and blog on cooking techniques, Arnold is more than anything an inventor
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Yeast 14
Sugar 35
Fermentation 59
Distillation 80
Aging 104
Smell and Taste 133
Body and Brain 160
Hangover 187
Conclusion 205
Acknowledgments 213
Notes 215
Bibliography 235
Index 248

From the Publisher

Named a Best Science Book of 2014 by Amazon,Wired,theGuardian,and NBC
Winner of the 2014 Gourmand Award for Best Spirits Book in the United States

"Lively . . . [Rogers's] descriptions of the science behind familiar drinks exert a seductive pull." -New York Times


Humans have been perfecting alcohol production for ten thousand years, but scientists are just starting to distill the chemical reactions behind the perfect buzz. In a spirited tour across continents and cultures, Adam Rogers takes us from bourbon country to the world's top gene-sequencing labs, introducing us to the bars, barflies, and evolving science at the heart of boozy technology. He chases the physics, biology, chemistry, and metallurgy that produce alcohol, and the psychology and neurobiology that make us want it. If you've ever wondered how your drink arrived in your glass, or what it will do to you,Proofmakes an unparalleled drinking companion.

"Rogers's book has much the same effect as a good drink. You get a warm sensation, you want to engage with the wider world, and you feel smarter than you probably are. Above all, it makes you understand how deeply human it is to take a drink." -Wall Street Journal

About the Author

ADAM ROGERS is articles editor atWired, where his feature story "The Angels' Share" won the 2011 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award. Before coming toWired, he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and a writer covering science and technology forNewsweek.

Editorial Reviews

"Lively . . . [Rogers's] descriptions of the science behind familiar drinks exert a seductive pull." - New York Times "One of the best science writers around." - National Geographic "Rogers's book has much the same effect as a good drink. You get a warm sensation, you want to engage with the wider world, and you feel smarter than you probably are. Above all, it makes you understand how deeply human it is to take a drink." - Wall Street Journal "A great read for barflies and know-it-alls-or the grad student who is likely both." - New York Times Magazine "In this brisk dive into the history and geekery of our favorite social lubricant, Wired editor Adam Rogers gets under the cap and between the molecules to show what makes our favorite firewaters so irresistible and hard to replicate-and how a good stiff drink often doubles as a miracle of human ingenuity." - Mother Jones "A comprehensive, funny look at booze . . . Like the best of its subject matter Proof''s blend of disparate ingredients goes down smooth, and makes you feel like an expert on the topic." - Discover "A romp through the world of alcohol." - New York Post "This science-steeped tale of humanity's ten-thousand-year love affair with alcohol is an engaging trawl through fermentation, distillation, perception of taste and smell, and the biological responses of humans to booze . . . Proof is an entertaining, well researched piece of popular-science writing." - Nature "A whiskey nerd's delight . . . Full of tasty asides
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