Proof: The Science of Booze

by Adam Rogers

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014

Adam Rogers takes us on an amazing journey that blends both the science and art of liquor production. From the physics behind distillation, to the biology of fermentation, through to genetics, economics, anthropology and sociology – he paints the full story behind the history of our human crave for boozy drinks.

“Booze, more than any other foodstuff, connects the quantifiable real world to the messy version of it we all create in our own brains,” he says as he guides us through impressive amounts of academic research on smell, taste, effects and even hangover remedies. Going to great lengths to explain even the most minute detail – like the difference in chemical behavior behind froth-making bubbles in beer and champagne – Rogers delivers an entertaining, if not intimidating account, to be taken slowly as the sommelier would in a tasting. This book is definitely a must read for anyone who wants to understand the drinks industry and the cutting edge thinking and technology that is brewing behind it.

So whether you are interested in the science, the art, or the business of alcoholic drinks, this book has something for you to enjoy. A “zillion-dollar, flat-bottom crystal decanter doesn’t aerate the wine any better than Tupperware would,” Rogers asserts. I really wish I had known this before getting that expensive wedding present.

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