Tales of the Cocktail notes

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This post will only make sense to you if you were in the talk I gave at Tales of the Cocktail called The Drunken Botanist:  A Preview. It was a sneak preview of my new book, coming out in March 2013, called The Drunken Botanist:  The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks.  I promised to share links to a bunch of sources, so here they are:

Handbook of Alcoholic Beverages — this new two-volume set covers a wide range of research and technical information that I referenced throughout my talk.


Poisonous Plants.  (This is not a comprehensive list of every poisonous plant in the world; just the ones the FDA is keeping track of.)

Flavoring agents that can be added to food (or liquor)

Everything Added to Food in the US database

GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) database


Mind-Altering & Poisonous Plants of the World

North American Guide to Poisonous Plants & Mushrooms

Poisonous Plants — handbook

Medicinal plants, and a great book on plant resins: see a list here.


Order Cuban ‘mojito mint’ from Richter’s, Territorial Seed

‘Redventure’ celery from seed at Territorial.  Garden centers can order plants from Log House (wholesale accounts only)

‘Roman Beauty’ rosemary also available at Territorial and in the new Sunset plant collection under the name ‘Chef’s Choice.’


From the Independent:  A good general description of specific anosmia.

From NOVA:  A good discussion of taste and perception.


Genetic Determinants of Cilantro Preference

Characteristic Aroma Components of the Cilantro Mimics

NPR:  The Cilantro Divide


Specific Anosmia Observed for β-Ionone, but not for α-Ionone: Significance for Flavor Research

Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents of Gras Herbs and Other Economic Plants — Compounds found in violets

 Phytochemical composition of Viola


Gentian Research Network at Rutgers

EU report on gentian as medicne


The Encyclopedia of Herbs is a good place to start. Chemistry of Spices is also useful.

Conservation of wild-harvested plants

Plantlife International: Conservation of wild-harvested botanicals.

CITES:  Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Traffic:  Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network

Senegalia senegal (Gum Arabic)

Gum arabic report from State Department

Excellent NPR story.

Great blog post summarizing the debate over the name change.

Near East Foundation gum arabic program.


Thesis on malting & fermentation of sorghum

SABMiller: Sorghum, cassava, local barley in Africa

Sweet sorghum producers & processors (US)

US grain sorghum producers




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  1. Earth » AoB Blog - [...] for more plant-based drinks knowledge, may I put in a plug for Amy Stewart’s forthcoming book, The Drunken Botanist,…