Britain’s ‘empire of booze’ chronicled

A new book charting the history of Britain’s role in the shaping of some of the world’s favourite alcoholic drinks is to be released this November.


Henry Jeffreys

Henry Jeffreys’ ‘Empire of Booze’ takes a rather different look at Britain’s rise to global dominance, charting the growth and development of various drinks from Madeira to India pale ale alongside the more usual narrative in this island’s story.

It is fair to say that without Britain’s influence many drinks known to he world today would not exist – at least not quite in the way they do.

The links between Britain and Champagne, beer, Bordeaux, Port, Marasala, gin, rum, Cognac, whisky and more are each explored in separate chapters, along with their own impact on British culture and society.

Packed with facts and trivia the book is aimed at drinks connoisseurs and novices alike as it explores the frequently fascinating and occasionally eyebrow raising past behind Britain’s taste for fermented grape and grain; debunking old myths and often replacing them with the hard truths that are just as (if not more) interesting.

Empire of Booze is Jeffreys’ first book, he has written about drinks on his blog ‘Henry’s World of Booze’ since 2010 and is a frequent contributor to numerous publications including The Spectator, Guardian and the Oldie.

Empire of Booze is released on 3 November with an RRP of £12.99 (hardback).

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