Top 10 new drinks books

Empire of Booze by Henry Jeffreys

Witty drinks hack Henry Jeffreys charts the history of Britain through the bottom of a glass in his debut tome, Empire of Booze. His rich history of Britain and the Empire is told through improbable but true stories of how the world’s favourite drinks came to be, with each chapter unveiling a drink that originated during a period in British imperial history.

A former Oddbins employee and wine columnist for The Lady magazine, Jeffreys highlights how Champagne owes a lot to 17th century methods for making sparkling cider; how Madeira and India Pale Ale become popular for their ability to withstand the long, hot journeys to Britain’s burgeoning overseas empire; and why whisky became a favourite of weary Empire builders who longed for a taste of home.

The trivia filled Empire of Booze traces the impact of alcohol on British culture and society, literature, science, philosophy and even religion.

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