By Amy Stewart
Sake all started with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty but? within the Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, vegetation, bushes, end result, and fungi that people have, via ingenuity, thought, and sheer desperation, contrived to remodel into alcohol over the centuries.
Of all of the notable and imprecise vegetation which have been fermented and distilled, a number of are harmful, a few are downright weird and wonderful, and one is as historic as dinosaurs—but each one represents a different cultural contribution to our worldwide ingesting traditions and our background. This attention-grabbing concoction of biology, chemistry, heritage, etymology, and mixology—with greater than fifty drink recipes and growing to be counsel for gardeners—will make you the most well-liked visitor at any cocktail occasion.
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Additional info for The Drunken Botanist
Potted in a ramekin, you may not have enough to feed the family but for you, with a glass of wine, some crisp toast and a good book… Heaven. All livers should be well trimmed and any green staining from ruptured bile ducts cut away and discarded. The days of veal crates are long past in the UK, and pink or rose veal is widely available. My mantra is that anyone who drinks milk must eat veal. No farmer wants to celebrate the safe delivery of a calf by shooting it moments later for its simple failing of being the wrong gender.
Pork fat is most commonly used. When it comes to making a terrine or pie, I fill the dish or crust with half the farce and then lay in the fillets, topping with the remaining farce. When cooked and sliced you have lovely pale strips of deliciously moist meat in the centre of the dish. If I am given several mallards or other wild ducks, I often cut the breasts off to pan-fry, then make confit of the legs using the recipe on Rillettes de Canard. Equipment Very little special equipment is needed to start making your own pâtés, pies and sausages, but the following are some pieces of kit that will prove useful.
Pig’s liver is the base of most coarse country-style pâtés for, whilst it has a strong flavour, it has an essential richness that adds a luscious quality to the finished dish. Duck and goose fat is highly valued and can be collected and saved for roasting vegetables and enriching casseroles. Chicken breasts can be used to make boudin blanc, and the fattier thigh meat makes wonderful potted chicken, perfect for a summer picnic with crispbread and pickles. But it is chicken livers that are most useful.
The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart