Intoxicating Summer Reads for Cocktail Lovers

When it comes to juicy summer reads for cocktail lovers, there's a lot to drink in. We mixed it up a bit with new and old offerings, a handful of recipe books, a few historical, two scientific, several cultural, as well as one novel and a memoir. Amy Stewart's New York Times best-selling book distills the dizzying array of fruits, herbs, flowers, fungi, and trees that humans have used to fuel their desire for hard drink over the centuries. Sugarcane transforms into rum, corn makes bourbon, barley becomes scotch, agave goes into tequila, and rice is reincarnated into sake — these are a few of the most obvious plants from which liquor emerges. But there are obscure, fascinating, and dangerous plants that go into this mixology. Stewart throws biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology into her book, including more than 50 drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners. "The result is intoxicating but in a fresh, happy, healthy way," says USA Today.