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The Science of Booze

Adam Rogers, Sean Runnette


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A spirited narrative on the fascinating art and science ofalcohol sure to inspire cocktail party chats on making booze, tasting it, andits effects on our bodies and brains.

Drinking gets a lot more interesting when you know what’sactually inside your glass of microbrewed ale, single-malt whisky, or NapaCabernet Sauvignon. All of them begin with fermentation, where a fungus calledyeast binges on sugar molecules and poops out ethanol. Humans have beendrinking the results for ten thousand years. Distillation is a two-thousand-year-old technology—invented by a woman—that we’re still perfecting today. Andthe molecular codes of alcoholic flavors remain a mystery pursued by scientistswith high-tech laboratories and serious funding.

In Proof, Adam Rogers reveals alcohol as a miracle ofscience, going deep into the pleasures of making and drinking booze—and theeffects of the latter. The people who make and sell alcohol may talk abouthistory and tradition, but alcohol production is really powered by physics,molecular biology, organic chemistry, and a bit of metallurgy—and our taste forthose products is a melding of psychology and neurobiology.

Proof takes readers from the whisky-making mecca ofthe Scottish highlands to the oenology labs at UC Davis, from Kentucky bourboncountry to the most sophisticated gene-sequencing labs in the world—and to morethan one bar—bringing to life the motley characters and evolving science behindthe latest developments in boozy technology.