Synopses & Reviews
Humans have been perfecting the science of alcohol production for ten thousand years, but modern scientists are only just beginning to distill the complex reactions behind the perfect buzz. In a spirited tour across continents and cultures, Adam Rogers puts our alcoholic history under the microscope, from our ancestors accidental discovery of fermented drinks to the cutting-edge laboratory research that proves why — or even if — people actually like the stuff. From fermentation to distillation to aging, Proof
offers a unique glimpse inside the barrels, stills, tanks, and casks that produce iconic drinks. Rogers ventures from the whiskey-making mecca of the Scottish Highlands to the most sophisticated gene-sequencing labs in the world — and to more than one bar — introducing us to the motley characters and evolving science behind the latest developments in boozy technology. He uncovers alcohol's deepest mysteries, chasing the physics, molecular biology, organic chemistry, and even metallurgy that power alcohol production, and the subtle mixture of psychology and neurobiology that fuels our taste for those products.
With intoxicating enthusiasm, Rogers reveals alcohol as a miracle of science. If you've ever wondered how exactly your drink of choice arrived in your glass, or exactly what will happen to you once you empty it, Proof makes an unparalleled drinking companion.
“Lively...[Rogers’s] descriptions of the science behind familiar drinks exert a seductive pull.” New York Times
“One of the best science writers around.” National Geographic
“Rogers’s book has much the same effect as a good drink. You get a warm sensation, you want to engage with the wider world, and you feel smarter than you probably are. Above all, it makes you understand how deeply human it is to take a drink.” Wall Street Journal
“A great read for barflies and know-it-alls — or the grad student who is likely both.” New York Times Magazine
“A whiskey nerd’s delight....Full of tasty asides and surprising science, this is entertaining even if you’re the type who always drinks what the other guy is having.” Chicago Tribune
“From the action of the yeast to the blear of the hangover, via the witchery of fermentation, distillation and aging, Wired articles editor Rogers takes readers on a splendid tour of the booze-making process.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Impressively reported and entertaining....Rogers’s cheeky and accessible writing style goes down smoothly, capturing the essence of this enigmatic, ancient social lubricant.” Publishers Weekly
A spirited narrative on the fascinating art and science of alcohol, sure to inspire cocktail party chats on making booze, tasting it, and its effects on our bodies and brains, from "one of the best science writers around" (National Geographic).
Named a Best Science Book of 2014 by Amazon, "Wired, "the"Guardian, "and NBC
Named a Best Science Book of 2014 by Amazon, Wired, the Guardian, and NBC
Winner of the 2014 Gourmand Award for Best Spirits Book in the United States
Finalist for the 2015 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
"Lively . . . Rogers's] descriptions of the science behind familiar drinks exert a seductive pull." -- New York Times
Humans have been perfecting alcohol production for ten thousand years, but scientists are just starting to distill the chemical reactions behind the perfect buzz. In a spirited tour across continents and cultures, Adam Rogers takes us from bourbon country to the world's top gene-sequencing labs, introducing us to the bars, barflies, and evolving science at the heart of boozy technology. He chases the physics, biology, chemistry, and metallurgy that produce alcohol, and the psychology and neurobiology that make us want it. If you've ever wondered how your drink arrived in your glass, or what it will do to you, Proof makes an unparalleled drinking companion.
"Rogers's book has much the same effect as a good drink. You get a warm sensation, you want to engage with the wider world, and you feel smarter than you probably are. Above all, it makes you understand how deeply human it is to take a drink." -- Wall Street Journal
About the Author
ADAM ROGERS is articles editor at Wired, where his feature story “The Angels Share” won the 2011 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award. Before coming to Wired, he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and a writer covering science and technology for Newsweek.