Boston Globe Reviews Distilled Knowledge
Monday October 03, 2016

Boston Globe Reviews Distilled Knowledge

Boston Globe correspondant Sonia Rao talks to Distilled Knowledge: The Science Behind Drinking's Greatest Myths, Legends, and Unanswered Questions author Brian D. Hoefling about how this new drinking book came to be.

"As its title suggests, “Distilled Knowledge” is concise. Each of its seven chapters, ranging from “Fermentation” and “Aging’’ to “Metabolism of Alcohol” and “Effects,’’ serves to address a topic-specific set of questions, and the book includes an appendix and glossary. This structure contrasts with a 1980s version of “Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide,” the first cocktail book Hoefling ever owned and one that he described as comprehensive but haphazardly put together."

The article is available here: A Sober Look at the Science Behind Drinking


Distilled Knowledge

The Science Behind Drinking’s Greatest Myths, Legends, and Unanswered Questions


A charming, uproarious exploration of the scientific answers to our most timeless questions about drinks and drinking

The world is full of questions, myths, and half-truths about drinking. Beer before liquor, never sicker? Should you drink the hair of the dog that bit you?

These questions usually have hilarious answers, but more often than not, the old wives’ tales and wild guesses of bartenders (and –goers alike) drown them out. For the first time in one volume, Distilled Knowledge compiles all the major points of discussion and disputation—with the science to either back them up or knock them down.

Cocktail historian and instructor Brian D. Hoefling’s pithy, conversational text is divided into two parts. The first, “What Hits the Glass,” discusses the ins and outs of fermentation, distillation, aging, and mixing—even solving the age-old conundrum between “shaken” and “stirred.” The second section, “What Hits the Body,” deals with the after-effects of alcohol on the human body, answering a wide range of questions on intoxication, social lubrication, and hangovers.

Readers will receive a complete and comical education through this attractive volume, which features clear, cheeky illustrations throughout. Complete with cross-references, scientific appendices, and a full index, the easily digestible entries are robust enough to put an end to any barroom dispute. A compulsively readable book, Distilled Knowledge is as funny as it is factual and will delight cocktail enthusiasts, beer aficionados, and those who love a good bit of trivia.

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