Newly Released — A Good Drink: In Pursuit of Sustainable Spirits by Shanna Farrell

A Good Drink - Shanna Farrell

A Good Drink – Shanna Farrell

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In A Good Drink, Shanna Farrell details the stories of the farmers, distillers, and bartenders driving the transformation to sustainable spirits

Insightful tour de force… Farrell’s writing is as informative as it is intoxicating”

— Publishers Weekly

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, September 22, 2021 / — At farm-to-restaurants and high-end bars across America, menus proudly feature locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and the stories of the people who grew them. But why is the eco-consciousness devoted to what we eat not extended to the spirits we drink? The short answer: we don’t think of spirits as food, even though drinks are distilled from the same crops that end up on our tables.

In "A Good Drink: In Pursuit of Sustainable Spirits" (Publication Date: September 16, 2021), bartender and oral historian Shanna Farrell takes a global journey to discover the stories of the farmers, distillers, and bartenders driving the transformation to sustainable spirits. Along the way, she reveals the urgent need for a sustainable spirits movement, as distilling requires huge volumes of water, bars generate mountains of trash, and crops for spirits are often grown with chemicals that are health hazards and environmental pollutants.

Farrell introduces readers to Arturo Campos, a fourth-generation mezcalero in Jalisco, Mexico, working with his father to preserve traditional ways of producing mezcal and the owner of the White Lyan bar in London who eliminated individual bottles and ice. She visits High Wire Distilling Co. in South Carolina, where a husband-wife team are bringing a legendary moonshiner’s corn, Jimmy Red corn, back from near extinction using sustainable practices. At the Maker’s Mark distillery in Kentucky, Farrell sees if it’s possible to pre¬serve local ecology while producing spirits on a large scale. These people are part of a growing trend to recognize spirits for what they are—part of our food system.

From agave fields in Mexico to the American South, small sustainable spirits businesses are galvanizing a good-drink movement. "A Good Drink" encourages readers to think “farm to bar” about what they drink by engaging with spirits on a deeper level. Farrell shows how a spirit’s unique history – from who made it to how they made it – becomes a new way to enjoy that next drink.

For readers who have ever wondered who grew the pears that went into their brandy or why their cocktail is an unnatural shade of red, "A Good Drink" is an eye-opening tour of the spirits industry. For anyone who cares about the future of our planet, it offers a hopeful vision of change, one pour at a time.

Shanna Farrell is an interviewer at UC Berkeley's Oral History Center, where she works on a wide variety of projects and specializes in drink cultural and environmental history. She is the author of Bay Area Cocktails. Her writing has appeared in Imbibe magazine, Life & Thyme, PUNCH, and The San Francisco Chronicle. She holds Master’s Degrees from both New York University and Columbia University.

Founded in 1984, Island Press works to stimulate, shape, and communicate the information that is essential for solving environmental problems. Today, with more than 1,000 titles in print and some 30 new releases each year, it is the nation’s leading publisher of books on environmental issues. Island Press is driving change by moving ideas from the printed page to public discourse and practice. Island Press’s emphasis is, and will continue to be, on transforming objective information into understanding and action. For more information and further updates be sure to visit

Jaime Jennings
Island Press
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Source: EIN Presswire