Women and the History of Alcohol Booklist

As a part of Women's History Month 2022, this book list was created to showcase the role of women and the creation and use of alcohol.

Want more?? Check out our awesome related programs this month:

Lesbian Bar Project Documentary Screening and Q&A: Friday, March 11 at 3:00pm

Girly Drinks: A Women's History Month Panel: Friday, March 25 at 6:00pm

Check below for some great reads!

Aron, Nina Renata

In this memoir of romance and addiction, Aron draws on intimate anecdotes as well as academic research to crack open the long-feminized and overlooked phenomenon of codependency. She shifts between visceral, ferocious accounts of her affair with K and introspective analyses of the part she plays in his addictions, as well as defining moments in the history of codependency, from the temperance movement to the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous to more recent research in the psychology of addiction.

Bailey, Mark

True tales of celebrity hijinks are served up with an equal measure of Hollywood scandal and movie history, and a frothy mix of forty cocktail recipes alongside beautiful illustrations.

Barnett, Richard

Gin has been a drink of kings infused with crushed pearls and rose petals, and a drink of the poor flavored with turpentine and sulfuric acid. Born in alchemists’ stills and monastery kitchens, its earliest incarnations were juniper flavored medicines used to prevent plague, ease the pains of childbirth, and even to treat a lack of courage.

Burns, Eric

Details the transformation of alcohol from virtue to vice and back again, how it was thought of as both scourge and medicine. This title tells us how the great American thirst developed over the centuries, and how reform movements and laws (some of which, the author says, were comic masterpieces of the legislator's art) sprang up to combat it.

Conrad, Barnaby, III

One hundred forty-four proof, notoriously addictive, and the drug of choice for nineteenth-century poets, absinthe is gaining bootleg popularity after almost a century of being banned. Absinthe is a potent brew of wild nights and social history, fact and trivia, gorgeous art and beautiful artifacts. 

David, Natasha

Presents a relaxed style of drinking that goes down easy but is soundly rooted in the technical precision of craft cocktails. Award-winning bartender Natasha David's approach to low-alcohol, aperitif-style drinks goes far beyond the formulaic--bitter liqueur plus soda--and takes full advantage of an incredible and vast array of low-proof spirits, liqueurs, and wines, along with flavorful fruit and herbal infusions. The result is a collection of creative, genre-pushing drinks that surprise and delight.

Dieterle, C. Jarrett

With 60 delicious cocktail recipes paired with 60 of the most laughable, head-scratching laws, this is both a fabulous cocktail book and a riotous look into the political underworld of the booze industry. Thanks to Prohibition, there are thousands of laws still in existence today that limit our ability to enjoy cocktails, not only at bars but even in our homes! In Wyoming, it is illegal to hold a wine-tasting in your own home. In places like New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, you can't buy alcohol on Christmas. And in Ohio, you can't depict Santa or mothers in any advertisement for alcohol. 

Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne and Dina Gilio-Whitaker

In this enlightening book, scholar and activist authors tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, they disrupt long-held and enduring myths, including the myth that "Indians are Naturally Predisposed to Alcohol."

Erdoes, Richard

A rollicking, frolicking, bawdy, completely colorful history book all about the hub of western life -- the saloon! The saloon was often a town's first public building and served almost every human need. From what they drank to what they wore and how they swore, the guys and gals who created the myths and magic of the Old West are all here.

Ewing, Hope

In her travels across the country, the author Hope Ewing discovers how women are paving the way and creating a more inclusive and sustainable world full of delicious drinks. A veteran bartender, Ewing had grown impatient with the surprisingly outdated perceptions of women in the alcohol industry. Entrepreneurial and ambitious, often the first in their fields, the women she knew in the business were leaders, mentors, and trailblazers. Here, she seeks them out, to share their stories as well as valuable business advice and insight into a constantly evolving industry.

Forsyth, Mark

Almost every culture on earth has drink, and where there's drink there's drunkenness. But in every age and in every place drunkenness is a little bit different. It can be religious, it can be sexual, it can be the duty of kings or the relief of peasants. It can be an offering to the ancestors, or a way of marking the end of a day's work. It can send you to sleep, or send you into battle. A Brief History of Drunkenness traces humankind's love affair with booze from our primate ancestors through to Prohibition and modern Japanese Nomikai.

Grasse, Steven and Adam Erace

Learn to craft a perfect, classic drink, or workshop that creation into a unique, flavor-forward spin with this book, an indispensable guide to foundational cocktails and the tools to elevate them into master-level creations. In this richly illustrated book, the team of authors guides aspiring mixologists through the fundamentals of 20 essential cocktails. Then, each foundational drink is spun off into creative and customizable riffs on flavors, techniques, and ingredients, called Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master versions.

Gray, Catherine

Ever sworn off alcohol for a month and found yourself drinking by the 7th? Think there's 'no point' in just one drink? Welcome! There are millions of us. Catherine Gray was stuck in a hellish whirligig of Drink, Make horrible decisions, Hangover, Repeat. She had her fair share of 'drunk tank' jail cells and topless-in-a-hot-tub misadventures. But this book goes beyond the binges and blackouts to deep-dive into uncharted territory: What happens after you quit drinking? This gripping, heart-breaking and witty book takes us down the rabbit-hole of an alternative reality. A life with zero hangovers, through sober weddings, sex, Christmases and breakups. In The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, Catherine Gray shines a light on society's drink-pushing and talks to top neuroscientists and psychologists about why we drink, delving into the science behind what it does to our brains and bodies. 

Hoalst-Pullen, Nancy and Mark W. Patterson

This illustrated beer atlas includes more beers and more countries than many books of its kind. Includes beer recommendations from Garrett Oliver, the renowned brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery, and written by "beer geographers" Nancy Hoalst-Pullen and Mark Patterson, this guide features more than 100 maps and 200 color photos. You'll find beer history, trends, and tasting across six continents (and how to order a beer in 14 languages!). Travel tips include the best breweries, beer festivals, and pubs in each location.

Jeffreys, Henry

An A-Z compendium of every cocktail recipe that you need to know. Navigate the bewildering world of cocktails with this elegant A to Z guide to every recipe that you need to know. Complete with insightful introductions on the fascinating stories behind each drink, The Cocktail Dictionary is the discerning drinker's guide to the art of sipping. Covering everything from the Old Fashioned, Martini, Margarita, and Daiquiri, to key cocktail techniques such as muddling, shaking, stirring, and the perfect ice. Includes 100+ drinks recipes for you to try, as well as stunning illustrations throughout the book.

Johnston, Ann Dowsett

Award-winning journalist Anne Dowsett Johnston combines in-depth research with her own personal story of recovery, and delivers a groundbreaking examination of a shocking yet little recognized epidemic threatening society today: the precipitous rise in risky drinking among women and girls. With the feminist revolution, women have closed the gender gap in their professional and educational lives. They have also achieved equality with men in more troubling areas as well. In the U.S. alone, the rates of alcohol abuse among women have skyrocketed in the past decade. DUIs, "drunkorexia" (choosing to limit eating to consume greater quantities of alcohol), and health problems connected to drinking are all rising--a problem exacerbated by the alcohol industry itself. As she brilliantly weaves in-depth research, interviews with leading researchers, and the moving story of her own struggle with alcohol abuse, Johnston illuminates this startling epidemic, dissecting the psychological, social, and industry factors that have contributed to its rise, and exploring its long-lasting impact on our society and individual lives.

Kladstrup, Don

Tells the story of a dashing young Frenchman, Charles Heidsieck, who introduced hard-drinking Americans to champagne in the mid-nineteenth century and became famously known as Champagne Charlie. Ignoring critics who warned that America was a dangerous place to do business, Heidsieck plunged right in, considering it "the land of opportunity" and succeeding there beyond his wildest dreams. For all its current-day glamour, effervescence, and association with the high life, champagne had a lackluster start. It was pale red in color, insipid in taste, and completely flat. In fact, champagne-makers, including the legendary Dom Perignon, fought strenuously to eliminate bubbles.

Knapp, Caroline

"It happened this way: I fell in love and then, because the love was ruining everything I cared about, I had to fall out." So begins journalist Caroline Knapp's brave and powerful memoir of her twenty years as a functioning alcoholic. Knapp writes that she loved liquor the way she loved bad men and, like all tragic love stories, hers is a tale of seduction and betrayal, a testament to the alluring but ultimately destructive powers of addiction.

Kondō, Hiroshi

This book is all you need to get started on the sake experience. Here is an expert's guide to types, tasting, and brewing methods, with a detailed list of Japan's best sakes and a no-nonsense approach to the misleading maze of ranks and gradings and labels.

Laney, Lewis

This collection of cocktail recipes celebrates queer culture and pays tribute to the great gay icons of our time. Try your hand at mixing a Bloody Mariah (Carey), (Stephen) Fry Martini, or Rocket Man and get your taste buds tingling. With recipes inspired by Beyoncé (Bey’s Knees), Freddie Mercury (Tequila Queen), Whitney Houston (I Will Always Love Woo Woo), and more, there’s plenty to keep all cocktail movers and shakers busy and thirsts well and truly quenched—we'll drink to that!

Levy, Michael S.

Written by a psychologist with many years' experience in counseling patients with alcohol problems, this book dispenses practical advice for those wanting help in moderating their drinking or in learning how to abstain permanently. 

Lukacs, Paul

Wine is some 8,000 years old, but the wines that people buy and drink today are for the most part quite new. Modern wine exists as the product of multiple revolutions scientific, industrial, social, even ideological. Though the same basic chemical substance as its ancient forebear, it is in every other respect very different. Contemporary wines both taste unlike those from earlier eras and are valued in novel ways. For many thousands of years, wine was a basic need. Today it is a cultural choice, and the reasons why millions of people choose it tells us as much about them as about the contents of bottle or glass.

Lyman, Stephen

Drink your way through Japan (even from home) with the help of this book! Japan is home to some of the world's most interesting alcoholic beverages--from traditional Sake and Shochu to Japanese whisky, beer, wine and cocktails that are winning global acclaim and awards. In this comprehensive survey of Japanese drinks, experts Stephen Lyman and Chris Bunting cover all the main types of beverages found in Japanese bars and restaurants, as well as supermarkets and liquor stores around the world. 

Mancall, Peter C.

Alcohol abuse has killed and impoverished American Indians since the seventeenth century, when European settlers began trading rum for furs. In the first book to probe the origins of this ongoing social crisis, Peter C. Mancall explores the liquor trade's devastating impact on the Indian communities of colonial America.

Mazzeo, Tilar J.

The biography of the visionary young widow who built a champagne empire, became a legend in her tumultuous times, and showed the world how to live with style. Tilar J. Mazzeo brings to life the woman behind the label, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, in this utterly intoxicating book that is as much a fascinating journey through the process of making this temperamental wine as a biography of a uniquely tempered and fascinating woman.

Medicine, Beatrice

Depicting alcohol use among Lakotas as both complex and culturally-specific, Beatrice Medicine's book is an important addition to Native American and Great Plains studies. Medicine emphasizes that to comprehend its social, psychological, and economic dimensions fully, one must understand Lakota customs and two hundred years of history.

Newton, T. Cole

In this irreverent and engaging guide T. Cole Newton, the owner and proprietor of the beloved Louisiana bar Twelve Mile Limit, brings classic and original cocktail recipes to life with a combination of colorful invented histories and real stories, alongside advice drawn from his experience as a young bar owner in the Crescent City. Lively tongue-in-cheek mini-essays on a range of topics (including such illuminating takes as why the unflappable Maury Povich is the ideal role model for the service industry and how bar owners can work to be community allies) break up this alphabetical compendium of cocktail recipes. 

O'Meara, Mallory

Provides a tour through the feminist history of women drinking, revealing the untold female distillers, drinkers, and brewers that played vital roles in potent potable history, from ancient Sumerian beer goddess Ninkasi to 1920s bartender Ada Coleman.

Phillips, Roderick

A survey of the long-term history of wine in France, this is a readable and relatively compact history of the 2,500 years that separate the present from the time that Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans first brought to ancient France and planted the first vineyards there.

Rorabaugh, W. J.

Americans have always been a hard-drinking people, but from 1920 to 1933 the country went dry. After decades of pressure from rural Protestants, the states ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Bolstered by the Volstead Act, this amendment made Prohibition law: alcohol could no longer be produced, imported, transported, or sold. This bizarre episode is often humorously recalled, frequently satirized, and usually condemned. The more interesting questions, however, are how and why Prohibition came about, how Prohibition worked (and failed to work), and how Prohibition gave way to strict governmental regulation of alcohol.

Simonson, Robert

A complete history of one of the world's most iconic cocktails--now the poster child of the modern cocktail revival--with fifty recipes for classic variations as well as contemporary updates. In this fun, unexpected, and informative guide, New York Times spirits columnist Robert Simonson explores the history of the Old Fashioned: its birth as the "ur-cocktail" in the late nineteenth century, ascension in the 1950s and 1960s (as portrayed and repopularized by Don Draper on Mad Men), and renaissance as the star of the contemporary craft cocktail movement. 

Simonson, Robert

The first-ever book to tell the full, unflinching story of the contemporary craft cocktail revival. Author Robert Simonson interviewed more than 200 key players from around the world, and the result is a rollicking (if slightly tipsy) story of the characters—bars, bartenders, patrons, and visionaries—who in the last 25 years have changed the course of modern drink-making. The book also features a curated list of about 40 cocktails—25 modern classics, plus an additional 15 to 20 rediscovered classics and classic contenders—to emerge from the movement.

Sismondo, Christine

When George Washington bade farewell to his officers, he did so in New York's Fraunces Tavern. When Andrew Jackson planned his defense of New Orleans against the British in 1815, he met Jean Lafitte in a grog shop. And when John Wilkes Booth plotted with his accomplices to carry out an assassination, they gathered in Surratt Tavern. In America Walks into a Bar, Christine Sismondo recounts the rich and fascinating history of an institution often reviled, yet always central to American life. She traces the tavern from England to New England, showing how even the Puritans valued a good Beere.

Slingerland, Edward

A look at how alcohol and other intoxicants helped spark the rise of the first large-scale societies by enhancing creativity, alleviating stress and building trust among conflicting tribes to allow them to cooperate with each other.

Standage, Tom

From beer to Coca-Cola, the six drinks that have helped shape human history. Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. This book tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola.

Valli, Veronica

More and more people are interested in living a sober life. What was once considered boring or shameful for many who got sober, now is inspirational and gratifying. While there are many "quit lit" books out there that offer inspirational stories of those who decided to make the shift, many don't offer the "what next" for readers. How do we get sober? And how do we live sober? Veronica Valli shares just those tools in Soberful. This book will give readers a road map to a different life, one they can enjoy alcohol-free. It's a practical and straightforward program to stop drinking, stay stopped, and develop emotional sobriety.

Warrington, Ruby

How different would our lives be if we stopped drinking on autopilot? If we stopped drinking altogether? Really different, it turns out. Really better. Frank, funny, and always judgment free, Sober Curious is a bold guide to choosing to live hangover-free, from Ruby Warrington, one of the leading voices of the new sobriety movement.

Whitaker, Holly

As a society we are preoccupied with wellness, but uphold alcohol as a sort of magic elixir. When Whitaker started looking around for help after one too many benders, she found that the only systems in place to were archaic, patriarchal, and ineffective for the unique needs of women. And she could not ignore the ways that alcohol companies were targeting women. Here she addresses the root cause of addiction, the tools to break the cycle of addiction, and the community necessary to build a life free from alcohol.