The intertwined histories of booze and medicine, from internationally-renowned cocktail expert Camper English.

Alcohol and medicine have an inextricably intertwined history, with innovations in each altering the path of the other. The story stretches back to the ancient world, when beer and wine were used to provide nutrition, hydration, and act as solvents for healing botanicals. Over time, alchemists distilled elixirs designed to cure all diseases, monastic apothecaries developed mystical botanical liqueurs, travelling physicians concocted dubious intoxicating nostrums, and the drinks we’re familiar with today began to take form. In turn, scientists studied fermentation and formed the germ theory of disease, and developed an understanding of elemental gasses and anesthetics. Modern cocktails like the Gimlet, Gin & Tonic, and Old Fashioned were born as delicious remedies for diseases and discomforts. In Doctors and Distillers, cocktail expert Camper English reveals how and why the contents of our medicine and liquor cabinets were, until surprisingly recently, one and the same.