Empire of Booze Nooze

I have a book coming out on 3rd November. I am not sure if I have mentioned it. It’s called Empire Of Booze: British History through the Bottom of a Glass. You can order a copy by clicking on the jacket on the right. I’m going to keep readers updated with events and publicity on this page.

Here is a rundown of some of the publicity that has appeared:

Nice long review in the Guardian by Bernard Porter: “He clearly knows his booze. Perhaps a second edition might be purchased with a crate of samples.”

“Never mind books about drink — a book you can drink, now that’s a Christmas gift.” Ian Sansom in the Spectator

Simon Woolf writing in Palate Press has this to say: “Joking aside, “Empire of Booze” is that very rare beast – a non-fiction book written largely about wine (or wine-derived alcoholic drinks) that manages to be witty without being contrived, accessible without talking down to anyone, and educational without being preachy. I’ll raise my glass to more of that in 2017.”

Top MP Keith Simpson calls it “informative but amusing.” Thanks Keith!

Marcus Berkmann in the Daily Mail seems to really enjoy the book:

“his book is well argued and full of fascinating booze-related facts”

And: “…it’s an ambitious undertaking, but he achieves it with a sharp eye and an understated humorous touch I rather liked”.

Proper historian and wine expert Giles MacDonagh reviews it here: “There is a strong element of 1066 And All That but behind the self-mockery and light-hearted banter, there is plenty of information.here”

Nice mention here on wine blog Sediment, “ebulliently-written.”

Review in the Glasgow Herald. Thinks books is going to be a great success which is nice.

Review in Mail on Sunday, 30th October, not online yet. Here’s a snippet: “Fascinating pub trivia… Henry Jeffreys is a wine columnist and drinks writer who clearly knows his stuff.”

“If you wanted a project to ‘drink the empire’, this is your handbook.” Tamlyn Currin on Jancisrobinson.com

The Carouser gives is 8.5 out of (I hope) 10:

“Empire of Booze is not just another style guide to drinks but a very well written, humorous  book which traces the impact of alcohol on British culture and how British tastes for booze helped shape the drinks that are now consumed throughout the world.”

Some features and radio:

I made my parents very proud by making the front cover of the Bucks Examiner.

You can listen to me on the Food Programme on Radio 4 talking about Sir Kenelm Digby, cider and the Royal Society.

I was on Monocle radio talking about English Sparkling Wine at 22 mins 30 secs.

I wrote a booze book round-up in the Guardian. They didn’t let me recommend my own book (bastards!) but there is a mention at the end.

Long article in the Guardian Review on how alcohol works in fiction.

An article on British wines families the Bartons, the Symingtons and the Blandys in the Wine Society newsletter.

A little mention in the Drinks Business.

A feature in the Oldie on whether Jesus drank wine or not. You can read it here. Or if you can’t be bothered to read, I’ll give you the short answer, yes, yes he did.

I did a short interview on Vinolent where Joss Fowler said the book was “miles and miles better than I thought it would be.”

Article in Spectator on Champagne’s best customers, the British.

Interview in the Buyer.

I was interviewed by William Sitwell on Soho Radio on Tuesday 31 October from 9.30am. You can listen to the the whole show here.


About Henry

I’m a drinks writer. My day job is features editor at the Master of Malt blog. I also contribute to BBC Good Food, the Spectator and others. You can read some of my work here. I’ve done a bit of radio, given some talks and written a couple of books (Empire of Booze, The Home Bar and the forthcoming Cocktail Dictionary).
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7 Responses to Empire of Booze Nooze

  1. Emma B says:

    IIRC, at Cana there’s some response from the guests regarding the quality of the wine produced. In that it’s better than what was served before, whereas a host would normally serve the better stuff first, and the poorer once his guests were too tanked up to notice.

    Consequently I always say that Cana is *wasted* on non wine-drinkers as the first miracle, because they just don’t get the significance of that quality aspect.

  2. Henry says:

    Yes I did read something about that in my research. Apparently John may have been disparaging the Jews. It rather complicated things so I left it out.

  3. I received the book as a Christmas present from my lovely sister-in-law … who is listed as a supporter in the back of the book.
    This is a wonderful book, full of fascinating history cheerfully told. I left a review on GoodReads.
    My question is this : have you created a database or list of the boozes mentioned in the “Drinking the empire” sections? I’d like to keep a list on my smartphone so that when I go to my local alcohol monger I can see if there’s something on the list I should be trying. If not, I’ll simply type something up.



  4. Oh, my. That’s a lot of notes. It’ll take me a long time to catch up and sample all of those, but a man needs goals.

  5. Michael says:

    In the interview with Monocle radio, you mention a cider made in Surrey that sounded like ‘Gordons Green’. I had never heard of it. Could you please provide more detail?

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