The fiery burn of rebellion rum, a thirst-quenching gulp of ice-cold beer, the medicinal tang of restorative bitters… What did the drinks that shaped Australia first taste like?
In search of answers, award-winning writer Max Allen takes us on a personal journey through Australia’s colourful and complex drinking history, glass in hand.
We taste the fermented sap of the Tasmanian cider gum, enjoyed by Indigenous people long before European invasion, sip ‘claret’ and ‘sherry’ in the cool stone cellars of the country’s oldest wineries, sample 150-year-old champagne rescued from a shipwreck and help brew an iconic 1960s Australian lager. Allen also shares recipes for historic cocktails to try at home (Blow My Skull, anyone?), introduces many of the characters from Australia’s boozy history and offers a glimpse of how our drinking culture might evolve in the future.
Whatever your pleasure, Intoxicating illuminates the undeniable place alcohol has in Australia’s history.