Workers pose for a photo at the Hoboken de Bie & Co. gin distillery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1900. By the end of the 19th century, cocktail culture had helped make gin a more respectable spirit.
Credit Three Lions / Getty Images
William Hogarth's Gin Lane (1751) was part of a campaign to reduce gin consumption in England.
Unlike a good martini, the story of gin isn't smooth; it's long, complex, sordid and, as Richard Barnett has discovered, it makes for tantalizing material. Barnett's newly published The Book of Gin traces the liquor's life, from its beginnings in alchemy to its current popularity among boutique distillers.
Barnett joins NPR's Renee Montagne to discuss the medicinal origins and changing reputation of gin.
There is a major decision coming up that will truly define the year 2012. Yes, it's almost time for the American Dialect Society to once again vote on the Word of the Year. Will it be selfie? Hate-watching?Superstorm? Double down? Fiscal cliff? Or (shudder) YOLO?
The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — many forces have combined to create dramatic change in the traditional publishing model.
Mike Shatzkin is the founder and CEO of the publishing industry consulting firm Idea Logical. He says one of the biggest changes happening in publishing right now is the planned merger of two of the biggest players in the field, Penguin and Random House — with whispers of further mergers to come.
Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of "recent library users" have tried to borrow an e-book this year.
About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge — when it's available at all.
Amanda Cohen is the chef-owner of Dirt Candy, a vegetable-focused restaurant in New York City.
Credit Courtesy of Clarkson Potter
Credit Clarkson Potter
Dirt Candy, A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food From the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant is a graphic novel, vegetarian cookbook and memoir — all in one.
Credit Clarkson Potter
Cohen was reluctant at first to write a book — she'd seen too many other chefs get distracted by their cookbooks. Her husband joked: "You may as well do something idiotic like write a comic book cookbook!" — and so she did.
The Ones That Got Away series: There were so many good arts and entertainment stories in 2012 that we couldn't get around to reporting on everything as it was released. So this week, our arts reporters are circling back to look at books, movies, TV shows and trends that we should have paid more attention to.
Amanda Cohen's Dirt Candy is a graphic novel, vegetarian cookbook and memoir. But because it's all of those things, it's also not exactly any of them — so it fell between the cracks.
So I'm wondering, how often have you actually counted your chickens before they'd hatched, or maybe thrown up a single stone and then hit two birds, not to mention having one of those critters in your hand that was worth two of them in the bush. Cliches are very often denounced as the most over-used and contemptible phrases in the English language.
As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on July 16, 2012.
Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom follows the inner workings of a fictional cable network trying to challenge America's hyperpartisan 24/7 news culture. It's a typical Sorkin drama, complete with fast-paced dialogue, witty scenes and a strong ensemble cast.