Giveaway: The Drunken Botanist and seeds to grow your own cocktails

Cocktail time!

“Every great drink starts with a plant,” writes Amy Stewart in her new book The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks. “If you’re a gardener, I hope this book inspires a cocktail party.”

Stewart, a former Austinite, often writes about the intersection of horticulture and popular culture, as with her New York Times bestsellers Wicked Plants and Flower Confidential. With The Drunken Botanist she taps into the national resurgence of interest in mixed drinks, but from a plant lover’s perspective, stirring up an entertaining concoction of botanical history, the science of mixology, and 50-plus drink recipes.

In a stroke of marketing genius, Stewart has teamed up with Territorial Seed Company, which is selling Drunken Botanist-themed seed packets, with which you can grow your own bar-tending garden. Plant, harvest, and drink!

Amy Stewart will be at BookPeople in Austin on April 16 for a free talk and book-signing. She’s an engaging, entertaining speaker, so don’t miss it.

What I’m giving away (except seed catalog, which you can find online)

GIVEAWAY! Start your stir sticks! This week I’m giving away a copy of The Drunken Botanist and a collection of 10 cocktail-worthy seed packets that includes anise hyssop, basil, strawberry, lavender, cherry tomatoes, borage, celery, cucumbers, fennel, and peppers. Just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite cocktail (alcoholic or non) for your chance to win!

Fine print: Due to shipping expenses and international restrictions on shipping seed, winner must reside in the continental U.S. This giveaway ends on Friday, April 5th, at 11:59 p.m. central time, and I’ll announce the winner on the 6th.

Winner Announcement! Congratulations to Astra, who enjoys a rye Manhattan, for being the randomly chosen winner of this giveaway. Astra, I’ve sent you an email asking for your mailing address. Please check your spam folder if you haven’t received it yet. Thanks to everyone for entering!

Disclosure: Algonquin Books sent me a free copy of the book for review, and Territorial Seed sent me free seed packets from their Drunken Botanist collection. I’m giving them away to one lucky reader at my own expense.

All material © 2006-2013 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

posted in Books, Edibles, Giveaways

85 Responses

  1. Mel says:

    Mojito. It’s so refreshing in the hot summer.

  2. Leah Adams says:

    Ooh! I love Amy’s other books! I can’t wait to read this one, whether I win this pack or not!

    I have two favorite cocktails. A dirty gin martini with a side of a bowl of olives, and a gin & tonic, with a bit of lime and a splash of Peychaud’s bitters. Both of these are made even better with Hendrick’s gin.

  3. Cheris says:

    Oh I love Amy’s books! And cocktails. Right now I’m loving cucumber cocktails. My recent favorite was one in New Orleans at the Green Goddess restaurant called Spooky. Gin, ginger beer, cucumbers, and… something else. Mmmm…

  4. Sharon says:

    I’m a gin & tonic gal. I’m growing a Mexican Lime tree for the limes, but would love to branch out (sorry for the bad pun)…

  5. Amenity says:

    That book has been on my wish list since it came out! My perfect summer cocktail involves gin, fresh fruit juice and muddled basil or mint.

  6. Kim says:

    Gin and Tonic!

  7. Tim says:

    Cucumber Martini!

  8. Diana says:

    I love canning tomato juice from my home grown tomatoes and have finally decided to grow celery and lovage this year so I can make my favorite summer cocktail, a Bloody Mary!!

  9. Susan says:

    I have this book on my “to read” list ~ it looks so interesting. My favorite cocktail has got to be a Margarita, on the rocks made with fresh lime juice, a splash of orange juice, 100% pure agave tequila and agave nectar!

  10. Amy says:

    Jack and Ginger Beer, crisp and sweet with bite!

  11. Beth Cawein says:

    On a day to day basis, it’s always vodka and tonic with lime. However, when I’m out I like to have “fancier” drinks, depending on the food.

  12. MMMMMMMmmmmmmm MOJITO with a twist – it is DELISH with a few lime basil leaves. You can also make it virgin for the DD’s. :)

  13. Becky says:

    I’m a sucker for mojitos. I have a lime tree, so I’m growing mint just for that (and cucumber raita). Now all I need is to get my hands on some sugar canes…

  14. Robin says:

    Exactly why I put mint in my pond filter – need it for those mojitos!

  15. Amy Harter says:

    I love bloody mary’s!!

  16. Shirley says:

    Just Tequila and lime please. Sounds like a fun book.

  17. Julia says:

    Homemade frozen margaritas, with some figs from the tree thrown in!

  18. Jeanette says:

    Hi Pam,
    She was on NPR. Great high energy program! I would love this book. So interesting…. the historical development and economics of plants. I am afraid my most exciting cocktail is low-sodium V-8 juice on the rocks. Ha! I love ice water with added herbs from my herb garden especially the mints. Received your book for my birthday. Great present!

  19. gloria says:

    As a librarian I’ve placed your book on hold so I get it as soon as it comes in…..yee-ha! Nothing beats a big pitcher of wine, white wine, fruit…so good.

  20. Don in Waco says:

    Great book title, I’d almost buy it for that alone. Friends who saw it on my bookshelf might think it was my biography though. Cocktai? Generally those with fermented agave or sugarcane, though I’m mostly a fermented barley and hops kinda person. Yeast is a wonderful microbe, I like all the digestion byproducts.

  21. Katina says:

    Strawberry lemonade with rum. Too bad they’re not giving away lemon seeds, too. :)

  22. Charlotte says:

    My friends and I are on a Moscow Mule kick.

    I read Wicked Plants, so I’m eager to read the new book.

  23. Lorelei says:

    Mojitos are my new favorite. I read about her and her book in Sunset Magazine.

  24. Corne says:

    What a coincidence! I just picked up her book Wicked Bugs not knowing she had other books on gardening and plants. Can’t wait to read them. My favorite cocktails, Gin and Tonic on a hot Summer day and Balvenie single malt scotch when it’s cold out.

  25. Loren says:

    The first time I grew thai basil it got huge and I had no idea what to do with all of it, but a little digging on the internet and I discovered Thai Basil Lemonade.

    For a cocktail you muddle a handful of basil leaves with vodka or gin and mix with lemonade. For a mocktail you bruise the leaves and mix them with lemonade, leave in the fridge overnight and strain before serving.

  26. Top Shelf Margaritas! Thanks for the opportunity! Happy Gardening, Pamie G.

  27. Dy says:

    Society Cocktail: 1 oz. each Rehorst Gin & Amerique 1912 Verte Absinthe. .75 oz. each lemon juice and fresh grenadine. Shake for a slow count of 20 (longer than normal, I know). Serve up in a coupe.

  28. judith says:

    gin&tonic…with cocktail cherries!

  29. Erin says:

    Rose geranium sangria – perfect on a hot summer day!

  30. Hilary McDaniel says:

    Love my mojitas and cosmos. Amy is a fabulous author who thinks outside the box and gives us what we’d never expect to want. Great giveaway. I never win anything but would love to get this one.

  31. Becky says:

    Mojito’s in summer and red wine the rest of the time. With an occasional vodka tonic thrown in, depending on whether I’m dieting or not :)

  32. Laura McG. says:

    Ponche Villa, a wonderful concoction with an amazing amount of different fruits all stewed together, strained and iced. Delicious with Mezcal or not!

  33. Amy Jo says:

    Basil jalapeño lemonade. Spike it with a little vodka for a little kick. I am working on setting up to do some gardening with my 15 yo son this year and this would be great!

  34. cloverann says:

    Current favorite cocktail: Meyer Lemondrop…with lemons from my tree, of course.

  35. Lori B says:

    I grow borage so that I can put the flowers in my Pimms.

  36. Kate S. says:

    Gin, few squeezes of blood orange, homemade simple syrup from (mostly) sage and a hint of rosemary (both from the garden, of course), and a splash of moscato is my favorite right now!

  37. Natalie Tucker says:

    Who doesn’t love a mojito on a hot summer day?

  38. Lori says:

    Gin and tonic!

  39. victoria says:

    mint mojito, but really anything will do!

  40. Breda says:

    Vodka martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives!

  41. Margaret M says:

    Bloody Mary’s and Gin and Tonics

  42. John Logsdon says:

    Manhattan made with Rye straight up with the most unusual bitters I can find!

  43. Angelia says:

    Dirty Margarita-top shelf agave liquor,Grand Marnier,fresh lime,a couple of jalapenos and a splash of the juice from the jalapeno jar.

  44. Jennifer says:

    Gin and Tonic with lots of lime and bitters!

  45. got to agree wth Victoria on the mojito – but when I’m writing my novel a glass of Maker’s Mark is necessary

  46. Andrew says:

    Darjeeling Tea

  47. Elizabeth says:


  48. mizzay says:

    In no particular order:

    * A nice, spicy Bloody Mary always puts me a good mood.
    * A refreshingly minty mojito makes me happy.
    * A smooth, smokey Islay scotch makes a bad day good, and a good day even better (I know, not a cocktail, but it’s so good that I had to include it!)

  49. Nanette Kelley says:

    Drunken Scotsman: A cup of good hot chocolate with a shot of real Scotch Whisky made from malt barley.

  50. Elizabeth B says:

    Thyme-wise: Muddled thyme gin lemon and sprig of mint over lots of ice. Refreshing

  51. Julie says:

    Hendricks Gin & Fever-Tree Tonic. With a squeeze of fresh lime, of course.

  52. Deborah West says:

    I’ll have a Cosmo please in a pretty cocktail glass. Can’t wait to grow a Drunken Botanist garden this summer!

  53. Tamara Galbraith says:

    I’m more of a wine girl myself (still starts with a plant, of course, just a different one.) For cocktails, I love a good Mojito – makes great use of that darned mint that grows like a big, wonderfully-scented weed! Lavender margaritas are quite interesting too.

  54. Jill Hartley says:

    I love a good mojito!!! — although sometimes they taste even better while sitting on the beach in Mexico!

  55. Sharrieboberry says:

    Iced tea, please. But the history of these herbs are their use are very interesting. I’ll have to read this book.

  56. Tom E says:

    Please put me in with an Old Fashioned made with blood oranges, splash of maple syrup and Makers Mark bourbon (a la Salty Sow on Manor Rd). Love those angostura bitters whatever they are. Saturday we embarked on a trip to SA Botanical Garden (a la Digging), but after cocktails at Havana, Menger, and Valencia hotels, the Garden had closed….. darn those cocktails.

  57. Ever since Godwit Days Festival 3 years ago (4?) my favorite cocktail has been the Hummingbird, learned from Oberon in Eureka CA. It involves St. Germaine & pear flavored vodka, yum! But my old standby remains the Manhattan. Looking forward to reading The Drunken Botanist!!

  58. Deborah Williams says:

    How’s about a yummy Bloody Maria???

  59. Michele says:

    Anything mixed with Knob Creek makes me happy.

  60. Ishbel says:

    A Basil Lime Gimlet!

  61. Terri Foote says:

    Love toasted almonds & almost anything with amaretto :)

  62. Chris says:

    a special occasion cocktail mixed by Mike, the bartender at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm in Fredericksburg, TX: a Manhattan made with Woodford Reserve

  63. Cindy S. says:

    Mojito with fresh mint!
    I love Amy Stewart’s books. I’ll be going to Book People to see her for this book. I saw her when she was promoting Wicked Bugs. She is a good speaker and very funny.

  64. TiffanyO says:

    Moscow Mule with fresh lime squeeze.

  65. Becky says:

    I love a good spicy Bloody Mary!

  66. Astra says:

    A rye Manhattan for me, please!

  67. Carolyn G says:

    I love bloody mary’s

  68. Carol Coldewey says:

    Blue Pacifica Margarita from Chili’s!!

  69. Ann says:

    I have a weak spot for the ryoshuu at uchiko – sparkling wine, elderflower, bitters, and blueberry.

  70. Robert says:

    My preference would be a Bloody Caesar.

  71. timmee says:

    Lavender lemonade with or without vodka. Beautiful color and deliciously different

  72. Cara says:

    I just discovered your blog and love it! Thank you so much for your inspiration and encouragement.

    My favorite cocktail as of late has been a mango margarita but only if its made from fresh mango puree!

  73. Bill says:

    Muddle 2 kumquats then add
    1.5 oz. St. Germain
    1.5 oz. Hendricks gin
    shake/ strain
    serve in coupe or martini glass

  74. Matthew says:

    A mexican dew. But willing to try others.

  75. Gloria Moore says:

    Bloody Mary with Basil – with or without alcohol.

  76. Beth C says:

    My favorite cocktail is a celery julep at Midnight Cowboy in downtown Austin. At home though, it is a Rusty Crampon which is a mojito kicked up a few notches by the use of homemade bitters and tinctures.

  77. Jenn says:

    Mmm. My fave:

    Tall glass, fill with cubed ice.
    Two, or three, or so fingers of whiskey (house regular is Canadian Club)
    Fill nearly to top with Trader Joe’s Low Calorie Lemonaid.
    Finish with a splash of unsweetened Cranberry Juice.

    Yum. And that’s a lot of plants, including Stevia!

  78. Elizabeth B says:

    Kahlua & Cream. But I am eager to do experimenting with garden herbs.

  79. Ally says:

    Right now my favorite cocktails is champagne and cranberry juice. It gives me an excuse to eat dark chocolate which goes so well with champagne.

  80. Katie says:

    My favorite drink is the Sazerac. Rye, Peychauds bitters, Pernod or absinthe, bit of sugar, twist of lemon. Mmmmm.

  81. Marcia says:

    I make tea from pineapple sage leaves and when it’s cool, I add pineapple juice and champagne. It’s so refreshing when the weather is hot. I’ve enjoyed hearing Amy speak when she visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for her last two books. I’ll try to get by BookPeople when she’s there. She’s sooo entertaining! :)

  82. Kelley says:

    Really great mojito. Oh, and having it while in Vegas doesn’t hurt!! Lol

  83. Karen says:

    Gin and Q tonic water with a squeeze of lime, please! It’s getting to be the season for it.

  84. Jenny says:

    I’m a straight margarita girl but can be persuaded.

  85. Tina says:

    My favorite is waldbeerenpunsch. It is a hot winter berry cocktail I had in Austria once and have since recreated at home. The critical ingredient is currant juice. I would LOVE to win a copy of the book… We love making teas with our herbs, and would love to add cocktails to the mix!,