Yorkshire, 1869. When self–made Victorian businessman Isaac Brookes returns home from his wool mill in France he could not have suspected that a chance encounter on a train would alter the gastronomical landscape of the world. But when he meets, and almost kills, Rodrigo Vermilion, a hunchback midget dressed in rags––Vermilion sees in pragmatic Isaac a grand opportunity to improve his lot in life, and becomes determined to go into business with him. Enter the Temperance Soldiers, a band of righteous social moralists who offer Vermilion the inspiration, and idea he so desperately needs. One taste of his first Temperance Ale–worse he felt sure than the ancient slime at the bottom of the pond, old frog juice, and duck droppings scooped up in a glass–and this savvy schemer with a genius for persuasion is off and running and soon convinces Isaac and his son to invest their fortune on an idea sure to appeal to Victorian sensibilities: Rhubarilla©, a fizzy, fruity drink that will sweep the world in ways that even the irrepressible Vermilion could have imagined. A family saga, a fairy tale, a fantastical history of England and of the origins of world's favorite soft drink–INTOXICATED is a witty, and dazzling treat from a writer of boundless imagination and promise.
Five years after Eating Mammals, John Barlow is back with another gastronomical story that's as surprising, funny and satisfying as a good belch…Before you know it, under Barlow's spell and the scent of boiling sugar and mashed rhubarb, you're settling down 130 years later to consider the mixture of hype and hope that still drives consumer marketing, sells over-the-counter medicines and makes us reach reflexively for cold, brown liquids in aluminum cans. A few minutes of listening to Vermilion promise "a draft of happiness" in every bottle are enough to excite anyone's skepticism, but Intoxicated delivers the goods. It's the real thing.