The author provides an interesting perspective on the influence that various drinks had on civilization, culture and the spread of ideas and empires from the Stone Age to the 21st Century. He starts of with beer in Mesopotamia and Egypt; progresses to wine in Greece and Rome; then the concoction and trade of various types of alcoholic beverages distilled from fermented plant matter and industrial "leftovers" (e.g. molasses); to the distribution and sobering influence of coffee; to the export of and wars involving tea; to the invention and global popularity coca-cola; and finally to the source of all these beverage, water.
This is history told in a light and breezy manner with a narrow subject and geological focus, and no depth. It was entertaining, and the beverage perspective novel, but most of the historical information wasn't new to me (except the cola chapters). The beer chapters were entertaining to read with witty turns of phrase, but this disappeared for the rest of the book, making for somewhat dull reading. I don't particularly have an interest in alcohol, coffee or tea either, so this book might appeal more to someone who actually enjoys drinking the stuff.
-Food in History by Reay Tannahill
-Untold History of the Potato - John Reader
-Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
-Banana: Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World - Dan Koeppel
-Thirst - Steven Mithen
- Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History by Penny Le Couteur, Jay Burreson