Like so many great book ideas, Amy Stewart’s latest was born in a bar.

It began when Stewart discovered that her drinking companion, a landscape designer and writer, didn’t like gin. She was flabbergasted.

“I said, ‘How can you not be interested in gin?!'” Stewart remembers. “It’s all distilled plants. Juniper, coriander, citrus . . .”

As the evening wore on and more gin was consumed, Stewart came to a startling epiphany: Every single bottle behind the bar was filled with plants. Grapes! Corn! Barley! Somebody should write a book about it!

Now it was Stewart’s friend’s turn to have an epiphany. Stewart was already the author of several books about plants and gardening, including Wicked Plants and Flower Confidential. Why shouldn’t she be the one to write that book about plants and booze?