Michael Dietsch is me, and I am Michael Dietsch.

My first book, SHRUBS, premiered in September 2014 from Countryman Press, a division of W. W. Norton. In SHRUBS, I look at the history of the beverages called shrub, from their origins in the Middle East up through to their modern use in the trendiest cocktail bars and restaurants. Yes, beverages. There are at least two, and there might be three, depending on how you count things.

My second book, WHISKEY, arrives in May 2016, also from Countryman. WHISKEY covers the history of the venerable brown beverage, the differences between — say — bourbon and scotch, and the abundance of cocktail applications for all the many different whiskeys of the world.

I am a writer, editor, blogger, drinker, husband of ten years to Jennifer Hess, and stay-at-home dad to two beautiful children, Julian and Mirabelle. We live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. When I’m not writing, blogging, editing, drinking, husbanding, and dadding, I like to cook, bike, walk, and smoke cigars, though seldom all at once. I used to like to grill and smoke meats and vegetables in my spare time, but I currently lack a yard. Or for that matter, spare time.


2 thoughts on “About

  1. Your discussion of Shrubs is what I have been doing Called Oxymel. Oxymels are Raw Apple cider vinegar with Raw honey and herbs spices and what have you. They are consider medicinal. I have 2 or 3 tbl of my Rose and Oregano Oxymel in water every morning. Or my Hibiscus one. Now I took your recipe in the Washington Post(I assume it was your recipe) and I have a peach one and an apricot one. Raw Apple cider Vinegar is considered the only vinegar and honey to use in Oxymels because if its medicinal qualities. So I will call my Oxymels unless I choose to make it with another vinegar and sugar. Thought you might find this interesting or maybe not.

  2. Hi all,

    I’m going to be interviewed for a national renovation TV show in a few days. In the “pre interview” I made up a fact and it sounded really good! But I don’t think it is true. So I was wondering if you knew something on the subject. And I’m not a TV star – I’m just a guy.

    The quick back story. We own a cabin on an “ice pond” in Maine. Our cabin is going to be featured on a renovation tv show on the DIY network. The producers loved the tie-in that our pond was once used to harvest ice that was shipped all over the world, including New York City. Without thinking very much I said “During Prohibition cocktails in the speakeasy’s of New York were made with Canadian Liquor and Maine ice!” Well the producers loved that little factoid. And they are sure to want me to say that when the cameras show up. The trouble is, it’s not true. At least I think it is not true.

    Can I say this on TV? 🙂 I know Ice was shipped from Maine through the late 1910’s. While refrigeration was available then, would a speakeasy have access to locally made ice or would they still have it delivered? (presumably from the ice importers).

    Thanks and any help you can give or any info on how bartenders would have used large block ice (before refrigeration) would be greatly appreciated. You’ll help me not look like an idiot on TV!


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