Deal Announcement: REBELLIOUS SPIRITS by Ruth Ball

Today I’m thrilled to announce a deal for REBELLIOUS SPIRITS: The Illicit History of Booze in Britain! This fascinating work of narrative non-fiction by Ruth Ball tells the story of illicit spirit-making in the British Isles – from Scottish bothies to Cornish smugglers, from Hogarth’s London to the Blitz – with accompanying recipes. UK and Commonwealth rights sold to wonderful British independent Elliott & Thompson, for publication in October 2015.

All of my clients are fascinating people, but Ruth is definitely a strong contender for ‘coolest day job’. She runs a custom liqueur business called Alchemist Dreams, creating delicious booze and running exciting events for clients including The British Library, Starwood Hotels, Garnier and The Science Museum Group. If you’re looking for a drink that evokes the pine forests of the Canadian Shield, or a cocktail that changes colour in an edible glass, or basically any outlandish booze-based creation you can imagine (and plenty that you can’t), Ruth is the person you need to call.

Her research at the cutting edge of boozecraft has uncovered a vast collection of fascinating tales from history, and I’m so excited that she has decided to turn them into a book. The accompanying recipes are as authentic as possible – adjusted only for safety and legality. If you’re interested in what 14th-century Aqua Vitae or 18th-century milk punch tasted like, this book will give you a chance to find out.

AND she’s looking for testers! If you enjoy experimental boozery and would like to get involved in making this fantastic project even better, email Ruth at!

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