Listen to me discuss “Gin: A Global History” on This Way Up Radio NZ

New Zealand This Way Up logo

The interview based on my book “Gin: A Global History” can now be heard on This Way Up, the award-winning weekly programme from Radio New Zealand. A hearty thanks to interviewer Richard Scott, who originally reached out to me for the Q/A.

And, a major apology to South Gin, who I incorrectly referred to in passing as “North” gin. My brain was unforgiveably on holiday at that moment.


12 Bottle Bar and Scout Books

Scout Books image

If you grew up in the pre-digital age like I did, you know and probably love “pocket” books, those little packets of information and storytelling condensed into a pocket-size ream of paper. In 2009, SCOUT BOOKS resurrected this miniature marvel, reaching out to various collaborators to produce book collections, but also offering their services to those who want to create their own books. What’s more, the company is super-green, using recycled papers and soy-based inks.

Scout reached out to 12 Bottle Bar to contribute to “The Cocktail Hour: Rum, Gin, and Vodka”, a three-pack of single spirit cocktail recipe guides. We jumped at the chance, considering the company we would be keeping including Camper English of Alcademics, Ryan Magarian of Aviation Gin, and Michael Shea from Rum Club.

To purchase a set, go to:


12 BOTTLE BAR Nominated by Saveur

Yes, you read that right. The cocktail blog I run with my husband David has been nominated as one of the 6 best cocktails blogs by none other than Saveur magazine.We are in some great company — Camper English’s, Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s blog, This Girl Walks Into a Bar,  There Will Be Bourbon, and The Five O’Clock Cocktail Blog.  Congrats to all the nominees.

Please vote for us at:

Lesley featured on BBC Radio 4 Food Programme



As the publication of “Gin: A Global History” looms, I was lucky enough to be invited to speak on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme.  The episode is entitled “Gin and Botanicals”, charting the evolution of gin from its early days as genever to its modern incarnations as London Dry and various boutique varieties.  I was consulted as the gin “expert” to discuss the juniper spirit in a historical context. It was great fun, and host Dan Saladino produced a fine program, which you can hear in the above link.

“Gin: A Global History” at bookstores soon!



After several years in “production” — pitching, writing, editing, and proofing — my book “Gin: A Global History” from Reaktion Books UK is being published.  “Gin” is part of the collection of food/drink histories in the much lauded Edible Series, which has been described as “food writing at its best”.

The book will be available in bookstores in May, but can be pre-ordered on right now.