Hi! I’m Anistatia Miller. Thanks for stopping by.
The closely woven relationship between alcohol and the five major social institutions (family, economy, religion, government, and education) has taken me on a research journey that has spanned from the early origins of alcohol production in Asia to the lives of nineteenth- and twentieth-century bartenders to the French origins of Cuban rum.
However, during the past five years my focus has honed in on the economic and social impact of alcohol production and alcohol consumption on life in early modern England (c.1500-1800).
My main research interests include:
—the history of brewing and distilling as well as the roles these industries played in the transformation of the English economy during the Tudor, Stuart, and Georgian periods
—the history of London dry gin and eighteenth-century gin production outside of the capital, particularly in Bristol
—the history of domestic brewing and distilling as well as mead, cider, and perry production in southwest England
Research outputs, to date, have been non-academic, intended for a general readership:
—Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink, Volume One and Volume Two which explored the history of drink and drinking from 7000 BC to the twentieth century were published in 2009 and 2010 both won awards for Best Drink Writing in the UK from the international Gourmand World Cook Book Awards.
—Published in 2013, The Deans of Drink: The Amazing Lives & Turbulent Times of Harry Johnson & Harry Craddock As Seen in a New Light delved into the impact that extreme, world-changing events of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as the shifts in public attitudes that accompanied them sculpted the personal and professional lives of two of the bartending profession’s great pioneers.
—Published in 2017 with funding provided by Pernod-Ricard, Spirit of the Cane: The Story of Cuban Rum narrated the French, Dutch, and British influences that led to the development of Cuban Rum as well as the histories of classic Cuban mixed drinks.
As the co-director of Exposition Universelles des Vins et Spiritueux, a private museum of wines and spirits situated in Bandol, France, from 2006 through 2009, I managed the archiving of over 8,000 bottles plus alcohol-related ephemera; the establishment of the museum’s web site (ww.euvs.org); and founded a free, online library of drink and spirits books (ww.euvslibrary.com).
I served as the historical consultant, in 2009 and 2011, for the content and design of the Beefeater Visitor Centre in London. And in 2012, I was the archivist for the historical records of Plymouth Gin held at the Black Friars Distilery in Plymouth, Devon.
I am currently working on my PhD thesis which examines the British brewing trade during the Tudor and Stuart periods (1485-1714), focussing on its development in Bristol. The discussion reviews that the impact the early modern brewing trade exerted on the local and national economies as well as four of the five essential social institutions, while it was being shaped by technological advancements and legislative restrictions.