History Of Alcohol
History of Alcohol
The history of alcohol can be dated back to civilizations over 10, 000 years ago. Babylonians drank beer, ancient Greeks drank mead, and the Egyptians drank wine. The oldest traces of alcohol can be found in pottery in ancient China.
Alcohol has been used medicinally, spiritually and ritually. Many cultures considered it a prescription from the heavens or sent from the gods. The god Osiris was worshipped throughout all of Egypt as the god of wine. It has also been used as an analgesic (painkiller), and also to communicate with the gods, and as an offering to the gods.
Alcohol is made by the fermentation of many different items including grains, berries, grapes, rice, yeast, and honey, to name just a few. Fermentation is the process where sugar is broken down into alcohol. Then most alcohol is distilled. Distillation is the process of boiling impurities out that are left behind in the fermentation process; the higher quality the alcohol, the more times it goes through distillation. Next, beer, wine and spirits are flavoured with spice and/or fruits to heighten their flavour and make them more appealing.
Alcohol has been used for many things over the years – from paying wages or debts or as daily rations to soldiers and labourers. It has been used in place of water due to its calories and safety and because of water-borne illnesses so often found in unboiled water. Around the world, alcohol has and is often drunk with every meal.
History of Alcohol – Different parts of the world became known for specific liquors that were first produced in that area or that are still only produced in that region.
- Irish whiskey: made from grains and is only produced in Ireland.
- Scotch whiskey: made from grains over peat fires and produced only in Scotland.
- Rye whiskey: first produced in Canada, containing at least 51% rye grains, it is now produced mainly in North America.
- Rum: made from sugar cane found in tropical areas like the Caribbean.
- Gin: made from juniper berries; first created in Holland but is now made all over the world.
- Wine: made from grapes in regions all over the Mediterranean and around the world. Different types of wine however, like a bordeaux from the bordeaux region of France, is only produced in that specific area and then exported.
- Brandy: made from french distilled wine.
- Vodka: originally from russia; made from potatoes and potato mash.
- Tequila: comes from Central America and is made from the agave plant.
If you look back through the history of alcohol, you’ll find that bars and pubs have been around ever since people found they could make a profit off selling alcohol. Pubs have played an important role in history, often used as a hub for social gatherings. Politics and culture have been defined in bars. And bars still continue to play an important role in our societies today.
In the words of the founding Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “… alcohol has existed longer than all human memory. It has outlived generations, nations, epochs and ages. It is a part of us, and that is fortunate indeed. For although alcohol will always be the master of some, for most of us it will continue to be the servant of man”