5 Mind-Boggling Truths About Alcohol’s Past

5 Mind-Boggling Truths About Alcohol

5 Mind-Blogging Truths

Everywhere people congregate, from college campuses to gastropubs, there is booze. However, wine, beer, and liquor did not appear out of thin air. These concoctions have a lengthy, millennia-old history. The first documented fermented drinks date back as far as 13,000 years ago, when a beer-like porridge was created in a cave close to modern-day Haifa, Israel. In reality, alcoholic beverages even predate many historical civilizations. Over the many centuries that have passed, alcohol has been essential to many cultures. It has been cultivated in monasteries, utilized as money, and even distilled by the first President of the United States. So grab your preferred libation and continue reading to learn five fascinating facts about the origins of alcohol.

About 6000 BCE, grape-based wines originated in what is now Georgia.

In an area of the South Caucasus that is now Georgia, a group of farmers started the winemaking business as we know it more than 8,000 years ago. The first people to transform grapes into wine were not from France or Italy, but rather from the people who lived in a Stone Age settlement called Gadachrili Gora, which is located just south of modern-day Tbilisi. During archeological digs, pieces of Neolithic pottery were discovered that had leftover wine components including starch and grape pollen. These enormous pots were adorned with images of grapes, indicating that they were used for winemaking. These were the first iterations of the popular Qvevri wine vessel from Georgia. The containers are thought to have served as both fermentation and aging vessels.

Beer Was Used to Pay Workers in Ancient Egypt

Although beer probably originated thousands of years earlier, the first evidence of barley beer dates to the Sumerian people of Mesopotamia, who lived close to modern-day Iraq, in 3400 BCE. These pioneering, widely consumed beers appeared all throughout the region in the centuries that followed. The ancient Egyptians, however, saw beer as an essential part of their daily diet, with many meals consisting just of bread and beer. Few societies at the time enjoyed a good beer to the same extent as the Egyptians did. While wine was also popular in Egypt at the time, it was mostly limited to upper-class individuals, therefore the working class preferred beer. Beer was even given to laborers along the Nile River as payment since it was thought to be safer to drink than the river’s tainted water. These concoctions were frequently enhanced in flavor at the time by the addition of ingredients like dates and olive oil.

Dom Pérignon, the founder of champagne, was a Benedictine monk.

Even though Dom Pérignon is most renowned today for being the namesake of a posh Champagne brand, he was formerly a modest Benedictine monk in 17th-century France. Pérignon was born in the Champagne area of France in 1638. While he lived at the Abbey of Hautvillers, he surely contributed to the improvement of sparkling wine production techniques, despite the fact that some sources mistakenly attribute Pérignon’s invention to him. When Pérignon arrived at the abbey in 1668, wines from Champagne were thought to be of worse quality, flavor, and color than those from Bordeaux and Burgundy, the two more well-known wine areas. Pérignon made efforts to enhance the area’s reputation for winemaking; he brought corks back into use as a dependable bottle closure and created a press to produce clear wine from black grapes. But in the end, Pérignon’s contributions to a system called “méthode champenoise,” which translates roughly to “the Champagne method,” are what really cemented his reputation. His goal was to learn more about how the cold climate in the area affected wine and how the accumulation of carbon dioxide led to some bottles blowing up. Later, Pérignon created sparkling wines, which the French first disliked but which became very well-liked by his English clientele.

Washington George Oversaw a Profitable Whiskey Distillery

Whiskey’s history predates the United States by a long way. The Red Book of Ossory, an Irish medieval book from Kilkenny, has the first known documented account of any whiskey beverage, dating back to 1324. The beverage gained popularity around the globe during the ensuing many centuries and rose to prominence in America. One extremely well-known American, George Washington, the country’s first president, established his own whiskey distillery in 1797. James Anderson, Washington’s plantation manager, pushed him to use the enormous expanse of his Mount Vernon estate to construct a whiskey distillery after Washington resigned as president earlier that year. Anderson was correct to think that doing so would be extremely profitable. On the land of the founding fathers, a stone structure big enough to hold five whiskey stills was constructed in October 1797. By 1799, the distillery was turning out close to 11,000 gallons of the alcoholic beverage. That makes Washington’s distillery one of the biggest in the country, far greater than the 650 gallons produced on average by other Virginia-based distilleries at the time. Not only did Mount Vernon manufacture some apple and peach brandies, but it also made whiskeys flavored with additions like cinnamon. The distillery chose not to bottle the beverage and instead sent it in 31-gallon oak barrels to nearby retailers. Regretfully, Washington died in 1799, just as the company was about to reach its peak, and the distillery soon closed.

During Prohibition, American doctors prescribed alcohol.

The United States outlawed the production and distribution of alcohol from 1920 to 1933, with the exception of the medical industry. The medical profession came up with a brilliant workaround because Americans were so anxious to have libations that they would do anything to obtain them. The U.S. Treasury Department permitted physicians to prescribe alcohol during Prohibition, which resulted in the prescription of alcohol as a “cure” for conditions ranging from cancer to dyspepsia. The cost of these inebriated prescriptions was around $7, or little more than $100 in modern currency, of which half went to the doctor for writing the prescription and the remaining portion was used to purchase the medicinal pint. Winston Churchill, a British leader, even used this loophole by obtaining a medical certificate for alcohol consumption when visiting America in 1932. Because his physician, Otto C. Pickhardt, stated that “Churchill necessitates the use of alcoholic spirits especially at meal times,” the British national was able to elude American Prohibition restrictions and consume alcohol at will. Before Prohibition was lifted in 1933 by the 21st Amendment, the prescription drugs proved to be a huge source of revenue for the medical sector