A Brief History Of Alcohol

As with all histories, there is no one theory. And you may hear different versions from different people all the time. However, one thing for certain is that the fermentation process was discovered by man some 10,000 years ago. Earlier on berries, milk, grain and grapes were used. Soon enough, man discovered that fermented products produced desirable side effects when consumed. Alcohol made its way into every aspect of early civilizations including religious rites. It was a part of the staple diet as well, Ale being the oldest known drink.

Alcohol has been used as medicine in early civilizations. When traditional medicine was unable to deal with infections of bacteria and viruses, alcohol was often used for treatment. Alcohol has also been traded since it was discovered. It was an important commodity and element of early commerce. It was not only traded, but also served, in much the same manner it is done today. Bars, taverns and inns served alcohol in villages, towns and cities. Business and politics both we discussed in bars. Today bars provide us a refuge from our daily stresses.

The other phenomenon that took place was that of regionalism. Regions around the world become famous for the type of liquor they produced. Tequila and Mescal from the agave plant, made Mexico famous. Scotch (peat and grain) from Scotland, Rum (Sugarcane) from the tropics and Brandy (made from wine) from France are some other examples.

Alcohol ushered into a new era with the advancing technologies. From basic home fermentation, the process of distilling spirits was gaining popularity. Distillation is the process of boiling off the spirit and re-condensing it, to remove impurities. This is due to the fact the alcohol is known to have a low boiling point, hence it vapourizes faster and earlier than the impurities and the vapours thus collected are richer in aroma, texture and flavour.

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About The Author, Gautamm Mehra
This article is written by Gautamm Mehra, a certified bartender and enthusiast. You can write to him at gautam [dot] mail [at] gmail [dot] com