A history of alcohol use

Wine and beer have been a part of various religious rites and social rituals for thousands of years. When did it all begin and who was the first celebrity to be seen drinking?

The alcoholic version of human history originated in several different cultures simultaneously thousands of years ago. Each culture has its own story about how the alcohol was initially brewed and used. The Egyptians have a story about a cereal that has soured, the Chinese tell about a bowl of rice left unattended and according to the Europeans – grapes were left in the sun, which caused fermentation.

In the ancient world, drinking was part of the many nations’ lifestyle, as evidenced by frescoes and reliefs, wine jugs and the remains of presses that were used to make wine. The first celebrity documented drinking was Noah, and as mentioned in the Bible, “Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.” (Genesis 9, 20-21). The New Testament also mentions wine drinking. Jesus drank wine regularly and at the Last Supper, he said that wine is his blood, and encouraged the guests to drink from his cup.

Clay wine jugs, dated as older than 8,000 years, were found in Georgia, along with 7,400-year-old jars from the Zagros Mountains in Iran and pitchers from Babylon aged 5,500 years. Wine played a key role in social events and rituals of the ancient world. Paintings showing wine production were found in pharaohs’’ tombs, while wine jugs were a part of the list of offerings to the dead that accompanied them in their journey to the next world. In the Nile Valley, hieroglyphs from 2500 BC were discovered, describing wine production. By the way, grapes got to Egypt from the Land of Israel during the period, when it was called Canaan.

Wine also played a significant role in Greek and Roman empires, often associated with the Greek god Dionysus and the Roman god Bacchus. During Dionysian celebrations and Bacchanalias wine flowed like water. Ancient Greece was probably the first major wine manufacturer, and served as a gateway, through which the popularity of wine expanded throughout Europe.

The history of beer making also began thousands of years ago. Beer was first manufactured about 6,000 years ago in the Middle East and Mesopotamia. The origin of the word “beer” is unclear. It might come from the Latin word “biber”, which means “a drink” or “a potion”. The first written evidence of beer brewing are from 3,200 BC. One of them is an inscription from Aram-Naharaim, stating that a good mother, who wishes to ensure the health of her son, should provide him with two jugs of beer every day and not three loaves of bread. The Hebrew word “sakhar”, which means the wage we receive from our work, was probably derived from “shekhar sheorim” (barley wine), which was used to pay the workers in ancient times.

Are you drunk? Eat a fried canary

Methods of dealing with excessive drinking probably exist from the moment a man began to drink wine or beer thousands of years ago. In the ancient world, the ways of treating hangovers were creative, bizarre and baseless. The desire to learn how to eliminate the negative effects of alcohol aroused the imagination of people around the world, but none of such ancient methods became firmly established as a recommended solution.For example, in the Roman Empire, people believed that eating a fried canary (an adorable small songbird) can help sober up after a night of excessive drinking. Ancient Greeks believed in the ability of cabbage to treat hangovers. In Puerto Rico, alcohol drinkers tried to prevent hangovers by raising one hand (the one not holding a drink) and rubbing half a lemon under it, while in France, some chose to drink a cup of coffee with salt as a remedy for hangovers. Don’t try this at home.