Humans have been consuming alcohol since the beginning of recorded history. The first alcoholic product humans consumed was fruit that had gone bad and become fermented, which probably took place over 10 million years ago. Controlled fermentation has been going on for at least 10,000 years, and there is record of slaves in Egypt being given a stipend of beer every day while they were building the pyramids 6000 years ago. Alcohol has been a part of human history since the beginning of recorded time and beyond.
Some crops were cultivated for the express purpose of creating alcohol while some alcohols were the result of fermenting excess crops at the end of the season in order to preserve the harvest. Two millennia ago the Roman Senate ordered the cultivation of grapevines so that wine could flow freely to the public.
Today even though you can get all different kinds of alcohol all over the world, the type of alcohol you drink is still heavily correlated with your national identity. Germans are associated with beer, Americans are associated with bourbon, and Mexicans are associated with Tequilla.
What’s more than a national identity associated with certain spirits is when certain spirits are associated with certain occasions. When you think of having a celebration, what’s the first thing you reach for? Champagne, naturally! When you’re going to have a good steak dinner you want a glass of red wine to go with it. If you’re going to a barbecue at your neighbor’s house, you’re probably going to swing by the store and grab some beer before you head over. And if it’s your 21st birthday you’re totally down for doing shots.
Drinking releases endorphins and can put you into a great mood, but watch out for that hangover. Stay hydrated and don’t overdo it. Learn more about the positive effects of alcohol from this infographic!