Invention of ALCOHOLIC DRINK (c. 10000B.C.E) (A Pleasurable beverage appears)

The accidental fermentation of a mixture of water and fruit in sunlight is thought to have led to the first discovery of an alcoholic drink by a prehistoric people.  Evidence of intentionally fermented beverages exists in the form of stone age beer jugs dated as early as the Neolithic period (10000B.C.E).  Other jugs have been excavated in Southwest Asia and North Africa.

Alcoholic beverages have been an integral part of many cultures, used as a source of nutrition, in meals, for celebrations and also in religious ceremonies.  Alcohol can give a sense of wellbeing but also acts as a depressant, lowering behavioral inhibitions.

Alcohol consumption became a status symbol for the wealthy.  During the Midle ages, concoctions were distilled to produce spirits. Alcohol has also served as a thirst quencher when water was polluted.  In the 1700s, home-brewing processes were replaced by commercially made beer and wine, which became important for the economics of Europe.

Beer was the first known alcoholic beverage, but many others have been produced since then.  The Chinese are thought to have produced yellow wine 4000 years ago.  In Europe the monasteries owned the best vineyards; French monks produced a sparkling wine, which was named after the Champagne region of France.  Brandy is supposed to have been accidentally discovered  when a Dutch trader tried boiling wine to remove the water and save cargo space. (Brandewijn means “burnt wine” in Dutch).

Attitudes to alcohol consumption have varied over time and different countries have limited the hours when drinking establishments are open, or even banned the sale of alcohol altogether, as Americans did in the Prohibition between 1920 and 1933.
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