Alcohol

Alcohol

Who invented Alcohol? Historians tend to agree that Alcohol was discovered c.7000 BC and the first known use of Alcohol was during the Neolithic Period of invention (10,200 - 3000 BC) however the invention of beer, brewing and also wine making is credited to the ancient Mesopotamians c.3000 BC. 

What is alcohol made from? There are several types of alcohol, of which the main classes are Beer, Wine, Spirits and Liqueurs. Most plant matter such as fruits, vegetables or grains can be used to produce alcohol through a process called fermentation.

How is alcohol made? Fermentation: The process called fermentation that resulted in the production of alcohol was probably due to an accidental discovery when our distant ancestors left fruit in the bottom of a container for an extended period of time and naturally produced alcohol. In fermentation a chemical change is brought about when microscopic yeasts or bacteria react with the sugars in food to produce alcohol.

How is alcohol made? Distillation: A drink's alcohol content is affected by how long it is left to ferment. The production of spirits is also affected by the process of distillation in which boiling is used to separate mixtures of liquids, leaving a stronger concentration of alcohol and flavor.
 

 

Facts about who invented Alcohol

 

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Fact File on the History of Alcohol: Invention: Alcohol *** Date of Invention: 3000 BC *** Name of Inventor: Unknown *** Historical Period: 3000 - 1800 BC *** Category: Food and Drink *** Country of Origin: Mesopotamia ***

Definition of Alcohol: Alcohol is defined as an intoxicating fluid, liquor, brew or pure spirit obtained by fermentation or distillation. Alcohol is obtained from various vegetable juices and infusions of a saccharine type, which has undergone fermentation to produce beer, wine, spirits, and other drinks.

Fact 1 on the History of Alcohol: Alcohol is believed to have been invented c.3000 BC in Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq. The Mesopotamians consisted of several ancient civilizations who built great empires including the Babylonians and the Sumerians. Refer to Mesopotamian Inventions.

Fact 2 on the History of Alcohol: Alcohol was discovered by accident around 7000 BC when a distant ancestor had stored fruit for too long and the sugar in the fruit reacted with bacteria to produce alcohol. It was the Mesopotamians who created the first beer and wine making industries. 

Fact 3 on the History of Alcohol: The ancient Mesopotamians were the first civilization to develop life in towns which required sophisticated methods for sustaining the population.

Fact 4 on the History of Alcohol: The Mesopotamians refined their methods of brewing and making beer by combining Bappir bread with malted and soaked grains and keeping the liquid in a fermentation vessel until the beer was ready to be filtered into a container. Viticulture, the cultivation of grapevines for making wine followed the beer making process.

Fact 5 on the History of Alcohol: The knowledge of beer and wine making spread to the ancient Egyptians through trade routes, then on to the Greeks and then to the Romans across all of Europe and the Roman Empire. By the 1st century BC the wine trade exploded across the Mediterranean and beyond.

Fact 6 on the History of Alcohol: The consumption of Alcohol featured in many ancient religious ceremonies and important rituals. Ninkasi was the Mesopotamian (Sumerian) Goddess of Brewing. The Ancient Egyptian goddess of beer and brewing was called Tjenenet. Dionysus was the Greek God of Intoxication and Bacchus was the Roman equivalent. The Viking god Aegir was the brewer to the Gods of Asgard and Cerridwen was the Celtic Irish and Welsh Barley Goddess.

Fact 7 on the History of Alcohol: Alcohol was also used in ancient civilizations for its medicinal, antiseptic, and analgesic benefits. Alcohol was found to be a good medium for extracting the active elements from medicinal plants. Herbs, spices, barks, roots, fruit peels and berries, known to have medicinal properties, were added to wine based concoctions to create various medicines.

Fact 8 on the History of Alcohol: The ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia used beer and wine as an antiseptic for the dressing of wounds. The Greeks and Romans mixed wine with boiled water and vinegar to cleanse wounds and alcohol is still used to this day as a wound cleanser.

Fact 9 on the History of Alcohol: The analgesic or "narcotic" pain dampening effects of alcohol were known to physicians and surgeons and used to relieve the pain intensity of patients.

Fact 10 on the History of Alcohol: Due to the relaxing nature of wine it was viewed by many as beneficial for relieving stress and facilitating relaxation.

Fact 11 on the History of Alcohol: The relaxing properties were, and still are, used at various important occasions to promoting hospitality, conviviality, friendliness and social cohesion to increase the pleasure of eating and enhance the pleasures of life.

Fact 12 on the History of Alcohol: In many civilizations alcohol was seen as an essential part of the diet and as a thirst quencher, beer was often considered a safer alternative to water, which was often polluted with dangerous microbes.

Fact 13 on the History of Alcohol: In ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman, Celtic and Viking religions both beer and wine were drunk and offered to the gods in rituals and festivals. More modern religions have totally different attitudes toward the consumption of alcohol. Many religions forbid alcoholic consumption decrying intoxicants as sinful, others continue to use wine such as a Christian practice during the Eucharist rite.

Fact 14 on the History of Alcohol: People began to experiment with traditional wine and beer making techniques. The ancient Chinese mixed wine and beer together to produce a drink made with grapes, hawthorn fruit, rice and honey. Sake  was produced by a brewing process using rice.

Fact 15 on the History of Alcohol: The Mesopotamians produced their beer from barley via Bappir bread, a source for yeast. The Aztec and Mayan civilizations produced Cacao-based fermented a bitter drink brewed with water, herbs, spices and cacao beans.

Fact 16 on the History of Alcohol: In Europe a drink called mead was commonly made from a combination of yeast, honey, and water. Ale was brewed and fermented from malted cereal grain, such as barley) and flavored with hops.

Fact 17 on the History of Alcohol: The process of distillation is believed to have been invented by Greek and Roman alchemists in the 1st century AD but the methods used did not become widespread until the Middle Ages.

Fact 18 on the History of Alcohol: People began to realize that the alcoholic content of a drink was affected by how long it was left to ferment. They then discovered the process of distillation in which boiling was used to separate mixtures of liquids, leaving a stronger concentration of alcoholic content and flavor.

Fact 19 on the History of Alcohol: Alchemists believed that the vapor given off during the distillation process released the essence or “spirit” of a substance, and we still continue to refer to this type of liquor as "spirits" to the present day.

Fact 20 on the History of Alcohol: Many different types of spirits were invented. In France brandy and cognac were distilled from wine or fermented fruit juice. Gin was made by distilling grains flavored with juniper berries and other aromatics.

Fact 21 on the History of Alcohol: Rum was distilled from sugarcane products such as molasses or sugarcane juice. Vodka was produced by distilling a mash as of potatoes, rye or wheat. Whiskey was distilled from mash of grain such as barley, rye or corn. Scotch, a type whiskey distilled in Scotland, was produced using malted barley. Bourbon was another type of whiskey distilled from a mash of corn and aged in charred oak barrels. Tequila,  a Mexican liquor, was distilled from 'Agave tequilana', commonly called blue agave.

Fact 22 on the History of Alcohol: The use of alcoholic drinks in society has a highly controversial history and features many examples of the prohibition, and then often the retraction of alcoholic beverages. From the late Medieval and Renaissance eras there were widespread reports of drunkenness.

Fact 23 on the History of Alcohol: During the early 1800's temperance societies and the Anti-Saloon League were formed in America aimed at reducing alcoholic consumption and banning its sale. The members of these societies believed that alcohol was responsible for many problems such as poverty, crime, abuse towards women and children. 

Fact 24 on the History of Alcohol: The protests culminated in the period in America known as the Prohibition Era (1920 to 1933) when the manufacture and sale of alcohol was banned by the Volstead Act.

Fact 25 on the History of Alcohol: The actual drinking of liquor was never illegal and organized crime and gangsters took the opportunity to manufacture and sell liquor. The role of organized crime and 'Bootleggers' in the production of liquor led to the emergence of illegal drinking clubs called Speakeasies and increased violence between gangsters. The 'Noble Experiment' failed and led unregulated and untaxed alcohol and massive political corruption. The popular vote for repeal of Prohibition was 74% in favor and 26% in opposition and the Prohibition Law was repealed on February 20, 1933.

Fact 26 on the History of Alcohol: Alcoholics Anonymous was established in 1935 and by the end of WW2 (1939 - 1945) alcoholism was declared the fourth-largest health problem in the United States. Laws were passed against drinking and driving and the highly controversial history of alcohol continues to the present day.

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