Drinks like foods are relatively significant part of every culture. Mostly, the beverages serve to represent a cultural aspect of the country, instead of being meant to slip into sloppy drunkenness.
Let’s travel around the world and have a taste of the traditional drinks of different countries or cultural groups
Joyfully faces after some flasks of ‘Palinka’ at Carul cu Bere in Bucharest.
Palinka is the traditional drink of Poland but it’s very popular in Romania too,wherever you try it, it dazes you the same!
Coctail time at the hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai
The origins of alcoholic beverages
People have enjoyed alcoholic drinks since prehistoric times, making drinking one of the few strands that runs throughout the history of western civilisation.
However, no one knows when beverage alcohol was first used, it was presumably the result of a fortuitous accident that occurred at least tens of thousands of years ago. The discovery of late Stone Age beer jugs has established the fact that intentionally fermented beverages existed at least as early as the Neolithic period (cir. 10,000 B.C.). When we look back on history, it is easy to gather that alcohol had been used socially for many diverse purposes like providing courage in battles, calming feuds, sealing pacts and celebration festivals.
Alcoholic beverages in Egypt
Since the discovery of late Stone Age beer jugs, it has been established that intentionally fermented beverages existed as early as the 10,000 BC (Neolithic Period). The Egyptian pictographs clearly show wine as a finished product around 4000 BC. Brewing and alcoholic drinks have been a very integral part of the early ancient Egypt civilization. This fact can be established from the symbolic evidence that while many gods were local, Osiris was worshiped throughout the country. The Egyptians firmly believed that Osiris was an important god who invented beer which was an important beverage that was a necessity to life that should be brewed at home on an everyday basis. They ancient Egyptians made at least 24 types of wine and 17 types of beer. The alcoholic beverages were used for pleasure, nutrition, rituals, medicine, remuneration and funerary purposes wherein the beverages were stored in the tombs of the deceased for use in the after life.
Alcoholic beverages in China
Many alcoholic beverages have been used in China since the prehistoric times. Wine jars from Jiahu which date to about 7000 BC are the earliest evidence of alcohol in China. The fermented drink was produced by rice, honey and fruit. In China, alcohol is known as Jiu and is considered to be a spiritual food which played an important role in their religious life. As per a Chinese imperial edict at around 1116 BC it was believed that the use of alcohol in moderation was prescribed by heaven.
Alcoholic beverages in Greece
The first alcoholic drink that obtained widespread popularity in Greece was mead in 2000 BC which was made by fermenting honey with alcohol. However, by 1700 BC, wine too gained a lot of popularity and was also incorporated into religious rituals. It also became an important part of hospitality, became an integral part of meals and was also used for medicinal purposes. People of Greece enjoyed their alcoholic in many beverages in several ways like warm, chilled, pure, mixed with water and spiced. Further, habitual drunkenness was rare in Greece although intoxications at banquets and festivals were common. The Greeks put a lot of stress and importance on moderation.
Alcoholic beverages in India
In the Chalcolitic era of the Indus Valley civilization, alcoholic beverages made an appearance. These beverages were used between 3000 BC – 2000 BC. A beverage distilled from rice meal known as Sura was very popular among the Kshatriya warrior and the peasant population. The Hindu Ayurvedic texts have described the benefits of the alcoholic beverages along with the consequences of intoxication and alcoholic diseases. Alcoholic drinks in India are considered to be a taboo among many religious sects including the devout adherents of Buddhism and the Hindu Brahim caste.
Alcoholic beverages in Pre-Columbian America
Alcoholic beverages were developed by many Native American civilizations some of which are still produced today. The traditional native beverage of Mesoamerica was pulque or octli which was made from the fermented juice of maguey. Mezcal was obtained by distilling pulque and tequila is a form of mezcal. It is believed to be beer but the main carbohydrate was a complex form of fructose and not starch.
South America produced Chicha which is a Spanish word for a variety of traditional fermented beverages. Fruits, corn and manioc root formed the main ingredients of chichi. The Native American populations of Brazil made the traditional alcoholic beverage known as Cauim which was very similar to chichi and made using the same ingredients. A characteristic feature that set cauim apart from other alcoholic drinks was that the starting material is cooked, chewed and then re-cooked before fermentation. The saliva that is present in the ingredients of the cauim break down the starches into fermentable sugars.
Throughout its history, alcohol has been used for many diverse purposes, such as calming feuds, providing courage in battle, sealing pacts, celebrating festivals, and seducing lovers. In medieval Europe, its more practical roles were as a folk medicine and disinfectant. The best way to make sure a liquid was safe to drink was to turn it into beer or wine. Even Jesus turned water into wine.