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The History of Alcohol | Drink Responsibly
Responsible Drinking

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Nov 2018

The History of Alcohol

Posted by / in Responsible Drinking /

Humankind is known to have enjoyed the bliss of drinking booze since time immemorial.

Whether it’s enjoying a chilled beer in summers, savouring the finest scotch on a cold winter night or upping the game with a daring game of tequila shots, alcohol finds a way in our lives for all reasons and seasons.

But do you know how old is your favourite spirit & which part of the world does it come from? By old we mean ‘ancient’, not merely the ‘ageing process’ of alcohol, but when did it originate?

Today, let’s take you through a trivia timeline of the history and origin of alcohol.


As the ‘wiki’ listing goes, beer is one of the oldest alcoholic drink produced by humans. Its origin can be traced to as far back as the 5th millennium BC in mountain regions of Zargos, Iran. The tests of various pottery jars discovered have strongly suggested that beer production was a part of Iranian culture tracing back to about 7000 years ago.

Beer also finds a place in Mesopotamian and Egyptian history which was duly recorded.

It was also a major alcoholic beverage in the Babylonian era. In fact, according to researchers, beer and wine were two alcoholic beverages which the Babylonians gave as offerings to their deities and gods.

According to the most recent survey, the first and the oldest brewery discovered was in a prehistoric cave in Israel. The oldest beer traces which have been discovered during this survey can be traced to about 13000 years ago!


The wine has been produced for thousands of years and until about a year ago, the earliest evidence of wine production known to the researchers dated back to about 7000 years ago in Iran. The evidence of 7000 years old fermentation of grape-based fermented wine was traced in China. The scientists also discovered the first winery with its roots in Armenia, dating back to 6100 years BC. With the spread of trade in the subsequent years and centuries, the wine culture also reached the western shores.

It is also interesting to note that the earliest literary references to wine were common around 7th-8th century BC in the compositions of Homer and Alkman.

Bachhus is considered as the god of wine in Roman mythology and Dionysus is his Greek counterpart.

According to the newest studies conducted, the scientists believe that the 8000-year-old fragments of pottery which have been discovered strongly show the earliest evidence of winemaking.


The historical account of Middle Ages has linked the production of rum to Persia, Cyprus in the Middle East. And later, in a comparatively modern world, rum has found strong roots in the colonial history of America. The origin of rum was traced to the Caribbean, where the plantation slaves discovered the use of molasses in rum-making.

Commercial rum is believed to have originated in the 1630s in Barbados, however, the quality of rum produced there was not considered of fine quality. The increase of colonial impact on the world also witnessed an increased rum production in other parts of the world.


(Do watch out this space for more trivia on the history of different types of alcohol)

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