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History Of Alcohol (Contd.) | Drink Responsibly
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Dec 2018

History Of Alcohol (Contd.)

Posted by / in Responsible Drinking /

It is already established that alcohol has a rather long steady relationship with humankind and that, it still remains to be a popular beverage choice for all reasons and seasons. So, without much further ado and continuing with the trivia of alcohol, let us walk down the paths of history to trace and know more about the origin of different types of alcohol.


 According to a study conducted, the history of distillation process is rooted in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia & Babylon. The available evidence indicates that the distillation process originated in Mesopotamia dating far back as 2000 BC, however, it originally involved perfumes.

Over the years and centuries, this knowledge gradually passed on from Greeks to Arabs to Europe.

It reached Ireland & Scotland around 15th century primarily for medicinal purposes. It gradually found a strong foothold in the Scottish and Irish history and culture, and the earliest Scottish history of the production of whisky dates back to the year 1494. With King James’ fondness for Scotch whisky, its production saw tremendous increase which also led to the monopolization. Through the years, the taste of whisky also evolved. Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland acquired the license in 1608 and is said to be the oldest licensed distillery in the world.

Whisky reached the lands of America around 1600 onwards with the arrival of European mercenaries and colonizers.

In India, the first distillery was built by Edward Dyer of British East India company in the 1820s.


The history of Vodka has for long been debatable and over the centuries many versions of the alcoholic beverage used for initially for the medicinal purposes.

Polish vodka has been used beginning as early as 1405, with the recorded court documents from Palatinate of Sandomierz in Poland and gradually gained popularity. Vodka production in Poland gained momentum towards the end of the 16th century and by the end of the 18th century, it was the beginning of real industrial production wherein it went on to become a mass product.

The methods used in the production of vodka saw various changes over the centuries.

The ‘water of life’ (Voda) or Vodka reached the Russian lands towards the end of the 14th century when the Italian ambassadors presented it to Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy.

As the legend goes, around the year 1430 a monk from Chudov Monastery created a secret recipe of Russian vodka in Moscow Kremlin.

Vodka found its way to the official Russian documents for the first time in 1751.


The first production of tequila was in the 16th century in the erstwhile city of Tequila In pre-Columbian Mexico saw the production and consumption of a fermented and distilled alcoholic beverage derived from the agave plant.

The mass production of tequila began around 1600 under Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira and the first factory was established in Jalisco.

Tequila was first reached the American shores around 1884-1885 when it was first exported.

Over the centuries the family-owned tequila brands continued to exist, however with the emergence of multinational corporations in modern times, the production and ownership have extended.

The popularity of these alcoholic beverages has increased over the centuries and so have the methods of production. So, next time you hold a glass of fine wine or take a sip of vodka, take a moment to mull over the fact that these spirits have perhaps been passed on to us from the likes of royal courts and exotic faraway lands!

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