It seems like everyone has a favorite alcoholic drink, and there are even non-alcoholic versions of everything these days. So here are some facts you probably don’t know about booze.
The Global Industry is Worth a Staggering Amount
Ads for beer, wines, and spirits are everywhere you look. Billboards, buses, and TV. With all that ads revenue to spare, it might come as no surprise that the global booze industry is one of the largest economies in the world. Currently, the worldwide alcohol business is estimated to be worth $500 billion. In addition, it plays a part in local tourism in many places. For example, some of the best Kelowna breweries in British Columbia contribute a significant amount to the region’s $2 billion per year income from visitors and tourists looking for traditional attractions.
Alcohol was Used for Different Purposes
You might think alcohol is a drink, but it was initially intended for medicinal purposes. Alcohol can help clean infections away from wounds and is still used for this purpose today. However, you aren’t really purchasing alcohol when you buy your favorite drink. You are buying ethanol. Ethanol is the alcoholic content of beers, wines, and spirits and is, in fact, the only type of alcohol you can drink that won’t kill you or cause severe harm. Ethanol is created when fermented fruits and grains are then crafted into popular beverages like beer and wine.
What You Don’t Know about Booze is that Half Don’t Drink
It seems like everyone drinks alcohol. Bars are always full, and supermarkets make bumper profits on beers and wines at special times of the year. However, recent studies found that almost 50% of people over the age of 15 stated they have never drank a single drop of booze. However, the same people probably drink non-alcoholic versions of popular boozy drinks. Nowadays, you can find 0% beer, wine, and even whisky. Yet, while some of these are pretty tasty, like 0% Peroni, non-alcoholic wine just doesn’t have the same pleasure principle.
Beer is Far Older than You Think
You would probably say beer is about 500 years old at a rough guess. An educated guess might be around 1,000. But you would still be way off. The earliest account of beer goes back a lot further than you might initially think. Scholars have found the earliest records mentioning beer are dated from 7,000 BCE. So yes, beer is actually over 9,000 years old! The first accounts are from ancient pottery in a Chinese village called Jiahu. The pottery is carbon dated at 9,000 years and depicts the crafting of a rice beer with added honey and fruit.
The Word ‘Cocktail’ Comes from Bad French
One of the funniest words in the English language relates to booze. But it isn’t even an English word. ‘Cocktail’ is considered the mistakenly spoken word “coquetier,” which is French for egg cup. It is believed some of the easiest concoctions were served in egg cups to Londoners asking for a ‘cocktay,’ which became the word we know today. The earliest public mention of the word ‘cocktail’ comes from The Morning Post and Gazzeter’s March 20th, 1798 print. A satirical piece concerning Prime Minister William Pitt contained the word in the newspaper.
The global booze industry is worth half a trillion dollars today. But alcohol was used medicinally before drinking, and ethanol is the only safe type you can consume, dating back 9,000 years.