Questions tagged [alcohol]

Questions related to the history of any organic compound (often used as a drug or a cleaning or sanitizing solution) in which the hydroxyl function group is bound to a carbon. Most often associated with intoxicating beverages.

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41
votes
7answers
37k views

Why did Greeks and Romans dilute their wine?

I’ve gathered that ancient Greeks and Romans watered their wine heavily, up to 90% water. Roman-era Talmudic sources speak of wine not being fit to drink until it had been watered (although mixtures ...
33
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5answers
42k views

Did pirates really drink a lot of rum?

In every movie, cartoon, comic or any other fictional sources I have read or watched that involves sea pirates, it is always shown that their favorite beverage is rum. I want to know why sea pirates ...
33
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2answers
4k views

Were there any drunk driving laws before the automobile?

I was wondering if before the automobile some places it was illegal to drive a carriage drunk? The first law in the USA against drunk driving was 1910 in Massachusetts. But I don't know if there are ...
18
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3answers
3k views

Did early northern Europeans drink alcohol?

Before the Roman empire brought alcohol to areas of Northern Europe around two thousand years ago, do we know if the native people of Britain and Scandinavia drank alcohol? My preliminary search is ...
18
votes
3answers
844 views

What exactly happened with beer and Leeuwarden in 1487?

On the history page for the day July 24th at Wikipedia, one of the events listed as happening that day is: 1487 – Citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands strike against a ban on foreign beer. This ...
15
votes
1answer
267 views

How exactly were beer/bread made in Ancient Egypt?

I'm writing a novel set in large part in Ancient Egypt and am incorporating many tasks of everyday living into the narrative. The one I'm stuck on is the making of bread and beer (which were ...
13
votes
5answers
853 views

Why is rum naval?

Rum is closely associated with naval and pirate traditions, as seen with many naval-branded rums (Captain Morgan, Kraken) and the famous Pirates of the Caribbean line "Why is the rum always gone? ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the historical origin of drinking champagne on New Year's Eve?

With the new year right around the corner, I got wondering: what's the historical origin of drinking champagne on New Year's Eve? How did it become such a global trend? Where did this trend originate ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How prominent were taverns in medieval Europe?

Taverns as defined as a 'commercial establishment in the business of selling alcohol'. I'm aware that taverns existed in some parts of Europe during the late medieval period, but I don't know quite ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

During the U.S. Prohibition, how did they get away with drinking alcohol?

I have heard about countless stories talking about people drinking during the Prohibition. How was this possible? How did they get away with drinking alcohol without getting caught?
8
votes
2answers
920 views

Was “the modern cocktail” intended to mask the foul taste of Prohibition-era liquor?

I have long suspected that what we know today as a "cocktail" was invented to mask the taste of bad liquor. Indeed I've found several unsupported assertions to this effect online, generally pointing ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Battles under the influence (of alcohol)

I'm looking for documented antecedents that describe the use or abuse of alcohol in the historical context of battles. Not necessarily well known battles. I remember watching (many years ago) a ...
7
votes
1answer
380 views

When did we stop diluting wine?

In ancient Rome, wine was drunk diluted with water, as discussed in this question. When did it become common practice not to dilute wine, but to drink it as is? I tried to look, and found nothing ...
6
votes
4answers
29k views

Price of a shot and a bottle of whiskey in 1870s American West

What was the price of a shot and a bottle of whiskey in the American West in 1870s roughly? For the end consumer, in a saloon, not wholesale.
5
votes
2answers
296 views

Who made wine from poisonous Heracleum?

Heracleum or cow parsnips are high-latitude plants that can produce severe inflammation in humans. They seem like the last thing someone would want to ingest. However: Flora on Kamchatka: flowers and ...
4
votes
1answer
379 views

What's the earliest evidence of drug abuse?

Let's define drug abuse as drug use that is harmful to to the user or to others. Evidence of alcohol and opiates go back thousands of years, but some reading hasn't revealed when these substances ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

What is the earliest known reference to the phrase 'water of life'?

In many languages, the general term for distilled spirits (whisky, brandy etc) translates in modern English to 'Water of Life'. Latin - Aqua Vitae French - Eau de Vie Gaelic - Uisce Betha As a ...
4
votes
2answers
578 views

What is the strongest alcoholic drink that existed during the Middle Ages in Europe?

What is the strongest alcoholic drink that was drank within the European nations during the Middle Ages (5th to the 15th century)?
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Who was the Irishman that betrayed Coronel's gold claim?

Antonio Coronel was a Mexican Californio who like many other Spanish speakers was ejected by Anglos from his claim in the Gold Rush, about April, 1849. Quoting from the published translation of his ...
3
votes
2answers
926 views

Did alcohol consumption increase in the U.S. after 1933?

Did people in the United States drink more alcohol after it became legal in 1933? Or was it the same? And how was it before it become illegal to drink in 1920?
2
votes
1answer
455 views

Which material did the Vikings drink Mead from?

I believe Vikings drank Mead as their common alcoholic drink. If that is not right it doesn't really matter. Just replace Mead with whatever is right (beer, wine ...). The question is what material ...
2
votes
1answer
221 views

Did the Russian alcohol monopoly in the 1700s cover the whole Russian territory?

Crownhart-Vaughan's introduction to her translation of Krasheninnikov's Explorations of Kamchatka mentions an Imperial monopoly on liquor, and the state's difficulty in enforcing it, in 1750s ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

What are the per capita alcohol consumption rates of England from 1700 to 1900?

The rates are readily available for the period 1800 onwards but there is some trouble finding equivalent data for the period prior to 1800. Moreover, the data that I have some across so far even for ...
2
votes
0answers
823 views

Why do we clink glasses and say cheers?

Is it true that in Medieval Times kings used to invite other king for a feast and poison other king's drink? this became so prevelant that the guest king would clink his glass with the host king's ...
2
votes
0answers
307 views

Do we know how much alcohol Vikings drank?

We know the drink of choice, at least for early Vikings, was mead. But do we know exactly how much alcohol the Vikings drank? Was there a significant supply of alcohol so that each man could drink as ...
-1
votes
1answer
392 views

What was the main role of alcoholic drinks in ancient to medieval times? [closed]

I assume that alcoholic drinks served two main purposes in centuries gone by: To purify water for consumption Drunkenness I'm not clear on number one being the case, and if it is I'm not sure which ...