There will likely always be somewhat of a debate over the benefits versus the drawbacks of alcohol in the body. For centuries people have used varieties of alcohol for varied therapeutic purposes, including spirits, wine, and beer. When the substance is introduced into the body, there’s an instant physiological response in the brain, among other organs like the liver and heart.
Those who suffer from alcohol use disorder will see severe health complications that could impact the quality of their life long-term unless the individual gets help with the issue. At the same time, the medical community will recommend alcohol, particularly wine, in small quantities to assist with the symptomatology of certain medical conditions.
I can speak factually regarding this because medical providers have suggested it to people close to me. A lot of facts, some fun, some informative, some fascinating, are always exciting to learn. Let’s look at some of these you may not be aware of, many I didn’t know, and become informed together.
What Are Some Unknown Facts About Alcohol?
Alcohol is traced back through the centuries, albeit we went through several decades when it was banned during Prohibition. I don’t think it’s ever made a full recovery since it was deemed illegal, at least not in everyone’s eyes. The purported benefits and many uses it had before that time period were essentially forgotten, and it became simply a recreational product.
There are now facts being compiled on alcohol to teach people a little bit about history. Some of these are a few fun tidbits, informative details, and fascinating ideas that some of us wouldn’t have otherwise known. Let’s look at a few to test your knowledge . . . and mine.
- It’s suggested that alcohol could trace back to the beginning of civilization. The residue from an alcoholic beverage was found to trace back to roughly 7000 BC in China. (Penn Museum)
- It’s further indicated that those responsible for constructing the Great Pyramids of Giza were offered beer as compensation. (Smithsonian Magazine)
- Alcohol use puts an individual at severe risk for developing dementia. (The Lancet Public Health)
- Red wine boasts of being beneficial for heart health and offers other potential health benefits. It contains “resveratrol, an aid for blood clots, controlling cholesterol, and preventing blood vessel damages. (Mayo Clinic)
- Dark liquor will more likely create a hangover, while the lighter colors will leave you in the clear. (Scientific American)
- The minimum legal drinking age worldwide ranges drastically, starting at *no minimum in some countries and going up to 21, which is the legal age here in the US. That’s actually the highest anywhere worldwide, with some countries having the same. (Procon.org)
- When it comes to spirits, tequila is one that must come from Mexico, and most places honor the Mexican law that indicates “no less than 51 percent of the liquor must be distilled from the blue agave desert plant primarily found in Jalisco with only four other Mexican states permitted to produce the alcohol.
South Africa tried to mimic the liquor but was swiftly interceded and changed the name of their alcohol to “agave.” (Associated Press)
- The fact that wine and champagne get better with age is not necessarily a fact. According to specialists, many become “dull and flaccid” as time passes. Even those considered a higher quality boasting of improving with age actually depend on your tastes and whether there’s a genuine improvement.
As a rule, it’s suggested wine be consumed roughly within no greater than two years from bottling. (Secrets of Wine)
- In the 1920s, during Prohibition, the federal government in the US wanted to outlaw liquor sales which didn’t go as they intended. In the mid-1920s, the then President’s administration was discouraged as Americans were consuming alcohol being bootlegged.
The government decided to try a horrific tactic to stop the behavior by forcing manufacturers to add poisons like methyl, chloroform, and formaldehyde. People started to die in shocking numbers that New York’s medical examiner called a press conference to disclose what the government had done to the public.
It did little good; the following year, hundreds more people died. The poisonous plot didn’t stop until 1933, when Prohibition was repealed. (Slate)
- In 1885 kids were sworn off of milkshakes since these sweet treats contained a shot of whisky. The original shake was more reminiscent of an “eggnog.” It consisted of eggs, cream, and milk, making it frothy and rick but then came the healthy dose of whisky.
After receiving their drink, the customer would shake hands with the bartender – “milk” “shake.” The standard milkshake using ice cream came around in the 1900s. (South Florida Reporter)
- It’s suggested that it merely takes alcohol roughly 90 seconds after a sip to absorb into the bloodstream to then affect each cell making up the body. That’s because it absorbs directly through the lining of the mouth.
Food needs to be chewed and swallowed, having to take a more extended passage through the digestive system before it can metabolize and the nutrients find their way into the bloodstream. The blood-brain barrier is designed to prevent harmful substances from making their way into the brain, but alcohol crosses it. (University of Lethbridge)
- There could be a cure for a hangover, but you might have to consume a bag of apples. Fructose helps to eliminate alcohol from the body up to 80 percent faster if you have roughly 100 grams. That’s a lot, meaning you would need to be desperate. (PubMed)
- Every state has a weird law or two, and Ohio is no different. If you want to get rid of your liquor in a hurry for some reason, avoid pouring it into your aquarium. It’s illegal to give alcohol to a fish.
If you want to see what happens if your little goldfish gets hopped up on vodka, you must cross the border to the next state. It’ll probably be okay, say, in Indiana. (Daytona Daily News)
- Talk about crazy laws in the states; in Texas, no one is technically legally allowed to take more than three sips of a beer while standing. I’m not quite sure if that can really be enforced. Are people watching and counting sips, or how are they finding people guilty of this law? (CW33 News)
- In that same vein, Massachusetts still carries the no “happy hour” law. This is an old law from back in the day that most states at one point held but have since let go of. Now not only Massachusetts but a few others like Vermont, Utah, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Alaska, Oklahoma, and Indiana all uphold the same rules.
No one can have more than one drink in front of them at a time. You must finish the one in front of you with what the bartender feels is sufficient time between each drink. (Huntnewsnu.com)
- Many people believe there’s a strong tequila with a worm in the bottom of the bottle. That’s a misperception. The “insect” in the bottle is a butterfly caterpillar, and it’s not in tequila. It’s in “mezcal.” (The Tequila Worm)
- Spirits start as clear substances. The colors they eventually develop derive from the oak barrels they age in. (Boguesounddistillery.com)
- A single bottle of champagne consists of roughly “49 million bubbles.” (The Circular)
- The 13 minerals necessary for the life and health of the human body are in a glass of liquor. (Absolutetrivia)
- Drinking moderately is not necessarily a contributor to weight gain (Alcohol Problems And Solutions)
- Abraham Lincoln sold spirits before taking his presidency with a valid liquor license (The Digital Research Library)
- Rum, gin, whisky, tequila, and brandy are distilled spirits. These have no cholesterol, fats, or carbs. You can find out the nutritional contents of other liquor when reading nutrition facts. (Yazio)
- Of all the liquor, including spirits, beer, and wine, tested for emotional responses, red wine boasts of making drinkers the sleepiest, while spirits make individuals overly confident. (British Medical Journal)
- At the 2010 State Fair in Texas, the “Most Creative” category was won by someone who presented fried beer. This was a ravioli that contained beer with the pasta deep fried. Nah, I’ll stick with cheese-stuffed ravioli. The beer is undoubtedly creative, though. (State Fair of Texas)
- Our presidents enjoyed their alcohol even though the government was exceptionally determined to keep the public from having the stuff during Prohibition. Go figure. President John Adams, as a matter of fact, lived to be upwards of 90 and enjoyed a “quarter pint of cider” when he woke every morning. (The splendid table) (diary)
- It’s always been suggested that tequila is an “upper” or a stimulant, but it’s, in fact, a depressant due to the Ethanol, which depresses the central nervous system. (PubChem)
- China is home to the world’s most consumed liquor, Baijiu. This is a white-grain beverage with roughly 55 percent ABV. It is the favored drink for every celebration or festivity in the country, whether a business promotion, a wedding, or a holiday event. (Baijiu)
- The fear of wine is called “oenophobia” – hmmm (wiktionary)
- Do you know how, nowadays, medical marijuana is prescribed to patients for various therapeutic purposes? Well, back in the day of Prohibition, alcohol was prescribed by doctors for patients also with the reasoning it was assisting with symptomatology for various ailments – it was referenced as “medical beer.” (Smithsonian Mag)
- The party mascot for Prohibition was the camel – it seems almost ideal for representation of not drinking. They needed something since the donkey stood for the Dems and the elephant had the Republicans. (LA Times)
You’ll find a tremendous list of anecdotes, fun trivia, and loads of ideas about alcohol in books, newspapers, magazines, and various periodicals. It’s a source of wonder and fascination for many people. I hope you enjoyed this piece as much as I did writing it.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.