Because no great story has ever started with a glass of milk, this saying is one of the most popular phrases used to encourage people to consume alcohol during a party or an outing. When it comes to alcohol, people either love it or hate it, with no in-between. This substance has been a part of parties and celebrations for so long that, in present times, it has become synonymous with celebrations, and here are some interesting facts about it:
1. More than One Alcohol
Alcohol is categorized into three fundamental types, which are:
- Primary (Methyl Alcohol)- Also known as wood alcohol, this type is used commercially to produce paint remover, photocopier ink, and interestingly, it is also used as an antifreeze for the internal combustion engine.
- Secondary (Isopropyl Alcohol)- More commonly known as rubbing alcohol, this compound is heavily used in the healthcare industry to disinfect skin and surfaces. Additionally, most everyday cleaning products use secondary alcohol as their base.
- Tertiary (Ethyl Alcohol)- This is the most cherished type of alcohol, as it is the foundation for all alcoholic beverages.
2. Most Popular Drug in the World
Out of 195 countries in the world, alcohol is only prohibited in 25 countries, and even in these countries, tourists are allowed to purchase it. With such statistics, it doesn’t come as a surprise that alcohol is the largest used drug in the world. According to the World Health Organization, on average, 8 liters of pure alcohol is consumed by each individual who drinks annually. Moreover, European Union stated in 2019 that 8.4% of the population drinks daily. Also, since it is the most popular drug in the world, nearly 85% of the entire world has at least tried alcohol once in their lifetime.
3. Ethyl Alcohol is a Depressant
The reason why alcohol is consumed in such large doses is because of its mind-numbing properties. This is because alcohol falls in the category of depressants, which means it lowers the level of neurotransmission that reduces stimulation of the brain. For this reason, many prescription medicines are sold as depressants. In the short term, depressants can cause relaxation, sedation, and for some individuals, euphoria as well.
4. Doesn’t Induce Warmth
Alcohol is widely accepted as a means to induce heat in the body during winters, especially in northern countries with harsh weather; however, alcohol doesn’t actually warm the body. As the alcohol is metabolized, it triggers the blood to move closer to the surface of the skin, which results in a false sensation of warmth. In reality, blood vessels are dilated due to alcohol, and this causes the body to lose heat quickly, which is often described by chills.
5. Gender Plays a Role
Due to the physiological difference between males and females, the effects of alcohol are experienced differently by them. This largely happens because of two reasons:
- Because women have less water in their bodies, their intoxication occurs in higher concentrations, even with equal amounts of alcohol consumed as men. This is also the reason, they get drunk quicker.
- Women have a larger liver in proportion to their body compared to men, which translates to alcohol being metabolized quickly, as it is entirely broken down by the liver.
6. Heart Approves of Alcohol
Overall, alcohol has more negatives than positives; however, it cannot be ignored that it helps sometimes. Experts state that if people who drink excessively reduce their consumption to one drink per day, it can boost HDL cholesterol and minimize the risk of clogged arteries, resulting in better heart health. Unsurprisingly, this has to be done in accordance with a healthy lifestyle. Also, the choice of drink matters as well, red wine and whiskey are the top choices for this purpose, whereas drinks with added sugar, such as cocktails, can have adverse effects.
7. Oldest Alcoholic Beverage
The reason why wine often tops the list of alcoholic beverages is that it has been produced and consumed throughout the world for thousands of years. Presently, the oldest remains of a wine made from rice, honey, and fruits were found in a pot from Jiahu in the Yellow River Valley. This particular wine dates back to at least 6600 BC, which is older than the previously accepted oldest wine from the Middle East by 500 years. Researchers strongly believe that there are other wines that are even older than this, but as for the true origins of alcohol, they may never be found.
Being such an ancient form of intoxication, it doesn’t come as a surprise that some cultures are built around alcohol. There have been numerous cases when it was banned, but as many times as it was banned, it was unbanned as well. The most notable one is the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791. In the United States, a huge tax was imposed on the liquor made in the country. Distillers dodged this tax by producing liquor illegally, which is known as moonshine liquor, and this liquor was made poorly, resulting in people going blind, getting severely sick, and even dying by drinking it. Since people loved their whiskey, this event resulted in an attack on the tax inspector’s home and the death of the distillers’ commander, along with many other people. Seeing that it was causing more harm than good, the tax was lifted in 1801. Because of the rebellious history, distillers still produce liquors with moonshine recipes, but thankfully, without contaminants.
9. Music Industry
According to the present statistics, songs that mention alcohol or its consumption are among the top five songs in the world. Even when the top music of each country is observed on its own, songs propagating the consumption of alcohol or showing it as a part of a certain lifestyle are loved by the public.
10. Adult Milkshakes
Originally, milkshakes used to be a bar-exclusive item, as it was made with a combination of eggs, cream, flavorings, and whisky. The term milkshake first appeared in a print in 1885, before that no mentions of milkshakes have been found. As per usual, this drink was gaining popularity, particularly, among youngsters, and in 1900, the alcohol in the beverage was replaced with syrup.
11. Used as Currency
While most people are familiar with the barter system, only a few know that once Rum was used as a form of currency in colonial Australia. In 1790, Rum was controlled by selective rich individuals, and they decided to use Rum as a currency. Initially, it worked out fine; however, because people were getting paid in Rum as well, instead of buying essentials with it, they decided to consume it. Seeing the problem, a governor tried to impose a ban on the Rum, but as expected it resulted in Australia’s only military coup known as The Rum Rebellion.