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Cultural History of Alcohol

Alcohol has been around for a very long time, and it is clear to see the culture impact it has made throughout history. People perceive alcohol in many different ways; depending on gender, age, religious background, or social upbringing (Hanson 11). Throughout history alcohol has affected different cultures and various demographics. Drinking alcohol is very exciting in many cultures, along with being one of the oldest rites of passage, especially in modern day American society. Alcohol and drinking were also an integral part of religious observances throughout history and culture. When using alcohol many see it as a social lubricant, and besides being a thirst quencher many feel that it enhances the quality of life. For thousands of years alcohol has demonstrated its ability to bring people together, which proves its influential capabilities it has on culture. Influential alcohols include beers, wines, and liquors consisting of whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, etc; all playing unique roles in their respective cultures. Beer has always been a vital part of civilization. The history of wine spans thousands of years and intertwines with the history of agriculture, cuisine, civilization and humanity itself ( Colleran and Jay 68). Spirits, or liquors, originate from different parts of the world, each possessing their own characteristics that distinguish themselves from the next. In most cultures, the primary view of alcohol is a positive one. The ancient Egyptians used the phrase for beer as a phrase to represent all food, in addition to using it as a common greeting. Many believe that alcohol is an important adjunct when it comes to sociability. Alcohol is very inexpensive and effective relaxant, and it always has social approval. In American culture especially, drinking is seen as a rite of passage or assimilation into adulthood. Drinking at a young age in many cultures is not uncommon; it’s actually a normal part of daily living. Here in...
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