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Alcoholic beverage

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**Historical and Cultural Aspects of Alcoholic Beverages:**
– Discovery of late Stone Age jugs suggests fermented drinks in the Neolithic period.
– Oldest brewery found in Israel with 13,000-year-old beer residue.
– Winemaking in Rome in the 2nd century BCE.
– Evidence of fermented drinks in China dating back to 7000-5600 BC.
– Earliest winemaking in Georgia dated at 6,000 to 5,800 BCE.
– Medieval Muslim chemists experimented with distillation in the 9th century.
– Distillation of wine in the Middle East spread to Italy in the 12th century.
– Distilled alcoholic drinks spread in Europe by the early 14th century.
– Distillation reached Ireland and Scotland by the 15th century.

**Types of Alcoholic Beverages:**
– Beer: fermented from grain mash, made from barley or blend of grains, flavored with hops, naturally carbonated.
– Cider: fermented drink made from fruit juice, commonly apple juice, alcohol content varies.
– Mead: alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey with water, may have various fruits, spices, grains, or hops.
– Pulque: Mesoamerican fermented drink from maguey (Agave americana).
– Wine: fermented beverage commonly made from grapes, longer fermentation and aging process than beer.
Rice wine: alcoholic drink fermented from rice in East, Southeast, and South Asia.

**Distilled Beverages and Spirits:**
– Alcoholic drinks produced by distilling ethanol from grain, fruit, or vegetables.
– Spirits have at least 20% ABV, common ones have around 40%.
– Examples include brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whisky.
– Fortified wine like port or sherry with added distilled beverage.
– Distillation concentrates alcohol and removes some by-products.
– Rectified spirit: purified alcohol through rectification, clear, colorless, flammable liquid up to 95% ABV.

**Health Effects and Risks Associated with Alcohol:**
– Short-term effects range from euphoria to unconsciousness.
– Alcohol permeates cell membranes easily.
– Long-term use can lead to alcohol use disorder.
– Ethanol in alcoholic beverages is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen.
– Alcohol is considered a high-risk carcinogen by the World Health Organization.
– Increased alcohol consumption raises health and mortality risks.

**Regulation and Consumption Patterns:**
– Alcohol laws regulate various aspects of alcohol.
– Legal drinking age varies globally.
– Alcohol consumption varies by country and culture.
– Patterns of consumption can impact health and social outcomes.
– Excessive drinking can lead to alcohol use disorders.
– Moderate consumption may have cardiovascular benefits.

Alcoholic beverage (Wikipedia)

An alcoholic beverage (also called an adult beverage, alcoholic drink, strong drink, or simply a drink) is a drink that contains ethanol, a type of alcohol and is produced by fermentation of grains, fruits, or other sources of sugar. The consumption of alcoholic drinks, often referred to as "drinking", plays an important social role in many cultures. Alcoholic drinks are typically divided into three classes—beers, wines, and spirits—and typically their alcohol content is between 3% and 50%.

European countries grouped by preferred type of alcoholic drink, based on recorded alcohol consumption per capita (age 15+) (in liters of pure alcohol) in 2016
Map of Europe with individual countries grouped by preferred type of alcoholic drink, based on recorded alcohol consumption per capita (age 15+) (in liters of pure alcohol) in 2016.
A selection of alcoholic drinks: red wine, malt whisky, lager, sparkling wine, lager, cherry liqueur and red wine

Most countries have laws regulating the production, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages, and the temperance movement advocates against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Regulations may require the labeling of the percentage alcohol content (as ABV or proof) and the use of a warning label. Some countries ban the consumption of alcoholic drinks, but they are legal in most parts of the world. The global alcoholic drink industry exceeded $1.5 trillion in 2017.

A liquor store in the United States. Global sales of alcoholic drinks exceeded $1.5 trillion in 2017.

Alcohol is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the world, and about 33% of all humans currently drink alcohol. In 2015, among Americans, 86% of adults had consumed alcohol at some point, with 70% drinking it in the last year and 56% in the last month. Several other animals are affected by alcohol similarly to humans and, once they consume it, will consume it again if given the opportunity, though humans are the only species known to produce alcoholic drinks intentionally.

Alcohol is a depressant, which in low doses causes euphoria, reduces anxiety, and increases sociability. In higher doses, it causes drunkenness, stupor, unconsciousness, or death. Long-term use can lead to an alcohol use disorder, an increased risk of developing several types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and physical dependence. According to the World Health Organization, alcohol is in the highest risk-group carcinogen, and no quantity of its consumption can be considered safe.

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