Did you know that there’s archaeological evidence suggesting that humans developed agriculture-not for food- but to brew beer? In the neolithic age they had all the tools- covered in barley. Drinking is such an essential part of humanity that according to Wikipedia “nearly every civilization has independently discovered the processes of brewing beer, fermenting wine, & distilling spirits.”
Hundreds of years before the internet- culture moved around through ports & taverns via sailors. With that culture, we also got hooch.The long trips necessary to discover America & set up trading routes were impossible until we started bringing booze aboard the boat. When water was kept in casks for long trips it developed algae and spoiled. This problem was solved by adding Jamaican rum and a little lime (i.e. grog) creating the mythos of the drunken sailor. Today if you want to extend the shelf life of something in your fridge- just throw an ounce of vodka in it. Kills the bacteria.
I’ve been brainstorming on how to let AD’s know that I know about hooch. I work at a cocktail bar on the weekends. I know how to make an espresso martini & understand the strength of aromatics & expressing herbs in cocktails. But I realized I had to start my exploration with the understanding of this substance as a dangerous addictive poison. Don’t get me wrong- I’m pro-drinking- but we all know people whose majority of problems involve alcohol. I’m even blind in my left eye due to an alcohol related incident.
The reason we get sick when we drink (too much) is because our bodies react to alcohol as poison. Yet every other week there’s a new scientific study on the longevity of drinkers. Is our paradoxical fascination with drinking part of our death drive? Or is it the social aspect we’re drawn to?
I’ve grown to have a lot of respect for people that don’t drink. This series is an exploration of sinking into alcoholism. It’s tough to dry out when all your friends are still swimming. Bottoms up mate.