на тему: Alcohol
Bottles of , a alcoholic beverage.
Alcoholic beverages are containing .
Alcoholic beverages have been widely consumed since prehistoric times by people around the world, seeing use as a component of the standard diet, for hygienic or medical reasons, for their relaxant and euphoric effects, for , for artistic inspiration, as , and for other reasons. Some have been invested with symbolic or religious significance suggesting the mystical use of alcohol, e.g., by in the rituals of (also called ), god of drink and revelry; in the ; and at the .
Moderate consumption of alcohol, defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as no more than two drinks for men and one drink for women per day, is consistently shown as being beneficial for the heart and circulatory system (the equivalent is 3-4 units per day for men and 2-3 units for women). Moderate consumers statistically have fewer heart attacks and strokes, live longer, have lower blood pressure, and generally report better overall health.
However, some people are prone to developing a to alcohol, . The results of alcoholism are considered a major health problem in many nations.
Frequent excessive consumption can harmfully interfere with the user's well-being. The neurological effects of alcohol use are often a factor in deadly motor vehicle accidents and fights. People under the influence of alcohol sometimes find themselves in dangerous or compromising situations where they would not be had they remained sober. Operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime in almost all developed nations.
Some religions—most notably , , the and most schools of and some sects of —forbid or discourage the consumption of alcoholic beverages for these and other reasons.
Most governments regulate or restrict the sale and use of alcohol.
The ethanol (CH3CH2OH) in alcoholic beverages is almost always produced by , which is the of (usually ) by certain species of in the absence of . The process of culturing yeast under conditions that produce alcohol is referred to as .
It should be noted that in , is a general term for any in which a (-) is bound to a atom, which in turn is bound to other and/or carbon atoms. Other alcohols such as and the may appear in food or beverages regularly, but these alcohols do not make them alcoholic.
It has been suggested that alcoholic impurities, , are the cause of hangovers.
Alcoholic beverages with a concentration of about 50% ethanol or greater (100 proof) are liquids and easily ignited.
The of alcohol in an alcoholic beverage may be specified in percent (ABV), in percentage by weight (sometimes abbreviated w/w for weight for weight), or in . The 'proof' measurement roughly corresponds in a 2:1 ratio to percent alcoholic content by volume (e.g. 80 proof = 40% ABV). Common cannot exceed 192 proof because at that point ethanol is an with water. Alcohols of this purity are commonly referred to as and are not meant for human consumption, with the notable exception of .
Most yeasts cannot grow when the concentration of alcohol is higher than about 18% by volume, so that is a practical limit for the strength of fermented beverages such as , , and . Strains of yeast have been developed that can survive in solutions of up to 25% alcohol by volume, but these were bred for ethanol fuel production, not beverage production. Liquors are produced by of a fermented product, concentrating the alcohol and eliminating some of the by-products. Many wines are with additional grain alcohol to achieve higher ABV than is easily reached using fermentation alone.
Ethanol is a moderately good solvent for many "fatty" substances and essential "oils", and thus facilitates the inclusion of several coloring, flavoring, and aromatic compounds to alcoholic beverages, especially to distilled ones. These flavoring ingredients may be naturally present in the starting material, or may be added before fermentation, before distillation, or before bottling the distilled product. Sometimes the flavor is obtained by allowing the beverage to stand for months or years in barrels made of special wood, or in bottles where scented twigs or fruits — or even insects — have been inserted.
A well-stocked bar will include a selection of beers and wines, along with the typical liquors of , , , , and ; each in varying qualities from "well" quality (off brand) to premium quality (name brand) to "top shelf" (usually very expensive, ranging from $50 to several hundred USD per 750 ml bottle). Alcoholic beverages can be combined at the time of serving, sometimes with other ingredients, to create or mixed drinks. Small servings of pure liquor (shots) are also common, with whisky and tequila being traditionally popular selections.
Fermented alcoholic beverages have been known since pre-historical times. was certainly known in Mesopotamia before , as attested to by recipes found on clay tablets and art that shows individuals using straws to drink from large vats and pots.
Wine was consumed in at breakfast or at , and in the it was part of the diet of most citizens. However, both Greeks and Romans generally consumed their wine watered (from 1 parts of wine to 1 part of water, to 1 part of wine to 4 parts of water). The transformation of water into wine at a wedding feast is one of the miracles attributed to in the , and his symbolic use of wine in the led to it becoming an essential part of the rite.
In spite of the ban (which is somewhat ambiguous and open to interpretation) on alcoholic beverages, wine (usually sold by Christian tavern-keepers) remained fairly popular in Islamic lands over the centuries, as revealed in the verses of Persian mathematician (1040–1131):
"Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
And Wilderness is Paradise enow."
In during the , beer was consumed by the whole family, thanks to a triple fermentation process — the men had the strongest, then women, then children. A document of the times mentions having an allowance of six pints of ale a day. and were also widely available, while grape wine was the prerogative of the higher classes. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, wine production in Europe appears to have been sustained chiefly by monasteries.
By the time the Europeans reached the in the , several civilizations had developed alcoholic beverages. According to a post-Conquest document, consumption of the local "wine" () was generally restricted to religious ceremonies, but freely allowed to those over 70 years old (possibly the all-time record for ). The natives of manufactured a beer-like product from or (, ), which had to be chewed before fermentation in order to turn the into sugars. (Curiously, the same technique was used in ancient to make from and other starchy crops.)
The medicinal use of alcoholic beverages was mentioned in Sumerian and Egyptian texts dated from or earlier. The recommends giving alcoholic drinks to those who are dying or depressed, so that they can forget their misery.
Beer and wine are typically limited to a maximum 15 percent alcohol, although brewers have reached 25% alcohol. Beyond this limit yeast is adversely affected and cannot ferment. Since the fourth millennium BC in Babylonia, higher levels of alcohol have been obtained in a number of ways. It was not until the was invented by alchemists in the 8th or 9th centuries that the history of began. Distilled alcohol appeared first in Europe in the mid 12th century and by the early it had spread throughout Europe. It also spread eastward, mainly by the , and was practiced in by the 14th century. However, recent archeological evidence has supported the idea that China has had wines and distilled beverages dating back to . gave alcohol its modern name, taking it from the Arabic word which means "finely divided", a reference to distillation.
In many countries, alcoholic beverages are commonly consumed at the major daily meals (lunch and dinner). Most early beers were in fact highly nutritional and served as a means of calorie distribution. Beer can be stored longer than grain or bread without fear of pest infestation or rotting, and drinking beer avoided the tooth-destroying grit that was present in hand-ground or early mill-ground flours.
In places and eras with poor public sanitation, such as , consumption of alcoholic beverages (particularly weak or "small" ) was one method of avoiding water-borne diseases such as the . Though strong alcohol kills bacteria, the low concentration in beer or even wine will have only a limited effect. Probably the of water, which is required for the brewing of beer, and the growth of yeast, which would tend to crowd out other micro-organisms, were more important than the alcohol itself. In any case, the ethanol (and possibly other ingredients) of alcoholic beverages allows them to be stored for months or years in simple wood or clay containers without spoiling, which was certainly a major factor in their popularity.
A recent study indicated that ethanol has been found to stimulate the virulence of . Tests on infected that were dosed with ethanol found that the worms laid fewer eggs and their life spans were only 80% of worms infected with a version of A. baumannii that didn't respond to ethanol. This study suggests that the common misconception that drinking alcohol kills infections is false and drinking alcohol may actually help the infection to grow.
In colder climates, strong alcoholic beverages such as are popularly seen as a way to "warm up" the body, possibly because ethanol is a quickly absorbed source of and dilates peripheral blood vessels (Peripherovascular dilation). This however is a dangerous myth, and people experiencing should avoid alcohol. Although a drunk may feel warmer, the body loses heat and body temperature decreases, which may cause hypothermia, and eventually death. This is because of the dilation of blood vessels not in the core of the body; because of this increased bloodflow, the body loses its heat out of its less protected outer extremities.
In many cultures, both contemporary and historical, alcoholic beverages — mostly because of their neurological effects — have also played an important role in various kinds of social interaction, providing a form of "liquid courage" (those who consume it "gain" confidence and lose discretion) While other psychoactive drugs (such as , , , , , etc.) also have millennial traditions of social use, only , and have been as universally used and accepted as ethanol is today.
Alcohol restriction in ,
Most countries have rules forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages to . For example, in the and , one has to be 16 to buy beer or wine and 18 to buy distilled alcoholic beverages. However, possession of alcoholic beverages is not illegal for minors in Germany. Law there is directed at the potential sellers of alcoholic beverages and not at the minors. German law puts control concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverage into the hands of custodial persons and persons with parental power. See .
In law, sometimes the term " agent" is used for a category of substances, which includes alcoholic beverages and some . Giving any of these substances to a person to create an abnormal condition of the mind (such as ), in order to facilitate committing a crime, may be an additional crime.
Some countries may forbid the commerce, consumption or , or restrict them in various ways. During the period known as , from to , it was illegal to manufacture, transport, import, export, or sell alcoholic beverages in the . Many countries, such as , continue to prohibit alcohol for religious reasons. In the United States there are still communities with a ban on alcohol sales.
Most countries have laws against , driving with a certain concentration of ethanol in the . The legal threshold of ranges from 0.0% to 0.05% or 0.08%, according to local law.
Most countries also specify a legal drinking age, below which the consumption of alcohol is prohibited. In the U.S., the legal age for purchase or possession (but not necessarily consumption) in every state has been since the passage of the in , which tied federal highway funds to states' raising their minimum drinking age to 21. Many states specifically permit consumption under the age of 21 for religious or health reasons or with parental approval.
In many countries, production of alcoholic beverages requires a license, and alcohol production is taxed. In the U.S., the and the (formerly one organization known as the ) enforce federal laws and regulations related to alcohol, though most regulations regarding serving and selling alcoholic beverages are made by the individual states. There also exist intrastate regulatory differences, as between and the rest of the . In the the issues distilling licences.
Common state regulations in the United States are:
Many U.S. states require that distilled liquor be sold only in dedicated liquor stores. For example: In , liquor stores are run by the state. In , liquor stores may not refrigerate any beverages. Often, liquor sales are prohibited on Sunday by a . Other laws, governing a variety of issues, vary regionally.
Most U.S. states do not allow open containers of alcohol inside of moving vehicles.
Some U.S. states offer relaxed rules for beer at or below 3.2% alcohol.
Many cities and counties ban drinking alcoholic beverages in public; that is, on the street or sidewalk.
Often bars serving distilled liquor are exempted from .
In it is legal to produce alcohol for personal use. This has made the sale and use of home distillation equipment popular.
Types of alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic beverages include low-alcohol-content beverages produced by of - or -containing products, and high-alcohol-content beverages produced by of the low-alcohol-content beverages. Sometimes, the alcohol content of low-alcohol-content beverages is increased by adding distilled products, particularly in the case of wines. Such include and .
The process involved (as well as the resulting alcohol content) defines the finished product. A "beer" involves a relatively short (incomplete) fermentation process and an equally short aging process (a week or two) resulting in an alcohol content generally between 3-8%, as well as natural carbonation. A "wine" involves a longer (complete) fermentation process, and a relatively long aging process (months or years -- sometimes decades) resulting in an alcohol content between 7-18%. (Note that is generally made by adding a small amount of sugar before bottling). Distilled products are generally not made from a "beer" that would normally be palatable as fermentation is normally completed, but no aging is involved until after distillation. Most distilled liquors are 40% alcohol by volume.
Standard drinks of alcoholic beverages in the United States all contain equivalent amounts of alcohol, about 0.6 ounce each. A U.S. standard drink is a 12 ounce can or bottle of beer, a five ounce glass of dinner wine, or a 1.5 ounce drink of 80 proof distilled spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink).
The names of some beverages are determined by the source of the material fermented:
Source | Name of fermented beverage | Name of distilled beverage
of , other than apples or pears | (most commonly from ) | , Cognac (France), Branntwein (Germany), (Peru/Chile)
juice of | ("hard") , | applejack (or apple brandy),
juice of | , or pear cider | pear brandy
juice of , or | basi, betsa-betsa (regional) | , , ,
juice of | ,
juice of | , ,
pomace wine | (Italy), (Germany), (France)
distilled mead ("mead brandy" or "honey brandy")
and/or | potato beer | : potato mostly used in , otherwise grain
Note that in common speech, wine or brandy is made from grapes unless the fruit is specified: "plum wine" or "cherry brandy" for example, although in some cases grape-derived alcohol is added.
In the USA and Canada, cider often means unfermented apple juice (see the article on ), while fermented cider is called hard cider. Unfermented cider is sometimes called sweet cider. Also, was originally made by a freezing process described in the article on which was equivalent to distillation but more easily done in the cold climate of . In the UK, cider is always alcoholic, and in Australia it can be either.
Beer is generally made from barley, but can sometimes contain a mix of other grains. Whisky is sometimes made from a blend of different grains, especially which may contain several different grains. The style of whisky (Scotch, Rye, Bourbon) generally determines the primary grain used, with additional grains usually added to the blend (most often barley, and sometimes ).
Two common distilled beverages are and . Vodka can be distilled from any source ( and being the most common, also industrial cellulose for the cheapest!) but the main characteristic of vodka is that it is so thoroughly distilled as to exhibit none of the flavors derived from its source material. Gin is a similar distillate which has been flavored by contact with herbs and other plant products, especially berries. The name comes from the Dutch liquor genever, which in turn takes its name from the Dutch word for juniper.