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Six Drinks that Changed the World
October 9, 2005 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Six Drinks that Changed the World. Beer, Wine, Coffee . . . Their impact upon the history of the World. via GeekPress
posted by caddis (50 comments total)

 
A toast to Kenko in partial inspiration.
posted by caddis at 5:37 PM on October 9, 2005


beer, wine spirits, coffee, tea. . . and coca-cola!?

schlitz, zinfindel, ancient age, folger's, lipton and soda pop.
posted by punkbitch at 5:40 PM on October 9, 2005


(carlo rossi maybe as a substitute for zinf)
posted by punkbitch at 5:42 PM on October 9, 2005


Lipton is not tea!
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:43 PM on October 9, 2005


And (white) zinfendal is not wine. Really. It's a wine based beverage.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:08 PM on October 9, 2005


They forgot water, I think that one is important. ;)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:11 PM on October 9, 2005


how about bottled water representing the decline of human intelligence and reasoning?
posted by swinginjohn at 6:21 PM on October 9, 2005


how about bottled water representing the decline of human intelligence and reasoning?

What else are we supposed to drink? Tap Water? *gag*.
posted by delmoi at 6:31 PM on October 9, 2005


I sure hope that comment about tap water was too subtly sarcastic for me to recognize, but if not, here's an interesting link to read. Here's another. And.. another.
posted by kcm at 7:06 PM on October 9, 2005


You know.. I would like all you holier than thou people toasting the wonderfulness of tap water to come to my NYC apartment and have a big heaping glass of the brownish murky chlorine water that comes out of my tap.

I used to use Brita filters until I realized that they were clogging so fast I was spending more on filters than I would on bottled water.

Tap water might be just fine and dandy in the mains under the street, but anybody in an old building with dodgy pipes knows to stay away.. I mean I won't make ice cubes with that stuff...
posted by PissOnYourParade at 7:33 PM on October 9, 2005


isn't it a good idea to have bottled water on hand just in case another katrina-like incident should happen?
posted by brandz at 7:42 PM on October 9, 2005


But they had lots of water.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:02 PM on October 9, 2005


ok. should have said in case bush fucks up again.
posted by brandz at 8:21 PM on October 9, 2005


Pepsi-Blue has done more to change the world (and the promotion of this book which I see everywhere, just saying).
posted by stbalbach at 8:56 PM on October 9, 2005


I just paged through the book mentioned in the article today. It looks rad. As for the water issue, I think it doesn't garner mention as one of the six because each of the six--save coke--is just stuff + water. Barley + water, grapes + water, molasses + water, cocoa + water, leaves + water. Coke is, I dunno, sugar + long-named-toilet-cleaning-abrasives + water. Maybe if you got something that made you jittery or drunk when you do water + water it would make the list. Anyway, water doesn't do cool shit like make you jittery or drunk. It just keeps you alive. meh.
posted by carsonb at 8:59 PM on October 9, 2005


Prolonging consciousness, rotting teeth, and inspiring fights for years and years to come.
posted by deusdiabolus at 10:05 PM on October 9, 2005


Hey, you think they'll be adding Red Bull to this list a few decades from now?
posted by deusdiabolus at 10:07 PM on October 9, 2005


Crap article. It doesn't mention the influence of disease-laden water on the development and importance of most of these beverages. Anywhere you get humans and domestic animals living for long, you get water that will make you sick or kill you. You make tea (and later, coffee) by first boiling water. The boiling came first, as a necessity; adding leaves to it, we may assume, came along later. You add gin or rum to water to disinfect it: you don't drink 18th century London water or water from a barrel in the hold of a ship if you don't want to shit your life out. Or you drink beer. In classical times, people carried half-and-half mixtures of water and wine; concentrated enough to deal with most infectious agents but mild enough so that you weren't drunk all the time.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:20 PM on October 9, 2005


With respect to tap water over bottled, I'd say it varies entirely. The tap water I got in Whistler was made into bottled water without any treatment whatsoever. Why? Because it tastes great, is ozonated, not chlorinated, and is quite free of mineral content. In vancouver, as long as your pipes are clean, water from the tap is just fine. It's clear and nearly tasteless. Once again, very low mineral content and ozone instead of chlorine.

Right now I am living in Beijing. Taking a shower makes my skin itch. I'm not drinking that shit. I don't even like brushing my teeth with it.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:06 PM on October 9, 2005


And (white) zinfendal is not wine. Really. It's a wine based beverage.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:08 PM PST on October 9 [!]


StickyCarpet, I'm very interested in seeing some solid citations in support of that statement.

Perhaps you meant not a 'varietal'. (A number of popular wines are, in fact, non-varietals: late harvests - especially rieslings, meritages, blushes, bordeaux blends, and chablis being among the most common.) While not a fan of white zinfandel, in over 15 years of wine and vinting education, I have never come across a piece of information that agrees with your comment. Quite the opposite, actually.
posted by Frisbee Girl at 1:21 AM on October 10, 2005



Why isn't virgin's blood on this list?
posted by Darkman at 2:11 AM on October 10, 2005


Frisbee Girl: White zinfandel or "blush" wine is not really wine at all. That's the best I can do now on citations, but in over 15 years of wine and vinting education did you ever taste it? I have seen the use of the word wine challenged on a wine-making basis in the context of white zinfandel.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:15 AM on October 10, 2005


And Frisbee, your last link is from Hormel. I will grant that white zinfandel is wine in the same sense that all of Hormels pork products are ham.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:22 AM on October 10, 2005


okay okay i admit i will drink bottled water but i buy the ghetto version. i get the stuff that comes in the milk cartons from the grocery store. it's 99 cents and it's a gallon; not 99 cents for a pint.

it just irks me to no end that they're bottling the most abundant resource on the planet and selling it to us for unholy prices. it's highway robbery.
posted by swinginjohn at 5:58 AM on October 10, 2005


White zinfandel or "blush" wine is not really wine at all.

You've misunderstood a humorous exaggeration of many wine-lovers' feelings of contempt towards white zin, which is every bit as much wine as Chateau Latour. Back in 1973 Sutter Home released the first batch, which they call a "fortuitous mistake"; people were in the mood for a slightly sweet pink wine, and they bought oceans of it. Wine lovers gagged, partly out of the usual elitist reaction to the masses enjoying something they consider not good enough (I'm not putting down elitists, in this case I'm one myself), partly because the popularity of the pink stuff sullied the good name of the "real" zinfandel, an excellent (when made well, obviously) red wine. But saying white zin isn't wine is like saying Bud isn't beer: it makes you feel good to say it, but it's not a statement about reality.
posted by languagehat at 6:23 AM on October 10, 2005


But saying white zin isn't wine is like saying Bud isn't beer...

I'll say it: Bud isn't beer.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:16 AM on October 10, 2005


It doesn't make me feel good to say it, it saddens me.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:45 AM on October 10, 2005


This is a NY Times article titled: Drink, Don't Drink. Drink, Don't Drink that has two facts I had a hard time swallowing:

1. "Consumption of hard alcohol sagged by roughly 40 percent between 1980 and 2002, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (Consumption of beer was down 10 percent; consumption of wine was stable.)"

2. "While the law now offers localities the option of approving or rejecting Sunday sales, it makes one Sunday sacrosanct. No matter what the localities decide, no liquor store in Kansas can open on Easter."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:49 AM on October 10, 2005


1. "Consumption of hard alcohol sagged by roughly 40 percent between 1980 and 2002, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (Consumption of beer was down 10 percent; consumption of wine was stable.)"

The first table in this document (1.28MB, pdf) seems to suggest a similar reduction in France over the same period.
posted by biffa at 8:07 AM on October 10, 2005


OK, I know none of you are moms because no one mentioned Similac!!! Sure changed my world.... [and, incidentally, allowed me to return to binging on the other six beverages mentioned in the article ;) ]
posted by tvgurl at 8:31 AM on October 10, 2005


Reminds me of the episode "Bottled Water" on Penn & Teller's Bullshit in which New Yorkers, thinking they were taste-testing exotic bottled waters, overwhelmingly chose the New York City tap water as the better-tasting.
posted by ericb at 8:48 AM on October 10, 2005


"It's not because [Coke] makes people happy, but because [its] sales happen in the dynamic free-market economies that tend to produce happy people," Standage said.

This kinda reminds me of the whole "no two countries that have McDonald's branches have ever gone to war with each other" thing, which, now that I think of it, may just be an urban legend. (or is it?)
posted by afroblanca at 9:02 AM on October 10, 2005


The Zin is not really wine comment is nothing more than wine snobbery.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 9:07 AM on October 10, 2005


Interesting post. Reminds me of a book I'm waiting to read; "Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World".

And to continue the derail... kcm - Nice links! I'm constantly amazed at co-workers who will not drink the (filtered) tap water here. But even so, I don't those articles will change their minds. Oh well.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:14 AM on October 10, 2005


I'll drink to that.
posted by Foosnark at 9:40 AM on October 10, 2005


But saying white zin isn't wine is like saying Bud isn't beer...

Or like saying the Nobel Prize in economics isn't really a Nobel Prize.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:48 AM on October 10, 2005


They left out animal milk.
posted by lazy-ville at 9:53 AM on October 10, 2005


Apologies, StickyCarpet, if I'd realized you were just being silly, I wouldn't have asked for citations. To answer your question: yes, I have had white zinfandel and a number of times (hence the statement in my initial comment that I am not a fan of it personally.) However, a quaffing wine is still a wine - elitism be damned! *shakes fist at sky*

The WaPo style-op link was pretty cute, though.
posted by Frisbee Girl at 10:02 AM on October 10, 2005


I don't know about beer changing the world but it certainly changed the smell of my pants after a heavy night with idest, stynxno and terrapin on Saturday.

Umm.. that's not as bad as it sounds, by the way.
posted by Decani at 10:19 AM on October 10, 2005


This kinda reminds me of the whole "no two countries that have McDonald's branches have ever gone to war with each other" thing, which, now that I think of it, may just be an urban legend.

Argentina and the UK both have McDonalds. So there's one.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:23 AM on October 10, 2005


I'm sorely disappointed by the omission of Gin & Tonic from this list.
posted by furtive at 10:53 AM on October 10, 2005


Umm.. that's not as bad as it sounds, by the way.

For the life of me, I can't find a positive interpretation for it, though.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:20 AM on October 10, 2005


Pinkstainlesstail: I don't think anyone actually declared war in that, so it was officially an 'armed conflict'.

/spurious accuracy
posted by Sparx at 2:40 PM on October 10, 2005


OK, I know none of you are moms because no one mentioned Similac!!! Sure changed my world.... [and, incidentally, allowed me to return to binging on the other six beverages mentioned in the article ;) ]
posted by tvgurl at 11:31 AM EST on October 10 [!]

Oh I'm a mom, but I never used formula.

I'm sorely disappointed by the omission of Gin & Tonic from this list.
posted by furtive at 1:53 PM EST on October 10 [!]

Strangely enough I had written something about drinking a daily G&T on the porch during mosquito season as a toast to the British Empire, but then erased it in favor of the link I posted.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:58 PM on October 10, 2005


Pinkstainlesstail: I don't think anyone actually declared war in that, so it was officially an 'armed conflict'.

Unofficially, everyone calls it the Falklands War, because it was one, declaration or no. I'm ruling the McDonald's thing void in my own private court.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:02 PM on October 10, 2005


For the life of me, I can't find a positive interpretation for it, though.

Somebody spilled my pint over me. Unfortunately it was me.
posted by Decani at 5:22 PM on October 10, 2005


From the Wikipedia:
In Thomas L. Friedman's 1999 book The Lexus and the Olive Tree the following theory was presented: "No two countries that both had McDonald's had fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald's". While the observation may be true, the conclusions to be drawn are unclear. The global expansion of McDonald's restaurants is a relatively recent phenomenon when put into the context of the history of warfare, and, with a few notable exceptions, has proceeded into relatively stable markets.

The veracity of the observation itself depends upon a flexible interpretation of the term "war". Some conflicts that provide possible counterexamples include the 1989 United States invasion of Panama, the bombing of Serbia by NATO forces in 1999, and the ongoing skirmishes between factions of India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region. Furthermore, it could be argued that conflict between separatist groups that aspire to nationhood amounts to a type of warfare against what they consider to be foreign governments, thereby pitting the Basque region against the nation of Spain, for example. Additionally, the erstwhile practice of giving Declarations of War at the commencement of a conflict is not generally observed anymore; for example, the USA has never declared war upon another country since the end of World War II, but unquestionably has fought several wars since then. For example, the states of Lebanon and Israel have been under a state of war since 1973, which did not hinder the establishment of McDonald's franchises there in 1998 and 1995, respectively.

posted by biffa at 3:08 AM on October 11, 2005


The decline in the consumption of hard alcohol during the last two decades, mentioned above, reflects a general decline in the art of the cocktail over the past 50 years. See "Cocktail Rules" for my short review of David Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948), a well-written encyclopedia of the cocktail which opens a door on a lost world.
posted by Parlour Tricks at 8:14 AM on October 11, 2005


I think this is where the pining for a long lost Portugese cocktail aficionado begins.
posted by caddis at 8:22 AM on October 11, 2005


No doubt.
posted by Frisbee Girl at 12:38 PM on October 11, 2005


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