A discussion about this on another forum got me thinking.  Hypothetically, if the physiological effects of alcohol were not present, would people still enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages?  Surely yes, now that we've been conditioned to like it.  But I wonder if we found a sample of people raised in a non-alcohol-philic society (assuming there is one), and presented them with a variety of alcoholic beverages, they would enjoy any of them.  Whatever they decide, is it despite the taste of alcohol, or because of it?


My guess is they wouldn't enjoy it.  Alcohol is poison to us (and most other organisms as far as I know), right?  So it would be only natural for us to find the taste offensive.


But on the other hand, fermented beverages also last because of that very same reason.  And many people unknowingly took advantage of that fact to preserve beverages - wine, beer, etc.  So maybe over the millennia of surviving on alcohol, we (or certain populations) have grown a penchant for it?

Views: 3882

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Interesting point. To put this in the realm of today, I think the adult beverage companies have really tried to blur the line between those popular energy drinks and alcohol in order to reach a broader audience. There is much sugar in them, not to mention the labeling, that many barley taste of alcohol yet are packed with it.

So to answer your question directly, yes perhaps we have grown a penchant for it, but in no doubt has this been pushed into our pallets on purpose.


 I've always had the theory that the first person to try alcohol was trying to commit suicide. He got drunk and changed his mind.


Interesting, very interesting

I think the benefit of preservation was discovered before the effects of alcohol were. Beer was the first fermented beverage ever, dating back 6000 years. Ancient people found water supplies tainted, and boiling it made it disappear. So they had to figure out a way to clean the water without losing so much of it in the process. This is where fermentation was invented. Then after they fermented the water, they consumed it, found it to not kill them, but also it gave them a buzz. And this is how NASCAR was born.


But I think you are exactly backwards on preservation vs effects. Before we (proto-humans) knew or even tried any preservation we got drunk and tried other psychoactive substances. Some people believe this "drug" usage helped push the evolution of our conscience, with some science to back it up.

The first "alcohol use" was probably a semi-rotted/ distilled fruit eaten by accident and then given to the Shaman- as where all the good, psychoactive edibles, smokables- for ritual use.

Imagine the first magic mushroom- found on a cow turd- Holy Shit- Sacred Cow.

The first Hemp/Cannabis thrown on a campfire- and NO S'mores.

We've been getting high and drunk LONG before any preserving effects where known- and actual organized fermenting, distilling, and even NASCAR didn't come till much later.

Alcohol in enough concentration to preserve anything probably came along with the invention of distillation. Salt and sugar (yes, sugar) functioned as preservatives long before alcohol performed that function.

The alcohol levels in beer and wine can't even prevent THEM from spoiling, which is why it's very important when making beer and alcohol to keep fruit/wine/vinegar flies away from the product.

I genuinely enjoy the taste of certain beers and whiskeys. In the beer department is: Blue Moon, Sam Adams Noble Pils and maybe Sierra Nevada. For whiskey I generally stick with Jameson. Alcohol has been a part of our society for a long time and I doubt that will ever change.
oh of course it isn't going anywhere.  I was approaching from a purely biological direction.  Are we genetically programmed to "like" alcohol in the same way we are sugar, fat, and salt?  Or, rather, are we more programmed to NOT "like" it in the same way as something like ipecac.

do remember, while alcohol is poison to your liver, it also has myriad verifiable salutary effects as well, protecting the heart from disease and the brain from dementia in regular and moderate quantities. we evolved to enjoy things which are good for us, so while in large quantities alcohol makes us feel vile, in smaller doses it is not unreasonable to assume that humans genuinely enjoy the flavor of it. 

There were certain alcoholic beverages that I genuinely enjoyed for their taste. But the taste was only secondary to the effects that the alcohol produced.


Yeah for the most part that is the reason most people drink.

I fully agree with what you are saying. I can stand it but I do not like it either! I'm drinking for social reasons only.


© 2022   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service