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?
hmm...wonder who was behind that idea...
"Wine's magic health-minded ingredients come from the skin of the grape. Resveratrol protects the body's cells, keeping them young and strong. Saponins bind to bad cholesterol and usher it out of the body. And flavonoids interfere with the multiplication of cancer cells."
Red wine is supposedly more beneficial than white. With the ever increasing liquor store prices, my doctor telling me it was probably a good thing to drink a glass or two a day, and having a nice spot to plant a vineyard it only made sense to put some vinifera in the ground.
I enjoy the taste of well made vino. Dry ones that is. And they do go GREAT with food!
Praise Dionysus and Bacchus!!!!
Animals, such as elephants and moose (like the one who got caught in a tree this week) imbibe alcohol. Either they like the taste or it doesn't discourage them because they tend to return yearly for more fermenting fruit to indulge in.
I enjoy certain alcohol drinks even not aiming to get drunk. A slightly chilled beer with dinner is quite good. It seems to add to the filling part of dinner. Maybe it's just me but drinking a beer vs pop with the same meal, beer fills me quite more and tends to help me take fewer servings. A good wine for a special occasion like Thanksgiving also suites me. As does a good cigar and a toast shot for bigger events (graduation, wedding, occasionally a round of golf haha). As for energy/alcohol drinks, shots and drinks with 'fun' names. I'll pass. I feel like if alcohol didn't have the intoxicating effects it did you wouldn't see nearly the market but you would still see people drinking occasionally, dinner ect... Don't get me wrong I do drink socially and get drunk but when I do it's still the drinks I would drink with dinner.
I have never been a drinker except for my 21st birthday, and once in the 20 years since then. To me, anything fermented tastes rotten and disgusting, and I have to force myself to not gag if, for some bizarre reason I try to taste it. Anything distilled tastes like industrial solvents, and is about as pleasing to drink as paint thinner. In addition, my metabolism reacts very strangely; it takes huge volumes to affect me, and the buzz fades in minutes. Not much point in drinking for me.
I'm probably atypical, so I don't know how much use my two cents is worth.
It is an acquired taste… as is the taste of vegetables to most children (and a good number of adults). Many of us have been conditioned to like bustle sprouts and other arguably objectionable tastes.
I’d argue that everything is an acquired taste; we just acquire some tastes faster than others or some not at all.
As long as someone finds objection to a taste, anything can be substituted for alcohol in your question.
To address the specific question: yes, I actually like the taste of beer (and alcoholic beverages.) I don’t drink to get drunk and I’m willing to spend money on craft beer and fine liquor simply because they taste good.
If I were to drink just for an altered perception, there are many less expensive options available that produce the results without any of the satisfaction.
I was raised in a Baptist "non-alcohol-philic society". We never had any alcohol in the house. The church that we went to was a "dry" church. No one drank alcohol. (I found out later that was not entirely true.) My mom is 85 and she's never had any alcohol in her entire life. I didn't drink until I was 21. I'm 59 now.
I don't have any understanding how people can stand the taste of hard liquor. I can just barely tolerate the taste of beer. Wine and champaign are not much better. I got shit-faced drunk three or four times when I was in my twenties. That was about the extent of my driking. I will have an occasional drink at social occasions but I don't keep any alcohol in the house.
I didn't drink coffee until I was 40. At the time I thought that the taste was nearly as bad a alcohol. But I've developed a taste for it now. I always look forward to a fresh brewed cup when I get to work in the morning.
I have three sons who are in their 20's. They all used to hate coffee. But two of them have been seduced by it's flavorful aroma. The third still won't drink it.
Love the smell of coffee...just smelling it gives me a high (little worrying, so I don't drink it much). I hate the taste of coffee though...thank commercialism for Starbucks' Frap's. I'm just as repulsed by the taste and smell of alcohol but haven't found a good mixed drink to mask it...
I think the majority of people wouldn't take to alcohol just for the taste, except perhaps those in adulthood. Once your tastes mature, you've burned away some of your more delicate taste buds, or you get bored with the normal fare, new things begin to appeal to you.