Many people have had to learn to say “I don’t drink” in front of people that they love. For example, when my mother was a young woman, she would never talk negatively about her father or even talk negatively about her brothers. However, at weddings, she would be heard saying things like, “This is just the break up we needed.” Or, “I am sorry that we lost our father. He was such a great man.”
Another etymology for the word “drink” comes from Greek, meaning “to cool down.” Thus, to “take cool drinks” literally means to be cool or calm down. For this reason, many words for drinks, such as a punch, are derived from Latin origins with the suffix -er, to cool down. So, to “take cool drinks” in a sense, would be to take a “punch” to the heart. The root word for “punch” is probably “drinkus,” a beverage. This may explain why we find “juke” in American English as a substitute for “drink”.
In ancient Egypt, beer and wine were very popular, although the wine was the more favorite drink. Beer is the fermented juice of the root of the yeast tree. Wine, also fermented, is much sweeter than plain water. In fact, it was the high priest who offered prayers and wine to the Egyptian gods and it was the wine which they used to perform the sacred rites. Beer and grape juice were thought to provide courage and strength to the people of Egypt. It was the “bitter water” of the grapes that made them offer prayers to the gods.
Another etymology for the name “Bitterroot” has to do with a Blackfoot river in Montana. The Blackfoot Indians used the bitterroot as medicine. Some tribes later used the herb to treat the deadly “black snake” disease, just as the Chinese had discovered it. It was the white snake that killed the Blackfoot tribe. This may account for the “white snake” drinking liquor that some early settlers enjoyed.
Ancient Greece had three important drinks: wine (the commonest), vinegar called olives and honey. Grape juice was drunk along with many fruits, particularly apples. Socrates drank a cup of wine each day and taught others to do so. He claimed that wine and olives were the best tasting alcoholic beverages, because they had the most nutritious content.
To this day, alcoholic beverages are among the world’s most popular beverages. They can be consumed in large quantities and they represent a major source of revenue for the alcohol industry. In our world of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, one standard drink is responsible for millions of dollars in sales each year.