The Tippling Point | Five Fun Facts About Alcohol to Give You a Good Sunday Buzz
Here's a list of five fun facts about alcohol that you may not have heard of:
1. "Come quickly, I'm drinking the stars!" - It was supposedly said by Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk, when he tasted the new sparkling wine for the first time. Perignon, who perfected Champagne, is reputed to have cried when discovering the taste of the wine.
There was time when makers of Champagne in France did everything in their capacity to take away bubbles from the drink as they thought them to be a nuisance.
Can you now imagine Champagne without its bubbles? But there was a time when makers of Champagne in France did everything in their capacity to remove bubbles from the drink as they thought them to be a nuisance.
However, it was the sincere research done by Gerard Belair that revealed that bubbles appeared due to carbon dioxide trapped inside the bottle which imparts 'flavour' to the champagne. Perignon found that it was the bubbles that make Champagne special. Shaking a bottle of champagne and pulling out the cork is a ritual of mindless celebration over the world. But beware! Flying corks from Champagne bottles have spoiled enough parties than you can imagine by gouging out human eyes in its long history.
With roughly around 49 million bubbles looking for a way out from a bottle, scientists say that the pressure inside is 90 pounds per square inch - three times the pressure in car tires. Know that before giving it a serious shake.
2. DIY Drinks: Owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown in most parts of the world, bars have remained closed and people's favourite spirits have got more and more inaccessible. People are trying make odd cocktails throwing into the bowl whatever materials come to their hands at home. Some even read doomsday into their shelves now emptied of bottles.
Poor fellows, what do they know! There is a solution out there - enough of it to quench the thirst of thousands like them - lying in the very direction they throw their eyes at in despair!
Yes, the sky has the answer, though a bit beyond his reach.
Scientists have discovered an interstellar cloud of alcohol floating somewhere up there which could make about 4 trillion drinks. So what's the fine print, the bad news, you may ask. Sorry, the filling station is about 10,000 light-years from our planet. As the nursery song goes, "Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky...'
3. Following the leaders: We have always been told to learn from our masters - Light a candle from such shining stars. History books are full of heroic deeds of many including the first President of the United States George Washington and Abraham Lincoln - How they lived, what they said, where they travelled, and what they demanded. No man has survived his/her school without learning at least one heroic account of these masters.
But, does history tell us all? Do they gloss over some of the interesting points from their heroic lives? A tippler's eye poring over the lives of these great men would definitely latch on to the absence of a few missing pages hastily torn away from the books that depict glorious lives.
For one, George Washington was the first major whiskey distiller in the US. And Lincoln is said to have been running a tavern before he got the call to run another serious business, - to 'mind the country.'
4. Embracing a religious practice: People embrace religion for various reasons. Blind faith in a new order of things is prominent among them. But the Prince of Kiev, Vladimir the Great in the eleventh century had a different reason for picking his faith.
For a very long time, the prince vacillated between two major religions of his time - Christianity and Islam. He didn't understand the point of all that fight going on. But as he too must soon choose between them, Vladimir had only one question in his mind - to ask both the parties.
Can I drink in your religion? Christianity was more forgiving, sportive and quicker in response so they took the cake. Vladimir the Great and his followers were baptised and eventually through him the whole of Russia also embraced Christianity.
5. Calling someone while drunk: Decisions taken when you're drunk are not taken at face value in almost all the cultures. You are not the one who is speaking but it is the drink you took that speaks. But does this mean, all the decisions we take while sober are any wiser?
The ancient Persians had a foolproof method to check the anomaly. A Persian could promise even the sky when drunk. But when he got sober the next day, he could reconsider his decision. So you'd be trapped only if he repeated the promise next morning. But what if he made a decision while he was sober?
Well, he could reconsider it while drunk. That's fair!