Monday, February 16, 2009

Book Report - A History of the World in Six Glasses


Fermentation and civilization are inseparable

- John Ciardi, American Poet (1916-1986)

I know it's been a while since my last post but I've been spending my spare time reading this incredibly well researched book about the history of the world based on 6 beverages: beer, wine, coffee, spirits, tea and soda. I can't put it down and highly recommend it - even as a book club selection. It's a must read for any beverage buff.

Here are are a few highlights:

Beer - In ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, cereal grains were the basis of the economy and civilians were paid with daily rations of beer.

Wine - In ancient Greece, wine was used to fuel intellectual discussions and lively debates. Plato believed wine was a great way to test a man's character.

Spirits - Distilled spirits were a convenient and compact way to transport alcohol and had a profound impact on the Age of Exploration as Europeans developed new colonies and empires around the world.

Coffee - During the Age of Reason, coffee kept scientists, businessmen and philosophers wide eyed and wired as they discussed and later on established scientific societies, newspapers and financial institutions. The French Revolution actually started in front of a coffeehouse.

Tea - Britain's thirst for tea had a profound influence on British foreign policy which led them to become the world's first global superpower. And of course, a tax on tea led to the American Revolution.

Soda - Today, Coca-Cola is the world's most widely known and distributed product and a symbol of global commerce.


  1. I just finished reading this wonderful book! I'm recommending this book to everyone.