A drink or beverage is a liquid intended for human consumption.
In addition to their basic function of satisfying thirst, drinks play
important roles in human culture. Common types of drinks include plain
water, milk, juices, coffee, tea, and soft drinks. In addition,
alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, and liquor, which contain the
drug ethanol, have been part of human culture and development for
Non-alcoholic drinks often signify drinks that would normally contain
alcohol, such as beer and wine, but are made with less than .5 percent
alcohol by volume. The category includes drinks that have undergone an
alcohol removal process such as non-alcoholic beers and de-alcoholized
3.1 Purification of water
4 Types of drink
4.1 Non-alcoholic drinks
4.1.5 Carbonated drinks
Juice and juice drinks
4.2 Alcoholic drinks
5 In culture
5.1 Places to drink
5.2 Matching with food
6 Commercial trade
6.1 International exports and imports
7 See also
10 External links
When the human body becomes dehydrated it experiences the sensation of
thirst. This craving of fluids results in an instinctive need to
Thirst is regulated by the hypothalamus in response to subtle
changes in the body's electrolyte levels, and also as a result of
changes in the volume of blood circulating. The complete elimination
of drinks, i.e. water, from the body will result in death faster than
the removal of any other substance.
Water and milk have been basic
drinks throughout history. As water is essential for life, it has
also been the carrier of many diseases.
As mankind evolved, new techniques were discovered to create drinks
from the plants that were native to their areas. The earliest
archaeological evidence of wine production yet found has been at sites
in Georgia (c. 6000 BCE) and
Iran (c. 5000 BCE). Beer
may have been known in
Neolithic Europe as far back as 3000 BCE,
and was mainly brewed on a domestic scale] The invention of beer
(and bread) has been argued to be responsible for humanity's ability
to develop technology and build civilization.
originated in Yunnan,
China during the
Shang Dynasty (1500 BCE–1046
BCE) as a medicinal drink.
Caravagio's interpretation of Bacchus
Drinking has been a large part of socialising throughout the
centuries. In Ancient Greece, a social gathering for the purpose of
drinking was known as a symposium, where watered down wine would be
drunk. The purpose of these gatherings could be anything from serious
discussions to direct indulgence. In Ancient Rome, a similar concept
of a convivium took place regularly.
Many early societies considered alcohol a gift from the gods,
leading to the creation of gods such as Dionysus. Other religions
forbid, discourage, or restrict the drinking of alcoholic drinks for
various reasons. In some regions with a dominant religion the
production, sale, and consumption of alcoholic drinks is forbidden to
everybody, regardless of religion.
Toasting is a method of honouring a person or wishing good will by
taking a drink. Another tradition is that of the loving cup, at
weddings or other celebrations such as sports victories a group will
share a drink in a large receptacle, shared by everyone until
In East Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in native religious
ceremonies. As these ceremonies conflicted with the beliefs of the
Christian church, the
Ethiopian Church banned the secular consumption
of coffee until the reign of Emperor Menelik II. The drink was
also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political
reasons and was associated with rebellious political activities in
A drink is a form of liquid which has been prepared for human
consumption. The preparation can include a number of different steps,
some prior to transport, others immediately prior to consumption.
Purification of water
Water is the chief constituent in all drinks, and the primary
ingredient in most.
Water is purified prior to drinking. Methods for
purification include filtration and the addition of chemicals, such as
chlorination. The importance of purified water is highlighted by the
World Health Organisation, who point out 94% of deaths from diarrhea
– the third biggest cause of infectious death worldwide at 1.8
million annually – could be prevented by improving the quality of
the victim's environment, particularly safe water.
Further information: Pasteurisation
Pasteurisation is the process of heating a liquid for a period of time
at a specified temperature, then immediately cooling. The process
reduces the growth of micro-organisms within the liquid, thereby
increasing the time before spoilage. It is primarily used on milk,
which prior to pasteurisation is commonly infected with pathogenic
bacteria and therefore the more likely than any other part of the
common diet in the developed world to cause illness.
First developed in the Middle Ages, basket presses have a long history
of use in winemaking.
Juice and Pressing (wine)
The process of extracting juice from fruits and vegetables can take a
number of forms. Simple crushing of most fruits will provide a
significant amount of liquid, though a more intense pressure can be
applied to get the maximum amount of juice from the fruit. Both
crushing and pressing are processes used in the production of wine.
Further information: Infusion
Infusion is the process of extracting flavours from plant material by
allowing the material to remain suspended within water. This process
is used in the production of teas, herbal teas and can be used to
prepare coffee (when using a coffee press).
The name is derived from the word "percolate" which means to cause (a
solvent) to pass through a permeable substance especially for
extracting a soluble constituent. In the case of coffee-brewing
the solvent is water, the permeable substance is the coffee grounds,
and the soluble constituents are the chemical compounds that give
coffee its color, taste, aroma, and stimulating properties.
Further information: Carbonation
Carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide into a liquid,
such as water.
Further information: Fermentation,
Fermentation in winemaking, and
Fermentation is a metabolic process that converts sugar to ethanol.
Fermentation has been used by humans for the production of drinks
since the Neolithic age. In winemaking, grape juice is combined with
yeast in an anaerobic environment to allow the fermentation. The
amount of sugar in the wine and the length of time given for
fermentation determine the alcohol level and the sweetness of the
When brewing beer, there are four primary ingredients – water,
grain, yeast and hops. The grain is encouraged to germinate by soaking
and drying in heat, a process known as malting. It is then milled
before soaking again to create the sugars needed for fermentation.
This process is known as mashing.
Hops are added for flavouring, then
the yeast is added to the mixture (now called wort) to start the
Distillation and Distilled beverage
An old whiskey still
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences
in volatility of components in a boiling liquid mixture. It is one of
the methods used in the purification of water. It is also a method of
producing spirits from milder alcoholic drinks.
Further information: Cocktail
An alcoholic mixed drink that contains two or more ingredients is
referred to as a cocktail. Cocktails were originally a mixture of
spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. The term is now often used for
almost any mixed drink that contains alcohol, including mixers, mixed
shots, etc. A cocktail today usually contains one or more kinds of
spirit and one or more mixers, such as soda or fruit juice. Additional
ingredients may be sugar, honey, milk, cream, and various herbs.
Types of drink
Further information: Non-alcoholic beverage
Ice water with lemon
A non-alcoholic drink is one that contains little or no alcohol. This
category includes low-alcohol beer, non-alcoholic wine, and apple
cider if they contain less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. The term "soft
drink" specifies the absence of alcohol in contrast to "hard drink"
and "drink". The term "drink" is theoretically neutral, but often is
used in a way that suggests alcoholic content. Drinks such as soda
pop, sparkling water, iced tea, lemonade, root beer, fruit punch,
milk, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, milkshakes, and tap water and energy
drinks are all soft drinks.
Drinking water and
Water is the world's most consumed drink, however, 97% of water on
Earth is non-drinkable salt water. Fresh water is found in rivers,
lakes, wetlands, groundwater, and frozen glaciers. Less than 1% of
the Earth's fresh water supplies are accessible through surface water
and underground sources which are cost effective to retrieve.
In western cultures, water is often drunk cold. In the Chinese
culture, it is typically drunk hot.
Milk and Plant milk
Regarded as one of the "original" drinks, milk is the primary
source of nutrition for babies. In many cultures of the world,
especially the Western world, humans continue to consume dairy milk
beyond infancy, using the milk of other animals (especially cattle,
goats and sheep) as a drink. Plant milk, a general term for any
milk-like product that is derived from a plant source, also has a long
history of consumption in various countries and cultures. The most
popular varieties internationally are soy milk, almond milk, rice milk
and coconut milk.
Tea and Herbal tea
Tea, the second most consumed drink in the world, is produced from
infusing dried leaves of the camellia sinensis shrub, in boiling
water. There are many ways in which tea is prepared for
consumption: lemon or milk and sugar are among the most common
additives worldwide. Other additions include butter and salt in
Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet; bubble tea in Taiwan; fresh ginger in
Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore; mint in North Africa and Senegal;
cardamom in Central Asia; rum to make
Jagertee in Central Europe; and
coffee to make yuanyang in Hong Kong.
Tea is also served differently
from country to country: in
Japan tiny cups are used to
serve tea; in Thailand and the United States tea is often served cold
(as "iced tea") or with a lot of sweetener; Indians boil tea with milk
and a blend of spices as masala chai; tea is brewed with a samovar in
Iran, Kashmir, Russia and Turkey; and in the Australian
Outback it is
traditionally brewed in a billycan.
Tea leaves can be processed in
different ways resulting in a drink which appears and tastes
different. Chinese yellow and green tea are steamed, roasted and
Oolong tea is semi-fermented and appears green-black and black
teas are fully fermented.
Around the world, people refer to other herbal infusions as "teas"; it
is also argued that these were popular long before the Camellia
sinensis shrub was used for tea making. Leaves, flowers, roots or
bark can be used to make a herbal infusion and can be bought fresh,
dried or powdered.
A cup of black coffee
Main article: Coffee
Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from the roasted seeds of several
species of an evergreen shrub of the genus Coffea. The two most common
sources of coffee beans are the highly regarded
Coffea arabica, and
the "robusta" form of the hardier
Coffee plants are
cultivated in more than 70 countries. Once ripe, coffee "berries" are
picked, processed, and dried to yield the seeds inside. The seeds are
then roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor,
before being ground and brewed to create coffee.
Coffee is slightly acidic (pH 5.0–5.1) and can have a
stimulating effect on humans because of its caffeine content. It is
one of the most popular drinks in the world. It can be prepared
and presented in a variety of ways. The effect of coffee on human
health has been a subject of many studies; however, results have
varied in terms of coffee's relative benefit.
Coffee cultivation first took place in southern Arabia; the
earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of
the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen.
Carbonation and Soft drink
Carbonated drinks refer to drinks which have carbon dioxide dissolved
into them. This can happen naturally through fermenting and in natural
water spas or artificially by the dissolution of carbon dioxide under
pressure. The first commercially available artificially carbonated
drink is believed to have been produced by Thomas Henry in the late
1770s. Cola, orange, various roots, ginger, and lemon/lime are
commonly used to create non-alcoholic carbonated drinks; sugars and
preservatives may be added later.
The most consumed carbonated soft drinks are produced by three major
global brands: Coca-Cola,
PepsiCo and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
Juice and juice drinks
Main article: Juice
Orange juice is usually served cold
Fruit juice is a natural product that contains few or no additives.
Citrus products such as orange juice and tangerine juice are familiar
breakfast drinks, while grapefruit juice, pineapple, apple, grape,
lime, and lemon juice are also common.
Coconut water is a highly
nutritious and refreshing juice. Many kinds of berries are crushed;
their juices are mixed with water and sometimes sweetened. Raspberry,
blackberry and currants are popular juices drinks but the percentage
of water also determines their nutritive value.
Grape juice allowed to
ferment produces wine.
Fruits are highly perishable so the ability to extract juices and
store them was of significant value. Some fruits are highly acidic and
mixing them with water and sugars or honey was often necessary to make
them palatable. Early storage of fruit juices was labor-intensive,
requiring the crushing of the fruits and the mixing of the resulting
pure juices with sugars before bottling.
Vegetable juices are usually served warm or cold. Different types of
vegetables can be used to make vegetable juice such as carrots,
tomatoes, cucumbers, celery and many more. Some vegetable juices are
mixed with some fruit juice to make the vegetable juice taste better.
Many popular vegetable juices, particularly ones with high tomato
content, are high in sodium, and therefore consumption of them for
health must be carefully considered. Some vegetable juices provide the
same health benefits as whole vegetables in terms of reducing risks of
cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Type of fruit drink
Percentage of fruit needed in drink
Largely regulated throughout the world; 'juice' is often protected to
be used for only 100% fruit.
Fruit is liquefied and water added.
Produced using strained fruit juice, 45% sugar and preservatives.
All 'suspended matter' is eliminated by filtration or
clarification. and therefore appears clear This type of drink,
if described as 'flavoured,' may not have any amount of fruit.
A mixture of fruit juices. Contains around 65% sugar.
1 fruit crushed into puree and left to ferment. Is then heated with
sugar to create syrup.
Fruit juice concentrates
Water removed from fruit juice by heating or freezing.
Carbonated fruit drinks
Carbon dioxide added to fruit drink.
Mixture of fruit pulp, sugar and water which is consumed as 'one
Cooled drink of sweetened diluted fruit juice.
Main article: Alcoholic drink
A drink is considered "alcoholic" if it contains ethanol, commonly
known as alcohol (although in chemistry the definition of "alcohol"
includes many other compounds).
Beer has been a part of human culture
for 8,000 years.
In many countries, imbibing alcoholic drinks in a local bar or pub is
a cultural tradition.
Glasses and tankards of German beer
Beer is an alcoholic drink produced by the saccharification of starch
and fermentation of the resulting sugar. The starch and
saccharification enzymes are often derived from malted cereal grains,
most commonly malted barley and malted wheat. Most beer is also
flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural
preservative, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruit may
occasionally be included. The preparation of beer is called brewing.
Beer is the world's most widely consumed alcoholic drink, and is
the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is said
to have been discovered by goddess
Ninkasi around 5300 BCE, when she
accidentally discovered yeast after leaving grain in jars that were
later rained upon and left for several days. Women have been the chief
creators of beer throughout history due to its association with
domesticity and it, throughout much of history, being brewed in the
home for family consumption. Only in recent history have men began to
dabble in the field.   It is thought by some to be the oldest
Some of humanity's earliest known writings refer to the production and
distribution of beer: the
Code of Hammurabi
Code of Hammurabi included laws regulating
beer and beer parlours, and "The Hymn to Ninkasi", a prayer to the
Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method
of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate
people. Today, the brewing industry is a global business,
consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many
thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional
Cider is a fermented alcoholic drink made from fruit juice, most
commonly and traditionally apple juice, but also the juice of peaches,
pears ("Perry" cider) or other fruit.
Cider may be made from any
variety of apple, but certain cultivars grown solely for use in cider
are known as cider apples. The
United Kingdom has the highest per
capita consumption of cider, as well as the largest cider-producing
companies in the world, As of 2006[update], the U.K. produces 600
million litres of cider each year (130 million imperial gallons).
Wine glasses with white wine and red wine
Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes or other fruits.
The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the
addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients.
Yeast consumes the sugars in the grapes and converts them into alcohol
and carbon dioxide. Different varieties of grapes and strains of
yeasts produce different styles of wine. The well-known variations
result from the very complex interactions between the biochemical
development of the fruit, reactions involved in fermentation, terroir
and subsequent appellation, along with human intervention in the
overall process. The final product may contain tens of thousands of
chemical compounds in amounts varying from a few percent to a few
parts per billion.
Wines made from produce besides grapes are usually named after the
product from which they are produced (for example, rice wine,
pomegranate wine, apple wine and elderberry wine) and are generically
called fruit wine. The term "wine" can also refer to starch-fermented
or fortified drinks having higher alcohol content, such as barley
wine, huangjiu, or sake.
Wine has a rich history dating back thousands of years, with the
earliest production so far discovered having occurred
c. 6000 BC in Georgia. It had reached the
c. 4500 BC and was consumed and celebrated in ancient Greece
From its earliest appearance in written records, wine has also played
an important role in religion.
Red wine was closely associated with
blood by the ancient Egyptians, who, according to Plutarch, avoided
its free consumption as late as the 7th-century BC Saite dynasty,
"thinking it to be the blood of those who had once battled against the
gods". The Greek cult and mysteries of Dionysus, carried on by the
Romans in their Bacchanalia, were the origins of western theater.
Judaism incorporates it in the
Christianity in its
Eucharist, while alcohol consumption was forbidden in Islam.
Further information: List of alcoholic drinks § Distilled
Spirits are distilled beverages that contain no added sugar and have
at least 20% alcohol by volume (ABV). Popular spirits include
borovička, brandy, gin, rum, slivovitz, tequila, vodka, and whisky.
Brandy is a spirit created by distilling wine, whilst vodka may be
distilled from any starch- or sugar-rich plant matter; most vodka
today is produced from grains such as sorghum, corn, rye or wheat.
Places to drink
Cafe Terrace at Night, September 1888, by Vincent van Gogh.
Throughout history, people have come together in establishments to
socialise whilst drinking. This includes cafés and coffeehouses,
focus on providing hot drinks as well as light snacks. Many coffee
houses in the Middle East, and in West Asian immigrant districts in
the Western world, offer shisha (nargile in Turkish and Greek),
flavored tobacco smoked through a hookah.
Espresso bars, such as
Starbucks and Costa
Coffee are a type of coffeehouse that specialize
in serving espresso and espresso-based drinks.
China and Japan, the establishment would be a tea house, were
people would socialise whilst drinking tea. Chinese scholars have used
the teahouse for places of sharing ideas.
Alcoholic drinks are served in drinking establishments, which have
different cultural connotations. For example, pubs are fundamental to
the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada,
New England, Metro Detroit,
South Africa and New Zealand. In many
places, especially in villages, a pub can be the focal point of the
community. The writings of
Samuel Pepys describe the pub as the heart
of England. Many pubs are controlled by breweries, so cask ale or keg
beer may be a better value than wines and spirits.
In contrast, types of bars range from seedy bars or nightclubs,
sometimes termed "dive bars", to elegant places of entertainment
for the elite. Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables
or counters for their patrons. The term "bar" is derived from the
specialized counter on which drinks are served. Some bars have
entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go
dancers, or strippers. Patrons may sit or stand at the bar and be
served by the bartender, or they may sit at tables and be served by
Matching with food
Wine and food matching
Champagne flute and bottle
Food and drink are often paired together to enhance the taste
experience. This primarily happens with wine and a culture has grown
up around the process. Weight, flavors and textures can either be
contrasted or complemented. In recent years, food magazines began
to suggest particular wines with recipes and restaurants would offer
multi-course dinners matched with a specific wine for each course.
Different drinks have unique receptacles for their consumption. This
is sometimes purely for presentations purposes, such as for cocktails.
In other situations, the drinkware has practical application, such as
coffee cups which are designed for insulation or brandy snifters which
are designed to encourage evaporation but trap the aroma within the
Many glasses include a stem, which allows the drinker to hold the
glass without affecting the temperature of the drink. In champagne
glasses, the bowl is designed to retain champagne's signature
carbonation, by reducing the surface area at the opening of the bowl.
Historically, champagne has been served in a champagne coupe, the
shape of which allowed carbonation to dissipate even more rapidly than
from a standard wine glass.
International exports and imports
An important export commodity, coffee was the top agricultural export
for twelve countries in 2004, and it was the world's
seventh-largest legal agricultural export by value in 2005. Green
(unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities
in the world.
Some drinks, such as wine, can be used as an alternative
investment. This can be achieved by either purchasing and
reselling individual bottles or cases of particular wines, or
purchasing shares in an investment wine fund that pools investors'
List of beverages
List of hot drinks
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