Alcohol is great for throwing parties. But throughout its long history, that’s never been its only purpose. The Imbible is a play that begins with the discovery of alcohol and chronicles its evolution over time, all the way up to the present day. Here are just a few of the interesting facts you’ll learn from watching the show:
1. Beer was the first alcoholic beverage
It was created by accident. When one of the earliest farmers left a basket of wheat out in the rain, she was surprised to come back to it and find that it had turned into beer.
2. People used to drink alcohol to prevent themselves from getting sick
Before modern sanitation techniques were invented, adding alcohol to water was the only way to kill the deadly bacteria that could be living in it. Everyone, including children and pregnant women, drank water with about 2 to 3 percent alcohol in it.
3. The Egyptians invented distillation
They figured out how to separate the water from the alcohol in the beer. Alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water.
4. The word “alcohol” comes from Arabic
It’s actually derived from the Arabic word for a woman’s eyeliner.
5. Alcohol was used by alchemists to turn lead into gold
Of course, they never actually succeeded. But alcohol’s potential as a solvent made it a promising tool to break down the lead, with the hope of eventually putting it back together into gold.
If you want to learn other fascinating things about alcohol, like what diseases it’s been used to treat, how Gin is made, what went into Prohibition-era moonshine, and how cocktails came to exist, The Imbible is playing at Soho Playhouse throughout the whole month of July (with a special discount price of $39). (Don’t drink too fast, though, or you won’t remember any of it.) Get your tickets on the Fever app now!