National Geographic : 2017 Feb
A 9,000 -Year Love Affair Alcohol isn’t just a mind-altering drink: It has been a prime mover of human culture from the beginning, fueling the development of arts, language, and religion. A Chinese newlywed toasts her guests with a traditional cup of rice wine. The drink has been consumed in China for at least 9,000 years; a chemical residue found in a jar of that age is the oldest proof of a deliberately fermented beverage. But the influence of alcohol probably extends even deeper into prehistory.