Whatever your favourite tipple, when you pour yourself a drink, you have the past in a glass.
You can likely find them all in your own kitchen — beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, cola. Line them up on the counter, and there you have it: thousands of years of human history in six drinks.
Tom Standage opens a window onto the past in this tour of six beverages that remain essentials today. En route he makes fascinating forays into the byways of western culture: Why were ancient Egyptians buried with beer? Why was wine considered a “classier” drink than beer by the Romans? How did rum grog help the British navy defeat Napoleon? What is the relationship between coffee and revolution? And how did Coca-Cola become the number one poster-product for globalization decades before the term was even coined?
From the Hardcover edition.