Alcohol

Ancient people might have used these elongated tubes to drink beer from the same pot during ceremonial feasts or gatherings. 

New Research

Ancient People May Have Sipped Beer Through These 5,500-Year-Old Drinking Straws

Eight gold and silver tubes might be the oldest known drinking straws, according to a new study from the Russian Academy of Sciences

Archaeologists discovered a ceramic colander near grain silos at a dig in Israel, suggesting evidence of beer consumption in social gatherings about 7,000 years ago. 

Beer Flowed Freely at Gatherings in the Jordan Valley 7,000 Years Ago

Researchers find evidence that prehistoric communities consumed the alcoholic beverage during social events

Only three substances—clove extract, tolfenamic acid, and pyritinol—showed slightly more symptom relief than the placebo.

From Korean Pear Juice to Clove Extract, Scientists Put Hangover Cures to the Test—but None Worked

Researchers examined 23 different at-home treatments for side effects of heavy drinking

The science behind bubbles in champagne is an active field of research. Here, a red spotlight highlights bubbles growing at the bottom of a goblet, where they stick thanks to surface tension.

The Science Behind Champagne Bubbles

As you uncork that bottle and raise your glass, take time to toast the physics and chemistry along with the New Year

The ring could date back to as early as the third century C.E.

Cool Finds

Ancient Amethyst Ring Found in Israel May Have Been Worn to Ward Off Hangovers

Found near a Byzantine-era winery, the jewelry likely belonged to a wealthy, high-status individual

Almost 75 years after the mobster’s death, an eclectic bunch of enthusiasts continue to chase his memory.

Inside the Global Cult of Al Capone

A recent auction of the Chicago gangster's mementos testifies to his enduring appeal—and the thorny nature of collecting items owned by criminals

Bronze and Iron Age miners' poop contained Penicillium roqueforti, which is still used to make blue cheese today.

Cool Finds

Europeans Enjoyed Blue Cheese and Beer 2,700 Years Ago, Study Suggests

Ancient poop from salt mines in the Alps contained the same fungi used in brewing and cheesemaking today

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The Sake Master Who Bucks Ancient Tradition—in America

The ancient Japanese art of brewing a fragrant alcoholic drink from rice is being reinterpreted by Atsuo Sakurai in an unlikely setting

Both beer and wine are thought to predate distilled spirits.

Ask Smithsonian

'Which Came First: Beer or Wine?' and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

This month's book picks include The Engagement, How the Word Is Passed and Drunk.

Books of the Month

The Fight to Legalize Gay Marriage, the Woman Who Couldn't Be Silenced and Other New Books to Read

These June releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

Three women dressed in period garb as alewives. The tall hats became a part of witch iconography.

Why Did Women Stop Dominating the Beer Industry?

Strict gender norms pushed them out of a centuries-long tradition

The brewery “may have been built specifically to supply the royal rituals that were taking place inside the funeral facilities of the kings of Egypt,” says lead archaeologist Matthew Adams.

Cool Finds

World's Oldest 'Industrial-Scale' Brewery Found in Egypt

Located in an ancient necropolis, the 5,000-year-old facility was capable of producing up to 5,900 gallons of beer at a time

Two filmmakers launched a nationwide fundraiser to help save the surviving bars.

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Rise and Fall of America's Lesbian Bars

Only 15 nightlife spaces dedicated to queer and gay women remain in the United States

It may seem a little absurd, but wildlife getting drunk off of fermenting fruits isn't a rare occurrence. Bats, moose and birds are known to consume copious amounts of fermented fruits.

Watch This Backyard Squirrel Get a Little Tipsy on Fermented Pears

A Minnesota resident captured a video of the bushy-tailed rodent's drunken smorgasbord

Canned cocktails are a craze again.

The Intoxicating History of the Canned Cocktail

Since the 1890s, the premade cocktail has flip-flopped from novelty item to kitschy commodity—but the pandemic has sales surging

Archaeologists discovered a Roman coin and remnants of an ancient pub while renovating this extension of the Virgin Mary Assumption Church, known as Old Town Hall, in the Slovakian town of Spišské Vlachy.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Unearth Remnants of 18th-Century Pub in Slovakia

The team found a rare Roman coin, wall graffiti and ceramic fragments underneath the tiny village's town hall

A bottle of whiskey, a diving helmet and bricks recovered from the wreck of the SS Politician, which sank off the coast of Scotland in 1941.

Cool Finds

Whiskey Salvaged From 79-Year-Old Scottish Shipwreck Is Up for Sale

A commercial diver recovered the intact bottle of spirits—which is no longer safe for consumption—in 1987

A "wine window" in Florence

Covid-19

Centuries-Old 'Wine Windows' Open for Business in Florence

A low-risk alternative to curbside pickup, the portals may have helped fight an outbreak of bubonic plague in the 1630s

Bellini at Harry's Bar in Venice

Virtual Travel

Make These Eight Famous Cocktails From Bars Around the World

They might taste sweeter when you know the history behind them

For Papazian, the labor of brewing makes the result all the more enjoyable. “The best beer in the world,” he likes to say, “is the one you brewed.”

The Schoolteacher Who Sparked America's Craft Brew Revolution

Here's a toast to Charlie Papazian, the beer pioneer who blazed the way for thousands of brewers today

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