Alcoholic beverages, which remind us of contemporary wines, meads, and beer, have accompanied the mankind since the ancient times. The distillation process, invented and developed by ancient alchemists, caused a rapid progress in producing strong alcoholic drinks. Nowadays, the major part of the alcoholic beverage market is divided between beer and wine, which are regarded national and regional beverages. Their savor diversity is very opulent, especially with regard to wines and the variety of their types such as porto, sherry, tokay, madera, vermouth or champagne. The array of various national and regional bitter vodkas (Italy, France, Venezuela), produced with addition of herbal extracts, is also very rich. The beverages usually called “brandy”, and originating from the French cognac (attributed to the French city of Cognac), are also very widespread. These days, many countries produce their own equivalent of the drinks as indicated above, e.g. Metaxa in Greece, Stock in Italy, Brandy de Jerez in Spain. Among the most popular alcoholic drinks (brandy, whisky, rum, vodka, and gin), the original Scottish and Irish whiskies have gained a very high, worldwide reputation. It is expected that regional and national beverages, often rooted in exotic traditions and specific original technologies, will still maintain their strong and recognized position on the market. It is very advisable for Poland to continue its local practices in producing regional drinks (such as mead, plum brandy, Bison Vodka, Wyborowa Vodka, fruit wines, and emulsion creams), and to take its chance on the opening of the European Union’s market to successfully promote and sell these special Polish products.
history of alcoholic beverages, beers, wines, and vodkas