10 Medieval Drinks That Became Modern

Have you ever sipped your alcoholic drink on a quaint summer or snowed-in winter afternoon and wondered where the hell it came from? Just historically speaking, you know.

Beer was already found on pottery dating back 7000 years in Iran. In India a beverage called “sura” was made from distilling rice as early as 3000 B.C. The Babylonians by that time worshipped their very own wine goddess. Alcohol sailed by ship to Greece soon after, and they were big fans of mead, made from honey and water. The European Middle Ages are known for drinking. Who doesn’t think of alcohol when hearing about medieval festivals?

Contrary to modern belief, medieval people did not shun water as a drink because it was dirty.

Medieval drinkers filling their kegs with water. Source: medievalists.net

Yes, it was dirty, but it did not keep them from drinking it. There were some physicians who recommended against drinking too much water, but in general some of them already knew to boil water when it smelled bad. The reason the medievals drank more booze than water was because of the medicinal properties they believed them to have. In other words, you drank beer to promote your health, kind of like we drink power smoothies or organic juice today, or take vitamin pills. Tea and coffee did not make it to Europe until about the 16th century.

In medieval times, mead, rustic beers, and wild fruit wines became popular. Consumption of weak alcoholic drinks were estimated to be about one gallon per person per day.

Here are 10 drinks from that bygone era between 1100-1500 AD that we still use today:
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