Samui Wining & Dining
The Fact Is

Fifty frivolous facts about the golden, and not so golden, nectars we imbibe daily.


The Fact IsWe all need to drink. Sometimes it’s simply a glass of water to keep us functioning. And on occasion we might sip a glass or two of beer or wine. But what do we really know about the delicious and damning liquids we pour down our throats. Here’s our top fifty facts about drink – demon or otherwise.


1)  The word ‘toast’, which means wishing good health, originated in ancient Rome. A piece of toasted bread was literally dropped into wine helping to keep the insects at bay (didn’t stop the barbarians joining in too).

2) The soil of one of the vineyards in France is considered so precious that it’s mandatory for its workers to scrape the mud off their shoes before they leave (hardly enough to whine about).

3) Anyone under the age of 21 should be careful of taking out trash bags in Missouri. If you’re under 21 and the garbage contains an empty bottle of alcohol, you can be charged with illegal possession of alcohol (is it OK if it’s a full one?).

4) Many people think that drinking alcohol raises the body’s temperature. Alcohol actually lowers body temperature (and leaves some people so low that they’re actually lying on the floor).

5) The national anthem of United States ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ was written to the tune of a drinking song (might have guessed that their government are drunkards with the decisions they make).

6) Although ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ is considered to be the shortest sentence that includes all the letters of the alphabet, a clever alcoholic came up with a shorter version, ‘Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs’ (he wasn’t even trying either).

7) Most vegetables and almost all fruits contain trace amounts of alcohol in them (must stop off at the greengrocers on my way home).

8) The first Thanksgiving Day celebration didn’t include turkey. However, there was beer, brandy, gin and wine (so why did they change things later?).

9) Bourbon, the official drink of the United States, takes its name from Bourbon County in Kentucky (tastes good with a KFC).

10) The pressure in a champagne bottle is 90 pounds per square inch; which is three times the pressure in automobile tires (that explains some of the windy talk that comes after consuming too much of it).

11) Adolf Hitler was one of the world’s best known abstainers from alcohol (and you know what he was like).

12) Sir Winston Churchill was one of the world’s heaviest drinkers (no wonder he helped win the war over Hitler).

13) The first recruiting station of the U.S. Marines was in a bar (it all makes sense now).

14) The world’s oldest known recipe is for beer (at least we’ve got our priorities right).

15) It’s illegal to run a ‘bar tab’ in Iowa (I’ll check that out).

16) The United States’ minimum drinking age is 21, which is the highest in the entire world (they certainly make up for it later).

17) The alcohol content of a typical beer, wine or spirit is virtually identical. To a breathalyzer, a drink is a drink is a drink (as it is when drunk by a drunk by a drunk).

18) Brandy, rum and whisky can either be aged too long or not long enough (lucky I’m not ageist).

19) It’s estimated that there are 49,000,000 bubbles in a standard bottle of champagne (and you’d have to be drunk to have wanted to count them).

20) The human body produces its own supply of alcohol naturally (if anyone knows where it’s stored, please send us an email).

21) Beer was sold in bottles from 1850 and in cans from 1935 (wonder when it’ll come in boxes?).

22) In the 1600s, thermometers used to be filled with brandy instead of mercury (after drinking a few, most patients felt a lot better).

23) The term ‘dipsomania’ refers to an abnormal craving for alcohol (I always thought the term was ‘Millwall supporter’).

24) There’s a cloud of alcohol in outer space which is enough to make four trillion-trillion drinks (and if that’s not a good enough reason to continue the space missions I don’t know what is).

25) It’s illegal to feed alcohol to moose in Alaska and to fish in Ohio (damn!).

26) In some European countries McDonald’s serves alcohol (a spoonful of sugar?).

27) Distilled spirits, such as brandy, gin, rum and tequila, contain no carbohydrates, no fats and no cholesterol of any kind (that’s it – now I’ve sorted my new diet out).

28) A mixed drink that contains carbonated sodas is absorbed into the body more quickly than straight shots (whisky and Coke it is then).

29) Abraham Lincoln held a liquor license and operated several taverns (that’s without precedent).

30) All spirits (unlike beer and wine) are originally clear and colourless. The golden brown and other colours are achieved during the aging process (thought I was getting a lot darker these days).

31) Over 400,000 cases of the French wine ‘FAT Bastard’ are sold in the United States alone each year (no comment).

32) Texas state law prohibits taking more than three sips of beer at a time whilst standing (many of the drinkers there wish that they could actually scramble to their knees, let alone stand up).

33) The American Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) prohibits the use of word ‘refreshing’ to describe any alcoholic beverage (they should be shot).

34) There are about 100,000 bacteria in one litre of drinking water (well, if it’s good enough for them …).

35) A portion of the water you drink has already been drunk by someone else, maybe several times over (which raises a very worrying question).

36) Vikings used the skulls of their enemies as drinking vessels (I hope the poor souls were dead).

37) Coca Cola was originally green (hmm).

38) Wine will spoil if exposed to light; hence tinted bottles (I thought it was to look cool).

39) Wine grapes rank number one amongst the world’s fruit crops in terms of acres planted (why waste the land on useless stuff, like vegetables?).

40) Oenophobia is an intense fear or hatred of wine (Oh, no, it’s a bottle of Chardonnay!).

41) In the whole of the Bible’s Old Testament, only the Book of Jonah has no reference to the vine or wine (someone must have deleted it).

42) The letters VSOP on a bottle of brandy stand for – very special old pale (sounds like my favourite bucket).

43) At any one time, at least 18 million barrels of whisky are maturing in warehouses throughout Scotland (I’m surprised they can keep their hands off it).

44) Ninety percent of all whisky made in Scotland is for the export market (but only 50% actually makes it out of the country).

45) Bavaria still defines beer as a staple food (and?).

46) The longest bar in the world is the 684-foot long New Bulldog Bar in Rock Island, Illinois (you’d need to be a long-distance runner to work there).

47) If you collect beer bottles you’re a labeorphilist (is that cockney rhyming slang?).

48) Tegestologists are people who collect beer mats (I call them thieves).

49) Chang Beer, owned by the Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, was first produced in 1995 (what took them so long?).

50) Singha Beer, owned by the Boon Rawd Brewery, was first produced in 1933 (and that news is definitely worth celebrating with a drink).


So there you have it. Almost everything you didn’t know that you didn’t know about man’s best friend. Cheers!


Johnny Paterson & Steve Taylor

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