The oldest documented bar in the world is Sean’s Bar in Athlone, Ireland. It has records of the owners from its founding in 900 A.D. That’s just the one with the best bookkeeping, though. There were most likely bars in Ancient Rome, Mesopotamia, or Egypt, but we have no record of them.
It’s interesting that the names we use for “an establishment that serves alcohol” go a long way to establish the setting of whatever we’re talking about. “Saloons” are usually found in stories about the Old West. “Taverns” call to mind Colonial New England. “Pubs” are almost exclusively found in the United Kingdom. “Speakeasy” means a secret bar serving illegal liquor. If you’re in a “biergarten,” you’re most likely in Germany, but if it’s a “beer garden,” you can be anywhere else in the world.
Some bars are also known specifically for their activities or customers. If you want to sing, you go to a karaoke bar. If you want live music, you might go to a piano bar. Wine bars and cigar bars may not sell liquor at all. People who practice alternative lifestyles might have a favorite leather bar, while motorcycle riders gather in biker bars. If you’re visiting a new place, you may get warned that a particular place is a dive bar, and no tropical vacation is complete without a visit to the local tiki bar.
June 8 is Name Your Poison Day, so whether your local watering hole is a roadhouse, botequim, cantina, honky-tonk, izakaya, or juke joint, let’s raise a toast to our favorite drinks!
One of the broadest categories of liquor, gin has been around since the 12th century. The name derives from the Latin “juniperus,” because juniper is the common ingredient in all gins.
Legend says that in 1430, a Russian monk developed a higher quality of vodka, which for a long time was only available in Moscow. This is why vodka is closely associated with Russia.
Distilled alcohol was known as “aqua vitae” (the water of life). This translates into uisce beatha in Irish Gaelic, and uisge beatha in Scottish Gaelic. Is that why the Irish spell it “whiskey” and the Scots spell it “whisky?” No one knows.
One of the most recognized symbols in the world is the bat on the label of Bacardi rums. A symbol of good fortune in Latin countries, the fruit bat eats insects that damage sugar cane, making it popular with rum makers. Because of this, the Bacardis didn’t shoo away the bats that were roosting in their first distillery.
It’s the third most popular drink after water and tea. One of the oldest writings in the world, the Code of Hammurabi (circa 1754 B.C.E.), includes laws regulating beer.
There are five broad categories of wine, containing hundreds of types of wine produced from over 10,000 varieties of wine grapes. So… you know… you have choices.
Just as bars have many different names, so do bartenders. Barkeep, barman, barmaid, bar chef, tapster, mixologist, alcohol server, flairman, alcohol chef, etc.
They’re not even 100 years old, and no one can agree on where the name came from, but none of that matters. What does matter is that you’re ready for any celebration with these travel shot glasses.
9. Treat Yourself
Speaking of shots, a quick serving of your favorite liquor is a great way to toast a happy occasion, blunt an annoying occasion, or just because the work day is finally over.
There are many reasons why someone might not indulge in alcoholic beverages, and we’ve got mugs for them, too!
As stated above, alcohol might not be a preference for you. No problem! You can search for your favorite activities to celebrate from our home page. Remember that U.S. orders of two or more mugs get free shipping!