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16 September 2005
First cocktail 5000 years old

The first cocktail ever was made in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago, using wine, beer, apple juice and honey. Patrick McGovern defined the mix as 'grog', an archaic drink in the USA is sold as the 'Midas Touch'. McGovern, a University Professor at Pennsylvania, one of the most important authorities in chemistry applied in archaeology, presented the results of a research on the banks of the Tigris between Iran and Iraq.
     This was said at the first day of the international convention on the archaeological study of wine organised in Scansano (Italy). In his report, McGovern spoke of the history of the evolution of wine-making in the east and west, giving analyses that prove how in some terracotta containers found on the banks of the Tigris river there were traces of tartaric acid (obtained during grape fermentation), honey, apples and fermented barley (used in beer).
     'Grog' was also used by Etruscans, as can be proved through some containers found in southern Tuscany. The convention highlighted that the sylvan grapes were present in Etruria 6,000 years ago, much before the Greeks' wine culture. Basically the Etruscans knew wine, so its use could have been already known before the Greeks in the Mediterranean.

Source: Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (10 September 2005)

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