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7 Types of Drunkards, According to the 1834 Book The Anatomy of Drunkenness

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Chapter IV of Glaswegian surgeon Robert Macnish’s 1834 The Anatomy of Drunkenness concerns itself with the seven different types of drunkards—or how intoxication is "modified by the physical and moral frame of the drinker." These are the strains he identifies.

1. Sanguineous Drunkard

Persons of this stamp have usually a ruddy complexion, thick neck, small head, and strong muscular fibre. Their intellect is in general mediocre, for great bodily strength and corresponding mental powers are rarely united together...They are prone to combativeness and sensuality, and are either very good-natured or extremely quarrelsome.

I'm picturing Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Despite the dig at Sanguineous' intelligence, Macnish paints them as the life of the party, the "heroes of all drunken companies." He's the guy you call when you're looking to blow off steam with a drunken night on the town. Just be prepared for some 2am confessions: "Such men cannot conceal their feelings. In drunkenness the veil is removed from them."

2. Melancholy Drunkard

These are not people who get weepy when they drink, but melancholy people by nature who drink to pep up.

Men of this tone of mind seem to enjoy the bottle more exquisitely than even the sanguineous class. The joyousness which iT excites breaks in upon their gloom like sunshine upon darkness. Above all, the sensations, at the moment when mirth begins with its magic to charm away care, are inexpressible.

If drinking is the sunshine that breaks the darkness that is your sober life, please see a professional.

3. Surly Drunkard

This is the person who becomes a worse version of themselves after a few drinks.

A great propensity to take offence is a characteristic among persons of this temperament. They are suspicious, and very often mischievous. If at some former period they have had a difference with any of the company, they are sure to revive it, although, probably, it has been long ago cemented on both sides, and even forgotten by the other party.

More than 150 years after this book was written, this passage rings true as the way certain people get when they're inebriated. If you don't know anyone who rehashes long-forgotten fights after a few too many, you probably are that person.

4. Phlegmatic Drunkard

They are altogether a negative sort of beings, with passions too inert to lead them to anything very good or very bad. They are a species of animated clods, but not thoroughly animated—for the vital fire of feeling has got cooled in penetrating their frozen frames. A new Prometheus would require to breathe into their nostrils, to give them ordinary glow and warmth of humanity.

Ouch. This is truly the harshest, most eloquent way to call someone boring.

5. Nervous Drunkard

This is a very harmless and very tiresome personage. Generally of a weak mind and irritable constitution, he does not become boisterous with mirth, and rarely shows the least glimmering of wit or mental energy. He is talkative and fond of long-winded stories, which he tells in a driveling, silly manner.

I think, perhaps, dedicating himself to studying people at their drunkest was not great for Mr. Macnish's view of humanity. This is what years of being the only sober guy at the party will do to you.

6. Choleric Drunkard

A class of people grouped together because they didn't fit in anywhere else:

They seem to possess few of the qualities of the other races, and are chiefly distinguished by an uncommon testiness of disposition. They are quick, irritable, and impatient, but withal good at heart, and, when in humor, very pleasant and generous.

He does go on to say that, "this disposition is very prevalent among Welshman and Highland lairds."

7. Periodical Drunkard

Nothing to make fun of here. "The persons, from a state of complete sobriety, felt the most intense desire for drink; and no power, short of absolute force or confinement could restrain them from the indulgence." They sound like just plain alcoholics.

[h/t Public Domain Review]

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science
Why Adding Water to Your Whiskey Makes It Taste Better
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Don’t ever let people tease you for watering down your whiskey. If they’re true aficionados, they’ll know that adding a splash of water or a few cubes of ice to your drink will actually enhance its natural flavors. But how can something as flavorless as water make a barrel-aged scotch or bourbon taste even better? Chemists think they’ve found the answer.

As The Verge reports, researchers from the Linnæus University Centre for Biomaterials Chemistry in Sweden analyzed the molecular composition of whiskey in the presence of water. We already know that the molecule guaiacol is largely responsible for whiskey’s smoky taste and aroma. Guaiacol bonds to alcohol molecules, which means that in straight whiskey that guaiacol flavor will be fairly evenly distributed throughout the cask. Alcohol is repelled by water, and guaiacol partially so. That means when a splash of water is added to the beverage the alcohol gets pushed to the surface, dragging the guaiacol along with it. Concentrated at the top of the glass, the whiskey’s distinctive taste and scent is in the perfect position to be noticed by the drinker.

According to the team’s experiments, which they laid out in the journal Scientific Reports [PDF], whiskey that’s been diluted down to 40 percent to 45 percent alcohol content will start to show more guaiacol sloshing near the surface. Most commercial whiskey is already diluted before it's bottled, so the drink you order in a bar should fall within this range to begin with. Adding additional water or ice will boost the flavor-enhancing effect even further.

As for just how much water to add, the paper doesn’t specify. Whiskey lovers will just have to conduct some experiments of their own to see which ratios suit their palate.

[h/t NPR]

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Big Questions
If Beer and Bread Use Almost the Exact Same Ingredients, Why Isn't Bread Alcoholic?
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If beer and bread use almost the exact same ingredients (minus hops) why isn't bread alcoholic?

Josh Velson:

All yeast breads contain some amount of alcohol. Have you ever smelled a rising loaf of bread or, better yet, smelled the air underneath dough that has been covered while rising? It smells really boozy. And that sweet smell that fresh-baked bread has under the yeast and nutty Maillard reaction notes? Alcohol.

However, during the baking process, most of the alcohol in the dough evaporates into the atmosphere. This is basically the same thing that happens to much of the water in the dough as well. And it’s long been known that bread contains residual alcohol—up to 1.9 percent of it. In the 1920s, the American Chemical Society even had a set of experimenters report on it.

Anecdotally, I’ve also accidentally made really boozy bread by letting a white bread dough rise for too long. The end result was that not enough of the alcohol boiled off, and the darned thing tasted like alcohol. You can also taste alcohol in the doughy bits of underbaked white bread, which I categorically do not recommend you try making.

Putting on my industrial biochemistry hat here, many [people] claim that alcohol is only the product of a “starvation process” on yeast once they run out of oxygen. That’s wrong.

The most common brewers and bread yeasts, of the Saccharomyces genus (and some of the Brettanomyces genus, also used to produce beer), will produce alcohol in both a beer wort
and in bread dough immediately, regardless of aeration. This is actually a surprising result, as it runs counter to what is most efficient for the cell (and, incidentally, the simplistic version of yeast biology that is often taught to home brewers). The expectation would be that the cell would perform aerobic respiration (full conversion of sugar and oxygen to carbon dioxide and water) until oxygen runs out, and only then revert to alcoholic fermentation, which runs without oxygen but produces less energy.

Instead, if a Saccharomyces yeast finds itself in a high-sugar environment, regardless of the presence of air it will start producing ethanol, shunting sugar into the anaerobic respiration pathway while still running the aerobic process in parallel. This phenomenon is known as the Crabtree effect, and is speculated to be an adaptation to suppress competing organisms
in the high-sugar environment because ethanol has antiseptic properties that yeasts are tolerant to but competitors are not. It’s a quirk of Saccharomyces biology that you basically only learn about if you spent a long time doing way too much yeast cell culture … like me.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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