Alcohol is the most socially accepted drug in the US. 86% of Americans have at one point consume alcohol at least once in their lives. When consumed it is digested by the liver because it is the only organ capable of digesting its enzymes. Alcohol is believed to be older than civilization itself dating to as far as 6,600 BC. In some cultures, it was used as a form of payment for services. Alcohol has a lot of health benefits that often get ignored because of the negative side effects it poses on society.
Vodka arrives on the scenes a little over 1,000 years ago and is an important spirit among Eastern European cultures. Today, it is the most beloved liquor worldwide. Vodka is a colorless liquid made from the distillation process of fruit and grain. It can be from 40% to 90% proof. Vodka was often seen on the battlefields as a disinfectant and an anesthetic. It also makes a good cleaning agent for the home, leaving windows with a strike-fee shine. Because it is odor-free it makes a great deodorizer for stinky feet. If you add a capful to your shampoo it can reduce dandruff significantly.
Whiskey is the official beverage of Alabama. The word Whiskey is an Irish term meaning “water of Life”. Every year we produce 524 million liters worldwide. It is the oldest liquor in recorded history dating back to Mesopotamia. It didn’t become popular worldwide until the 15th century. Most preppers keep a couple of bottles on hand for bartering reasons. But, you can also use it for other reasons. It is 80% proof making it very combustible. This makes it a useful fuel in damp conditions. It has plenty of medical purposes we’ve seen over the last few centuries. It has been known to kill viruses and bacteria. It helps soothe toothaches as a mouthwash. Recently, it has been used to treat swimmer’s ear.
Tequila is a handcrafted drink made in Mexico. It is made from plants in the lily family, primarily the Blue Agave plant. Since it comes from Blue Agave it is a Mezcal product. Tequila began production in 1656 in a town near Tequila. Premium tequila is made to be 80 proof, with lower quality brands going for 110 proof. Tequila has a lot of every helpful medical property to it. It is made with fructans which have been proven to help lower stomach acid content, making taking medications for colon and rectal diseases. A shot can alleviate nausea and motion sickness. It helps relieve symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis.
Beer is the fourth most popular beverage in the world. Beer is just as old as whiskey, if not older. At one point in history beer consumption was a necessary part of our diets. The average US citizen consumes 26 gallons of it a year, making it a one-hundred billion-dollar industry. Beer is our number one most popular alcoholic beverage. It can also be used as a mosquito repellent in the same way a citronella candle works. You pour it in a bucket or cup and place it far away from the campsite. The hops in beer are known to liven up dull, brittle hair. If you mix it with one egg white, two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of almond extract and a cup plain yogurt you can make a nourishing face mask to restore your skin’s PH level (See Skin Care 101 on why skincare is so important in a post-apocalyptic world). Also, the beer can be of importance for your safety as well (See Survival Uses: Aluminum Soda Pop Cans for more ideas).
1. Grain Alcohol
Grain alcohol is a purified form of ethyl alcohol. It is made from fermented grain, mostly corn. It is a “neutral spirit,” meaning it has no added flavor, though many people say it has a medicinal flavor and a slightly chemical odor. Grain alcohol can only have a maximum alcohol volume of 96% (190-proof). In most states 190-proof alcohol is banned because of how easy it is to get alcohol poisoning from. Grain alcohol can be used for wound irrigation in an emergency in such a way you would use an antibiotic ointment. They can be used to disinfect medical tools like scalpels, thermometers, etc in a makeshift hospital setting. It can help destroy bacteria in the mouth that causes gum diseases and other dental-related problems.