1. The Aztecs disapproved of drunkenness, and the punishment for those caught was public strangulation; unless you were an aristocrat, in which case you could be strangled discreetly in your own home.
2. There’s no Italian word for ‘hangover’. Well... sort of. Technically, you could say postumi della sbornia, but nobody does. The reason for this is quite simple: no Italian man would ever admit to having a hangover.
3. The Hungarian for hangover is másnaposság, which may not sound that great, until you realise that it’s pronounced 'mashnaposhag' – which is pretty much the perfect word for it. Hungarian spelling, though, is a cunning ploy to disguise forever the pronunciation of their language.
4. When the Ancient Persians had to make an important political decision, they would debate it twice: once drunk and once sober. If they came to the same conclusion both times, they acted.
5. According to Greek myth, Dionysus, god of wine and drunkenness, came from the East and conquered the whole world, except for the British Isles.
6. The first depiction of a human drinking alcohol is of a woman. The Venus of Laussel is a limestone relief from 25,000 years ago showing a woman holding a drinking horn to her mouth.
7. Australia was conceived by the British government as a dry colony, where beer-sodden former criminals would learn the joys of teetotalism. This may not have worked.
8. In Ancient China people got drunk in order to communicate with the spirits of their ancestors in wine-fuelled seances.
9. Saint Benedict gave his monks a ration of one bottle of wine per day. Unless it was hot, in which case they got more.
10. The Norse god Odin didn’t eat any food and survived entirely on wine (not beer or mead: wine). His name can be translated as The Ecstatic One (probably for this reason).
11. Medieval taverns didn’t sell beer. They only sold wine. For beer, you had to go to an alehouse.
12. In 18th century London gin-makers used to flavour their produce with sulphuric acid to give it a kick.