Before refrigeration and other modern food preservation techniques, people had limited means of preserving whatever crops were leftover after the harvest. One of the best ways found to preserve the harvest is to ferment it, either making beer or some sort of fermented food such as kimchi. Ancient Egyptians started converting excess barley and hops into beer thousands of years ago. No matter where people were in the world, they found a way to preserve whatever crops grew best in their region using fermentation.
Mead is a wine-like product made from fermented honey that was developed in China. Mezcal was developed in Mexico by fermenting the Maguey plant, which grows well there. No matter what people had access to, they were able to turn it into a regional standard using fermentation. Learn more about alcohol ingredients and processes from around the world from this infographic. Is your favorite spirit on the list?