Applejack is a strong apple-flavored alcoholic drink produced from apples. Popular in the American colonial era, the drink's prevalence declined in the 19th and 20th centuries amid competition from other spirits. Applejack is used including the Jack Rose. Apple brandy was first produced in colonial New Jersey in 1698 by William Laird, a Scottish immigrant who settled in Monmouth County; the drink was once known as Jersey Lightning. Laird's great-grandson, Robert Laird, who served in the Continental Army, incorporated Laird's Distillery in 1780, after operating a tavern; the oldest licensed applejack distillery in the United States, Laird & Company of Scobeyville, New Jersey, was until the 2000s the country's only remaining producer of applejack, continues to dominate applejack production. Once popular in early America, applejack declined in popularity due to the rise of other spirits that were easier to manufacture on a commercial basis, including rum and whiskey in the 19th century and gin and tequila in the 20th century.
In 1920, with the beginning of the Prohibition era, Laird's ended the production of liquor and began producing apple juice. In 1931, John Evans Laird received permission to produce apple brandy for "medicinal purposes" and stockpiled its product until the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. Applejack has been associated with four presidents of the United States: George Washington requested instructions for producing applejack from Robert Laird for the family's recipe for applejack. In the 2010s, a number of smaller craft distilleries began to produce applejack in places such as Lehigh Valley, New York's Hudson Valley, Holland, Michigan; the name applejack derives from the traditional method of producing the drink, the process of freezing fermented cider and removing the ice, increasing the alcohol content. Alcoholic fruit beer produced. Periodically the frozen chunks of ice which had formed were removed, thus concentrating the unfrozen alcohol in the remaining liquid. Starting with the fermented juice, with an alcohol content of less than ten percent, the concentrated result can contain 25–40% alcohol.
Because freeze distillation is a low-infrastructure method of production compared to evaporative distillation, does not require the burning firewood to create heat, hard cider and applejack were easy to produce, though more expensive than grain alcohol. The disadvantage of freeze distillation called fractional crystallization, is that the substances remaining after the removal of the water include not only ethanol, but harmful methanol, esters and fusel alcohols. Reducing methanol with the absorption of 3A molecular sieve is a practical method for production; when commercial production began, applejack was starting to be produced through evaporative distillation. Modern commercially produced applejack is no longer produced by jacking but rather by blending apple brandy and neutral grain spirits. Applejack is somewhat similar to Calvados, an apple brandy from Normandy, France, to which it is compared. However, Calvados is made from cider apples. Cider Fractional freezing Ice beer
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes. Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol, carbon dioxide, heat. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different styles of wine; these variations result from the complex interactions between the biochemical development of the grape, the reactions involved in fermentation, the terroir, the production process. Many countries enact legal appellations intended to define qualities of wine; these restrict the geographical origin and permitted varieties of grapes, as well as other aspects of wine production. Wines not made from grapes include rice wine and fruit wines such as plum, pomegranate and elderberry. Wine has been produced for thousands of years; the earliest known traces of wine are from Georgia and Sicily although there is evidence of a similar alcoholic drink being consumed earlier in China. The earliest known winery is the 6,100-year-old Areni-1 winery in Armenia. Wine reached the Balkans by 4500 BC and was consumed and celebrated in ancient Greece and Rome.
Throughout history, wine has been consumed for its intoxicating effects. Wine has long played an important role in religion. Red wine was associated with blood by the ancient Egyptians and was used by both the Greek cult of Dionysus and the Romans in their Bacchanalia; the earliest archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence for grape wine and viniculture, dating to 6000–5800 BC was found on the territory of modern Georgia. Both archaeological and genetic evidence suggest that the earliest production of wine elsewhere was later having taken place in the Southern Caucasus, or the West Asian region between Eastern Turkey, northern Iran; the earliest evidence of a grape-based fermented drink was found in China, Georgia from 6000 BC, Iran from 5000 BC, Sicily from 4000 BC. The earliest evidence of a wine production facility is the Areni-1 winery in Armenia and is at least 6100 years old. A 2003 report by archaeologists indicates a possibility that grapes were mixed with rice to produce mixed fermented drinks in China in the early years of the seventh millennium BC.
Pottery jars from the Neolithic site of Jiahu, contained traces of tartaric acid and other organic compounds found in wine. However, other fruits indigenous to the region, such as hawthorn, cannot be ruled out. If these drinks, which seem to be the precursors of rice wine, included grapes rather than other fruits, they would have been any of the several dozen indigenous wild species in China, rather than Vitis vinifera, introduced there 6000 years later; the spread of wine culture westwards was most due to the Phoenicians who spread outward from a base of city-states along the Mediterranean coast of what are today Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. The wines of Byblos were exported to Egypt during the Old Kingdom and throughout the Mediterranean. Evidence includes two Phoenician shipwrecks from 750 BC discovered by Robert Ballard, whose cargo of wine was still intact; as the first great traders in wine, the Phoenicians seem to have protected it from oxidation with a layer of olive oil, followed by a seal of pinewood and resin, similar to retsina.
Although the nuragic Sardinians consumed wine before the arrival of the Phoenicians The earliest remains of Apadana Palace in Persepolis dating back to 515 BC include carvings depicting soldiers from Achaemenid Empire subject nations bringing gifts to the Achaemenid king, among them Armenians bringing their famous wine. Literary references to wine are abundant in Homer and others. In ancient Egypt, six of 36 wine amphoras were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun bearing the name "Kha'y", a royal chief vintner. Five of these amphoras were designated as originating from the king's personal estate, with the sixth from the estate of the royal house of Aten. Traces of wine have been found in central Asian Xinjiang in modern-day China, dating from the second and first millennia BC; the first known mention of grape-based wines in India is from the late 4th-century BC writings of Chanakya, the chief minister of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. In his writings, Chanakya condemns the use of alcohol while chronicling the emperor and his court's frequent indulgence of a style of wine known as madhu.
The ancient Romans planted vineyards near garrison towns so wine could be produced locally rather than shipped over long distances. Some of these areas are now world-renowned for wine production; the Romans discovered that burning sulfur candles inside empty wine vessels kept them fresh and free from a vinegar smell. In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church supported wine because the clergy required it for the Mass. Monks in France made wine for years. An old English recipe that survived in various forms until the 19th century calls for refining white wine from bastard—bad or tainted bastardo wine; the English word "wine" comes from the Proto-Germanic *winam, an early borrowing from the Latin vinum, "wine" or " vine", itself derived from the Proto-Indo-European stem *win-o-. The earliest attested terms referring to wine are the Mycenaean Greek me-tu-wo ne-wo, meaning "in" or " of the new wine", wo-no-wa-ti-si, meaning "wine garden", written in Linear B inscriptions. Linear B includes, inter alia, an ideogram for wine
Low-alcohol beer is beer with little or no alcohol content and aims to reproduce the taste of beer without the inebriating effects of standard alcoholic brews. Most low-alcohol beers are lagers. Low-alcohol beer is known as light beer, non-alcoholic beer, small beer, small ale, or near-beer. In the United States, beverages containing less than 0.5% alcohol by volume were called non-alcoholic, according to the now-defunct Volstead Act. Because of its low alcohol content, non-alcoholic beer may be sold to minors in many American states. In the United Kingdom, the following definitions apply by law: No alcohol or alcohol-free: not more than 0.05% ABV Dealcoholized: over 0.05% but less than 0.5% ABV Low-alcohol: not more than 1.2% ABVIn some parts of the European Union, beer must contain no more than 0.5% ABV if it is labelled "alcohol-free". In Australia, the term "light beer" refers to any beer with less than 3.5% alcohol. Spain is the main producer of low-alcohol beer in the European Union. Low-alcoholic brews such as small beer date back at least to Medieval Europe, where they served as a less risky alternative to water and were less expensive than the full strength brews used at festivals.
More the temperance movements and the need to avoid alcohol while driving, operating machinery, etc. led to the development of non-intoxicating beers. In the United States, non-alcoholic brews were promoted during Prohibition, according to John Naleszkiewicz. In 1917, President Wilson proposed limiting the alcohol content of malt beverages to 2.75% to try to appease avid prohibitionists. In 1919, Congress approved the Volstead Act, which limited the alcohol content of all beverages to 0.5%. These low alcohol beverages became known as tonics, many breweries began brewing them in order to stay in business during Prohibition. Since removing the alcohol from the beer requires just one simple extra step, many breweries saw it as an easy change. In 1933, when Prohibition was repealed, breweries removed this extra step. By the 1980s and 1990s, growing concerns about alcoholism led to the growing popularity of "light" beers. In the 2010s, breweries have focused on marketing low-alcohol beers to counter the popularity of homebrew.
Declining consumption has led to the introduction of mass-market non-alcoholic beverages, dubbed as "near beer". At the start of the 21st century, alcohol-free beer has seen a rise in popularity in the Middle East. One reason for this is that Islamic scholars issued fatawa which permitted the consumption of beer as long as large quantities could be consumed without getting drunk. Positive features of non-alcoholic brews include the ability to drive after consuming several drinks, the reduction in alcohol-related illness, less severe hangover symptoms; some common complaints about non-alcoholic brews include a loss of flavor, addition of one step in the brewing process, sugary taste, a shorter shelf life. There are legal implications; some state governments, e.g. Pennsylvania, prohibit the sale of non-alcoholic brews to persons under the age of 21. A study conducted by the department of psychology at Indiana University said, "Because non-alcoholic beer provides sensory cues that simulate alcoholic beer, this beverage may be more effective than other placebos in contributing to a credible manipulation of expectancies to receive alcohol", making people feel "drunk" when physically they are not.
Light beer is beer with reduced alcohol content and/or calories compared to regular beer. The spelling "lite beer" is commonly used. Light beers may be chosen by drinkers who wish to manage their alcohol consumption or their calorie intake. However, these beers are sometimes criticized for being less flavorful than full-strength beers, being "watered down", thus advertising campaigns for light beers advertise their retention of flavor. In Australia, regular beers have 5% ABV. In Canada, a reduced-alcohol beer contains 2.6%–4.0% ABV, an “extra-light” beer contains less than 2.5%. In the United States, most reduced-alcohol beers, including Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, have 4.2% ABV, 16% less than beer with 5% ABV. In Sweden, low alcohol beer is either 2.2%, 2.8% or 3.5%, can be purchased in an ordinary supermarket whereas normal strength beers of above 3.5% must be purchased at Systembolaget. Beer containing 2.8-3.5% ABV may be sold in any convenience store to people over 18 years of age, whereas stronger beer may only be sold in state-run liquor stores to people older than 20.
In addition, businesses selling food for on-premises consumption do not need an alcohol license to serve 3.5% beer. All major Swedish brewers, several international ones, in addition to their full-strength beer, make 3.5% folköl versions as well. Beer below or equaling 2.25% ABV is not subject to age restrictions. Low-point beer, known in the United States as "three-two beer" or "3 point 2 brew", is beer that contains 3.2% alcohol by weight. The term "low-point beer" is unique to the United States, where some states limit the sale of beer, but beers of this type are available in countries that tax or otherwise regulate beer according to its alcohol content. In the United States, 3.2 beer was the highest alcohol content beer allowed to be produced for nine months in 1933. As part of his New Deal, President Franklin D. Roosev
Sake spelled saké referred to as Japanese rice wine, is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice, polished to remove the bran. Despite the name, unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar, present in fruit, sake is produced by a brewing process more akin to that of beer, where starch is converted into sugars, which ferment into alcohol; the brewing process for sake differs from the process for beer, where the conversion from starch to sugar and from sugar to alcohol occurs in two distinct steps. Like other rice wines, when sake is brewed, these conversions occur simultaneously. Furthermore, the alcohol content differs between sake and beer. In Japanese, the word "sake" can refer to any alcoholic drink, while the beverage called "sake" in English is termed nihonshu. Under Japanese liquor laws, sake is labelled with the word "seishu", a synonym not used in conversation. In Japan, where it is the national beverage, sake is served with special ceremony, where it is warmed in a small earthenware or porcelain bottle and sipped from a small porcelain cup called a sakazuki.
As with wine, the recommended serving temperature of sake varies by type. The origin of sake is unclear, the earliest reference to the use of alcohol in Japan is recorded in the Book of Wei in the Records of the Three Kingdoms; this 3rd-century Chinese text speaks of dancing. Alcoholic beverages are mentioned several times in the Kojiki, Japan's first written history, compiled in 712. Bamforth places the probable origin of true sake (which is made from rice, kōji mold in the Nara period. In the Heian period, sake was used for religious ceremonies, court festivals, drinking games. Sake production was a government monopoly for a long time, but in the 10th century and shrines began to brew sake, they became the main centers of production for the next 500 years; the Tamon-in Diary, written by abbots of Tamon-in from 1478 to 1618, records many details of brewing in the temple. The diary shows that pasteurization and the process of adding ingredients to the main fermentation mash in three stages were established practices by that time.
In the 16th century, the technique of distillation was introduced into the Kyushu district from Ryukyu. The brewing of shōchū, called "Imo—sake" started, was sold at the central market in Kyoto. In the 18th century, Engelbert Kaempfer and Isaac Titsingh published accounts identifying sake as a popular alcoholic beverage in Japan; the work of both writers was disseminated throughout Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. During the Meiji Restoration, laws were written that allowed anybody with the money and know-how to construct and operate their own sake breweries. Around 30,000 breweries sprang up around the country within a year. However, as the years went by, the government levied more and more taxes on the sake industry and the number of breweries dwindled to 8,000. Most of the breweries that grew and survived this period were set up by wealthy landowners. Landowners who grew rice crops would have rice left over at the end of the season and, rather than letting these leftovers go to waste, would ship it to their breweries.
The most successful of these family breweries still operate today. During the 20th century, sake-brewing technology grew by bounds; the government opened the sake-brewing research institute in 1904, in 1907 the first government-run sake-tasting competition was held. Yeast strains selected for their brewing properties were isolated and enamel-coated steel tanks arrived; the government started hailing the use of enamel tanks as easy to clean, lasting forever, being devoid of bacterial problems. Although these things are true, the government wanted more tax money from breweries, as using wooden barrels means that a significant amount of sake is lost to evaporation, which could have otherwise been taxed; this was the end of the wooden-barrel age of sake and the use of wooden barrels in brewing was eliminated. In Japan, sake has long been taxed by the national government. In 1898, this tax brought in about ¥5 million out of a total of about ¥120 million, about 4.6% of the government's total direct tax income.
During the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–1905, the government banned the home brewing of sake. At the time, sake still made up an astonishing 30% of Japan's tax revenue. Since home-brewed sake is tax-free sake, the logic was that by banning the home brewing of sake, sales would go up, more tax money would be collected; this was the end of home-brewed sake, the law remains in effect today though sake sales now make up only 2% of government income. When World War II brought rice shortages, the sake-brewing industry was dealt a hefty blow as the government clamped down on the use of rice for brewing; as early as the late 17th century, it had been discovered that small amounts of alcohol could be added to sake before pressing to extract aromas and flavors from the rice solids, but during the war, pure alcohol and glucose were added to small quantities of rice mash, increasing the yield by
Kombucha is a fermented alcoholic effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink intended as a functional beverage for its supposed health benefits. Sometimes the beverage is called kombucha tea to distinguish it from the culture of bacteria and yeast. Juice, spices, or other flavorings are added to enhance the taste of the beverage; the exact origins of kombucha are not known. It is thought to have originated in the area of Northeastern China, was traditionally consumed there, but it was in Russia and eastern Europe too. Kombucha is now homebrewed globally, bottled and sold commercially by various companies. Kombucha is produced by fermenting sugared tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast called a "mother" or "mushroom"; the microbial populations in a SCOBY vary. Although the SCOBY is called "tea fungus" or "mushroom", it is "a symbiotic growth of acetic acid bacteria and osmophilic yeast species in a zoogleal mat "; the living bacteria are said to be probiotic, one of the reasons for the drink's popularity.
Numerous implausible health benefits have been attributed to drinking kombucha. These include claims for treating AIDS, anorexia, atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes, but there is no evidence to support any of these claims. Moreover, the beverage has caused rare cases of serious adverse effects, including fatalities arising from contamination during home preparation. Therefore, the potential harms from drinking kombucha outweigh any unclear benefits, so doctors do not recommend its use for therapeutic purposes; the exact origins of kombucha are not known, although Manchuria is cited as a place of origin. It may have originated as as 200 years ago or as long as 2,000 years ago; the drink is reported to have been consumed in east Russia at least as early as 1900 and from there entered Europe. Its consumption increased in the United States during the early 21st century. Having an alcohol content of less than 0.5%, kombucha is not a federally regulated beverage in the United States. Prior to 2015, some commercially available kombucha brands were found to contain alcohol content exceeding this threshold, sparking the development of new testing methods.
With rising popularity in developed countries in the early 21st century, kombucha sales increased after it was marketed as an alternative to beer and other alcoholic drinks in restaurants and pubs. The word kombucha is of uncertain etymology, but may be a case of a misapplied loanword from Japanese. In Japanese, the term kombucha refers to a different beverage: the kelp tea, made from dried and powdered konbu; the term for the fermented tea in Japanese, is kōcha kinoko. The American Heritage Dictionary suggests that it is from the "Japanese kombucha, tea made from konbu." Writings about the beverage in Japanese take the point of view that the Japanese word'kombucha' was mistakenly applied in English to what Japanese call "kocha kinoko." Kombucha has about 80 other names worldwide. A 1965 mycological study called kombucha "tea fungus" and listed other names: "teeschwamm, Japanese or Indonesian tea fungus, wunderpilz, cajnij, fungus japonicus, teekwass"; some further spellings and synonyms include combucha and tschambucco, kargasok tea, Manchurian fungus or mushroom, spumonto, as well as the misnomers champagne of life, chai from the sea.
A kombucha culture is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, similar to mother of vinegar, containing one or more species each of bacteria and yeasts, which form a zoogleal mat known as a "mother." There is a broad spectrum of yeast species spanning several genera reported to be present in kombucha culture including species of Zygosaccharomyces, Kloeckera/Hanseniaspora, Pichia, Brettanomyces/Dekkera, Lachancea, Schizosaccharomyces, Kluyveromyces. The bacterial component of kombucha comprises several species always including Komagataeibacter xylinus, which ferments alcohols produced by the yeasts into acetic and other acids, increasing the acidity and limiting ethanol content; the bacteria of kombucha require large amounts of oxygen for their activity. The population of bacteria and yeasts found to produce acetic acid has been reported to increase for the first 4 days of fermentation, decreasing thereafter. K. xylinus has been shown to produce microbial cellulose, is responsible for most or all of the physical structure of the "mother", which may have been selectively encouraged over time for firmer and more robust cultures by brewers.
The mixed symbiotic culture has been further described as being lichenous, in accord with the reported presence of the known lichenous natural product usnic acid, though as of 2015, no report appears indicating the standard cyanobacterial species of lichens in association with kombucha fungal components. Kombucha is made by putting the kombucha culture into a broth of sugared tea. Kombucha tea made with less sugar may be