10 Facts 

Alcohol: Top ten facts about your favourite tipple

1. The word alcohol originally, in the 16th century, meant any fine powder.

2. It came from the Arabic, al-kuhl, which was a black powder used as an eye cosmetic. 

3. In the 17th century it became used specifically for chemical powders produced by distillation, then the colourless intoxicating liquid produced by fermenting sugars in distilling wines.

4. The noun alcoholic for someone addicted to alcoholic drinks was first recorded in 1852. 

5. UK wine duty depends on the ABV (alcohol by volume) of the drink. For still wines between 5.5 and 15 per cent ABV, you pay £2.89 per litre. 

6. The average Russian adult consumes 18 litres (31.7 pints) of alcohol a year. 

7. The UK adult average is about 9.5 litres a year. That works out at about 2.6 units a day. 

8. The average weekly household spend on alcohol in the UK is £7.80 in the home, plus £7.50 outside. 

9. In 2011, an 18-year-old was banned from driving for 17 months and fined £100 for driving a lawn mover on a Welsh village lane while drunk. 

10. A London taxi driver was charged with drunken driving and fined 25 shillings in 1897. 

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