Why is Alcohol called Spirits Bible?

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Alcohol is an integral part of human culture and has been consumed for thousands of years. It has played a significant role in social, religious, and cultural practices across the globe. Alcohol is called by many names, such as booze, hooch, or liquor, but it is perhaps most commonly referred to as “spirits.” This term has an intriguing origin that dates back centuries and is steeped in history and mythology. In this blog post, we will explore why alcohol is called spirits and delve into the fascinating history behind this term.

Why is Alcohol called Spirits Bible?

The Origin of the Term:

The origin of the term “spirits” as it relates to alcohol is a matter of debate. Some historians believe that the term dates back to ancient times when alcohol was thought to be a gift from the gods. The Greeks, for example, had a god of wine and fertility named Dionysus, who was often depicted holding a wine goblet. The Romans, on the other hand, worshipped Bacchus, the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility. Both cultures believed that drinking alcohol was a sacred act that connected them to the divine.

Another theory suggests that the term “spirits” originated during the Middle Ages when alchemists were attempting to distill spirits from wine. These early chemists believed that alcohol was the essence of life and that it contained the spirit or soul of the liquid. They referred to the distilled alcohol as “spirits of wine” or “aquavitae,” which translates to “water of life” in Latin. This term was later shortened to “spirits” and became synonymous with any distilled alcohol, including whiskey, gin, and vodka.

The Spiritual Connection:

The term “spirits” also has a spiritual connotation that goes beyond its historical and mythological roots. For many people, alcohol is a way to connect with something greater than themselves, whether it’s a religious belief or a sense of community. This connection can be seen in many religious ceremonies and rituals, where alcohol is used as a symbol of spiritual transformation.

In Christianity, for example, wine is used during the celebration of the Eucharist, which commemorates the Last Supper. The wine is believed to represent the blood of Christ and is considered a sacred substance that connects the worshippers to God. Similarly, in Judaism, wine is used during the Passover Seder to represent the joy and freedom of the Jewish people. The wine is seen as a symbol of the divine presence and is used to elevate the spiritual experience of the participants.

The Connection to Death:

The term “spirits” also has a connection to death, which is another reason why it has a spiritual connotation. In many cultures, alcohol is used as a way to connect with the dead or to honor their memory. In Mexico, for example, the Day of the Dead is a holiday that celebrates the lives of loved ones who have passed away. During this holiday, families will often leave offerings of food, flowers, and alcohol at the gravesites of their loved ones. The alcohol is believed to help the spirits of the dead return to the world of the living and to enjoy the offerings that have been left for them.

Similarly, in Ireland and Scotland, wakes were traditionally held after a person died. During these wakes, alcohol was served as a way to honor the deceased and to help the mourners cope with their grief. The alcohol was believed to lift the spirits of the mourners and to help them connect with the deceased on a spiritual level.

The Impact of Prohibition:

Despite its spiritual connotations and historical roots, the term “spirits” fell out of favor during the era of Prohibition in the United States. From 1920 to 1933, the sale and consumption of alcohol were banned across the country, and the term “spirits” was associated with the illegal production and distribution of alcohol. As a result, many people began using alternative terms such as “booze” or “hooch” to refer to alcohol.

However, after the repeal of Prohibition, the term “spirits” began to regain its popularity and is now widely used to refer to all types of distilled alcohol. It has also been adopted by the alcohol industry and is often used in branding and marketing efforts.


In summary, the term “spirits” has a rich and complex history that spans centuries and cultures. It has roots in mythology, alchemy, and religion, and has been used as a way to connect with something greater than ourselves. While the term fell out of favor during Prohibition, it has since regained its popularity and is now synonymous with all types of distilled alcohol. Whether we drink alcohol for its taste, social aspects, or spiritual connections, the term “spirits” continues to evoke a sense of mystery and reverence.

Why is Alcohol called Spirits Bible?
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