A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage traces the emergence of six different beverages—beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and Coca-Cola—and the roles they played in human history and culture. In doing so, Standage offers a sweeping overview of human history, ranging from the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia to contemporary America that emphasizes the continuities in our approach to drinks and drinking, as well as the changes and discoveries they are associated with.
Beginning with the discovery of beer and its uses in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, Standage discusses the variety of different uses these cultures had for this drink—as well as quenching thirst, it was used as a form of currency and as an offering to the gods in religious ritual. Beer has always been a social drink, and Standage points to the way that raising a glass to someone’s health is a continuation one of the earliest traditions associated with beer. He also notes the part beer played in the movement from a hunter-gatherer way of life to an agricultural one, and in the development of the first systems of writing and accountancy. A good summary can be found at https://www.supersummary.com/a-history-of-the-world-in-6-glasses/summary/