Culture: What did the Ancient Romans Drink?

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Wine was the main drink of ancient Rome. They were described as black, red, white, and yellow. Unlike today, wine was watered down and not drunk at full concentration. If a Roman drank wine at full concentration, they were considered a drunk and this was not highly looked upon in ancient Rome. Romans would also dilute their drinks 1:2 or 1:3 dilutions with water. Romans did not drink beer as this was considered a barbarian drink and rarely drank milk.   Milk in ancient Rome was mainly used for making cheeses and medical purposes only. Milk was also considered an uncivilized drink; hence why Romans did not drink it unless it was necessary. It was believed the lower classes and slaves drank goat milk for substance but in limited quantities.

A few more drinks the Romans indulged in were warm water mixed with spices called calda which was a watery drink. This drink was drunk mainly in the winter as it was much colder.   Another drink was called Posca which was basically vinegar or sour wine mixed with enough water to make it drinkable. Local herbs were also added to posca to make it more favorable. Posca was a popular drink that originated form ancient Greece and was widely drank in the Roman army and peasants. This drink was not drunk by the upper classes as they preferred watered down wine. Posca helped prevent scurvy and helped kill harmful bacteria in the water supply; especially when the army was on the move to far destinations.   This drink was a common beverage for soldiers and slaves. This is the drink that was believed to be given to Jesus Christ when he was being crucified as described in the Gospel of John. Finally, there was a drink called mulsum which was honey wine. It was made by combining honey and served chilled.

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