An alcoholic beverage is a drink which contains a substantial amount of the psychoactive drug ethanol (informally called alcohol).
Drinking alcohol plays an important social role in many cultures. Alcohol has potential for abuse and physical dependence. It is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the world.
Discovery of late Stone Age jugs suggest that intentionally fermented beverages existed at least as early as the Neolithic period (cir. 10,000 BC). Many nonhuman animals also consume alcohol when given the opportunity and are affected in much the same way as humans, although humans are the only species known to produce alcoholic beverages intentionally.