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Humans' knack for consuming alcohol dates back around ten million years, long before Homo sapiens were a distinct species. A single gene mutation granted our evolutionary ancestors an enhanced ability to break down ethanol – drinking alcohol. Suddenly, some individuals could metabolize the alcohol from fermenting fruits on forest floors, converting it to energy and alleviating its toxic, incapacitating effects. Over time, these individuals survived and procreated more often, gradually granting almost all humans alcohol-imbibing abilities.