This map shows Europe dominated by three so-called â€˜alcohol beltsâ€™, the northernmost one for distilled spirits, a middle one for beer and the southernmost one for wine. Each oneâ€™s existence and extension is determined by a mix of culture and agriculture.
It seems oversimplified to me, aquavit and vodka are hardly identical, and surely Scotland is misplaced.
I think a more detailed New World alcohol map would be interesting. You’d have grain alcohol in Canadian Indian Reservation woods, followed by a long Maritime Rum belt. Flavored gins in French-speaking Quebec. Scotch in the BosWash coastal corridor. A swatch of Rye from Pennsylvania down through Maryland. Bourbon in the South. Canadian Whiskey where? Michigan and Upper Canada, possibly. Beer in the Heartland. White Wine in the suburbs.
Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.