DRINK, STRONG (drink, strong), (Heb.
Sweet drink (what satiates or intoxicates) applies in its etymological sense to any beverage possessing intoxicating qualities.
We shall class the various senses of the word under three heads, in the order in which we conceive them to have been developed.
(1) Sweet Wine or Syrup. lus cious, saccharine drink or sweet syrup, especially sugar or honey of dates or of the palm-tree ( de bash); also, by accommodation, occasionally, tnc sweet fruit itself.
In Solomon's time and afterwards, says Dr. Harris, 'the wine and sweet cordials seem gen erally to have been used separately' (Nat. Hist. of Bible). It seems more probable, however, that the palm syrup or honey denoted by shay-kawr', was used both as a sweetmeat or article of food, and as a drink, like the Hebrew sobhe and the Roman sapa (boiled wine), diluted with water, as with the modern grape and honey syrups or sherbets (Prov. ix :2, 5). The derivative of she char, expressive of its first signification, are nu merous. Eastward and southward, following the Arabian channel and the Saracenic conquests, we meet with the most obvious forms of the Hebrew word still expressive of sugar. Thus we have the Arabic sakar; Persic and Bengali, shukkur (whence our word for sugar-candy, slizikur-kund, 'rock-sugar') ; common Indian, jaggrcc or chag gery; Moresque, sekkour; Spanish, azucar; and Portuguese, assucar (molasses being mel-de-as sucar 'honey of sugar,' abbreviated). The wave of population has also carried the original sense and form northwards, embodying the word in the Grecian and Teutonic languages. Hence Greek. sakehar; Latin, saccharum; Italian, zueehera; German, sucker and juderig; Dutch, sulker; Rus sian, sachar; Danish, sukker; Swedish, sucker; Welsh, siwgwr; French, sucre; and our own com mon words sukkar (sweetmeat), sugar, and sac charine. 'Sukkarde' is also an old English word clearly traceable in sense and sound to the same origin, and is used by the writers of the middle ages in the sense of dainty, dessert, or sweet meat.
To satisfy or cloy is the well-known property of sweet and luscious preparations (as honey, Prov. xxv :16, 27) ; whereas 'strong drink,' in the
modern sense of intoxicating, is proverbial for creating an appetite which is insatiable. The drinkers of it 'tarry long at the wine;' they 'rise up early in the morning and continue until night, till wine inflames them :' and when, after suffer ing its evils, they awake, their cry still is, 'I will seek it yet again' (Prov. xxiii :3o-35; Is. v II, 22).
(2) Date or Palm Wine. Date or palm wine in its fresh and unfermented state. Bishop Lcswth translates Is. xxiv :9 thus,— 'With songs they shall no more drink wine (i. c., of grapes) ; The palm wine shall be bitter to them that drink it'— and observes, note in loc., that 'this is the proper meaning of the word shekar ; Gr., sikera. All en joyment shall cease ; the sweetest wine shall be come bitter to their taste.' Herodotus, in his account of Assyria, remarks that the palm is very common in this country,' and that 'it produces them bread, wine, and honey' (i :193).
The Mohammedan traveler (A. D. 85o) says that 'palm wine, if drunk fresh, is sweet like honey; but if kept, it turns to vinegar' (p. 9).
Mandeville, who traveled above 50o years ago, says, 'Other trees there ben also, that beren wyn of noble sentement.' He then describes the jaggree or sugar palm, and adds, 'the hotly and the wyn and the venym ben drawen out of other trees, in the same mancre and put in vessels for to kepe' (p. 189).
Mandelsloh (164o), speaking of the village of Damre near Surat, records thus :—`Terry or Palm Wine. In this village we found some terry, which is a liquor drawn out of the palm trees, and drank of it in cups made of the leaves of the same tree. To get out the juice, they go up to the top of the tree, where they make an incision in the bark, and fasten under it an earthen pot, which they leave there all night, in which time it is filled with a certain sweet liquor very pleasant to the taste. They get out some also in the daytime, but that (owing to the great heat) corrupts immediately, and is good only for vinegar, which is all the use they make of it (.4mbassador's Travels, p 23).