© The Trustees of the British Museum/Art Resource, NY

SHARING A MALT. The impression on this Babylonian cylinder seal from Ur (c. 2600 B.C.E.) pictures a beer-drinking scene reminiscent of a 1950s soda fountain. The two men use long straws to enjoy beer from the same vessel. Egyptian hieroglyphs also depict people drinking with straws. The ends of the straws were inserted in metal strainer tips inside the beer jar. This would filter out the grains, fruits and other additives in the beer.