In summer, women milked the mares, sometimes as often as
eight or nine times daily. Much of the milk was allowed to
ferment, producing an alcoholic drink known as airag
Some of the Mongol Khans and members of the elite consumed
vast quantities of liquor, including airag, prompting
one scholar to attribute the fall of the Mongol Empire in
part to the increasing problem of alcoholism among its leaders.
Contemporary Mongolia continues to face a high incidence
Decadence and Dynastic Decline in the Mongol Empire,"
by John Masson Smith [pdf], in Journal of Asian History,
34/1 (2000). Reprinted with permission from publisher, Harrassowitz