Friday, January 20, 2012

Spiritous Liquors

Spirituous liquors are the produce of vinous ones, obtained by the distillation of these last. The art of making wine is of the remotest antiquity, since it is attributed to Noah; but that of distilling it, so as to extract its most spirituous part, dates only from the year 1300. Arnand de Villeneuve was the inventor of it, and the produce of his Still appeared so marvelous, that it was named Aqua-Vitæ, or Water of Life, and has ever since continued under that denomination in France; Voltaire and reason say that it might, with far more propriety, be called Aqua-Mortis, or Water of Death.

This liquor, called in English, Brandy, received from the learned the name of Spirit of Wine; time improved the art of making it still stronger by concentration, and in that state it is called Alcohol.

All spirit is the distilled result of a wine, either of grapes, other fruits, or grains; it is therefore necessary to have either wine, or any vinous liquor, in order to obtain spirits.

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