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Liquor or spirit (also hard liquor, or distilled alcohol) is an
alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a fluid f ...
produced by
distillation Distillation, or classical distillation, is the process of separating the components or substances from a liquid mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, ...

distillation
of
grain A grain is a small, hard, dry seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album ...

grain
s,
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
s, or
vegetable Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the edible flower, flowers, ...

vegetable
s that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. The distillation process concentrates the liquid to increase its
alcohol by volume Alcohol by volume (abbreviated as ABV, abv, or alc/vol) is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage (expressed as a volume percent). It is defined as the number of millilitres (mL) o ...
. As liquors contain significantly more
alcohol In chemistry, alcohol is an organic compound that carries at least one hydroxyl functional group (−OH) bound to a Saturated and unsaturated compounds, saturated carbon atom. The term alcohol originally referred to the primary alcohol ethan ...
(
ethanol Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic Organic may refer to: * Organic, of or relating to an organism, a living entity * Organic, of or relating to an anatomical organ (anatomy), ...

ethanol
) than other alcoholic drinks, they are considered "harder" – in North America, the term ''hard liquor'' is sometimes used to distinguish distilled alcoholic drinks from non-distilled ones, whereas the term ''spirits'' is used in the UK. Examples of liquors include
brandy Brandy is a liquor Liquor or spirit (also hard liquor, or distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink produced by distillation of grains, fruits, or vegetables that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. The distillation process co ...

brandy
,
vodka Vodka ( pl, wódka , russian: водка , sv, vodka ) is a clear distilled alcoholic beverage. Different varieties originated in Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in . It is divided into 16 , ...

vodka
,
absinthe Absinthe (, ) is historically described as a highly alcoholic liquor, spirit (45–74% ABV / 90–148 U.S. proof). It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from plants, including the flowers and leaves of ''Artemisia absinthium'' ("grand wormw ...

absinthe
,
gin , United States, 2010) Gin is a Liquor, distilled alcoholic drink that derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries (''Juniperus communis''). Gin originated as a medicinal liquor made by monks and alchemists across Europe, particularly ...
,
rum Rum is a liquor Liquor or spirit (also hard liquor, or distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink produced by distillation of grains, fruits, or vegetables that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. The distillation process conce ...
,
tequila Tequila (; ) is a liquor, distilled beverage made from the Agave tequilana, blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, Jalisco, Tequila northwest of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Guadalajara, and in the Jaliscan Highlands ...

tequila
, and
whisky Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented Fermentation is a metabolic Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that ...

whisky
. Like other alcoholic drinks, liquor is typically consumed for the
psychoactive A psychoactive drug, psychopharmaceutical, psychoactive agent, or psychotropic drug, is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and tak ...
effects of alcohol. Liquor may be consumed on its own (“
neat NEAT may refer to: Science and technology * Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking, a program run by NASA and the JPL to discover near-Earth objects * Neuroevolution of augmenting topologies, a genetic algorithm for the generation of evolving artificial ne ...
”), typically in small amounts. In undiluted form, distilled beverages are often slightly sweet, bitter, and typically impart a burning mouthfeel, with a strong odor from the alcohol; the exact flavor varies between different varieties of liquor and the different impurities they impart. Liquor is also frequently enjoyed in diluted form, as
flavored liquor __NOTOC__ Flavored liquors (also called infused liquors) are liquor Liquor or spirit (also distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink produced by distillation of grains, fruits, or vegetables that have already gone through alcoholic fermentatio ...
or as part of a
mixed drink 300px, Mixed drinks come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and they may be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. A mixed drink is a beverage in which two or more ingredients are mixed. Some contain liquor Liquor or spirit (also distil ...
; with
cocktail A cocktail is an alcoholic Alcoholism is, broadly, any drinking of alcohol (drug), alcohol that results in significant Mental health, mental or physical health problems. Alcoholism is not a recognized diagnostic entity. Predominant diagno ...

cocktail
s being a common category of beverage that utilize liquor. Acute liquor consumption causes severe alcohol intoxication, or
alcohol poisoning Alcohol intoxication, also known as drunkenness or alcohol poisoning, is the negative behavior and physical effects caused by a recent consumption of . Symptoms at lower doses may include mild and poor coordination. At higher doses, there may b ...
, which can be fatal. Consistent consumption of liquor over time correlates with higher mortality and other harmful health effects, even compared to other alcoholic beverages.


Nomenclature

The term "spirit" refers to liquor that contains no added sugar and has at least 20%
alcohol by volume Alcohol by volume (abbreviated as ABV, abv, or alc/vol) is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage (expressed as a volume percent). It is defined as the number of millilitres (mL) o ...
(ABV). Liquor bottled with added sugar and added flavorings, such as
Grand Marnier Grand Marnier () is a French brand of liqueur A liqueur (; ; ) is an alcoholic drink composed of Liquor, distilled spirits and additional flavorings such as sugar, fruits, herbs, and spices. Often served with or after dessert, they are typic ...
,
Frangelico Frangelico () is a brand of (flavored with hazelnuts) and herb-flavored liqueur A liqueur (; ; ) is an alcoholic drink composed of Liquor, distilled spirits and additional flavorings such as sugar, fruits, herbs, and spices. Often served with ...
, and
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
schnapps Schnapps ( or ) or schnaps is a type of alcoholic beverage that may take several forms, including distilled fruit brandies, herbal liqueurs, infusions, and "flavored liqueurs" made by adding fruit syrups, spices, or artificial flavorings to neu ...
, are known instead as
liqueur A liqueur (; ; ) is an alcoholic drink composed of Liquor, distilled spirits and additional flavorings such as sugar, fruits, herbs, and spices. Often served with or after dessert, they are typically heavily sweetened and un-aged beyond a restin ...
s. Liquor generally has an alcohol concentration higher than 30%.
Beer Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer is brewing, brewed from cereal, cereal grains—most commonly from malted barley, though wh ...

Beer
and
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flow ...

wine
, which are not distilled, are limited to a maximum alcohol content of about 20% ABV, as most
yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic Eukaryotes () are organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular ...

yeast
s cannot metabolise when the concentration of alcohol is above this level; as a consequence,
fermentation Fermentation is a metabolism, metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic Substrate (chemistry), substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in ...

fermentation
ceases at that point.


Etymology

The origin of "liquor" and its close relative "liquid" was the Latin verb ''liquere'', meaning "to be fluid". According to the ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary A historical dictionary or dictionary on historical principles is a dictionary which deals not only with the latterday meanings of words but also the historica ...
'', an early use of the word in the English language, meaning simply "a liquid", can be dated to 1225. The first use the ''OED'' mentions of its meaning "a liquid for drinking" occurred in the 14th century. Its use as a term for "an intoxicating alcoholic drink" appeared in the 16th century.


History of distillation


Early history

Early evidence of distillation comes from
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
tablets dated c. 1200 BC describing perfumery operations, providing textual evidence that an early, primitive form of distillation was known to the
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
ns of ancient
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
. Early evidence of distillation also comes from
alchemists File:Aurora consurgens zurich 044 f-21v-44 dragon-pot.jpg, Depiction of Ouroboros from the alchemical treatise ''Aurora consurgens'' (15th century), Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Switzerland Alchemy (from Arabic: ''al-kīmiyā''; from Ancient Gree ...
working in
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...
,
Roman Egypt , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Roman province, Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_ ...

Roman Egypt
, in the 1st century.
Distilled water Distilled water is water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosph ...
was described in the 2nd century AD by
Alexander of Aphrodisias Alexander of Aphrodisias ( grc-gre, Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Ἀφροδισιεύς, translit=Alexandros ho Aphrodisieus; AD) was a Peripatetic philosopher and the most celebrated of the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms o ...
. Alchemists in
Roman Egypt , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Roman province, Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_ ...

Roman Egypt
were using a distillation
alembic An alembic (from ar, الإنبيق, al-inbīq, originating from grc, ἄμβιξ, ambix, 'cup, beaker') is an alchemical File:Aurora consurgens zurich 044 f-21v-44 dragon-pot.jpg, Depiction of Ouroboros from the alchemical treatise ''Auro ...

alembic
or
still A still is an apparatus used to distill liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or external force. ...

still
device in the 3rd century. Distillation was known in the ancient Indian subcontinent, evident from baked clay
retort In a chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo du ...

retort
s and receivers found at
Taxila Taxila (from Pāli Pali () is a Middle Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan inva ...
and
Charsadda Chārsadda ( ps, چارسده , ur, ) is a town and headquarters of Charsadda District, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ( ps, خیبر پښتونخوا; ), often abbreviated as KP or KPK and formerly known as the North-We ...
in modern
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
, dating back to the early centuries of the Christian era. These "
Gandhara Gandhāra was an ancient region in the Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between ...

Gandhara
stills" were capable of producing only very weak liquor, as there was no efficient means of collecting the vapors at low heat.
Irfan Habib Irfan Habib (born 1931) is an Indian historian of ancient and medieval India, following the methodology of Marxist historiography Marxist historiography, or historical materialist Historical materialism, also known as the materialist conc ...

Irfan Habib
(2011)
''Economic History of Medieval India, 1200-1500'', page 55
Pearson Education Pearson Education is a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity a ...
Distillation in
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
could have begun during the
Eastern Han#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...
dynasty (1st–2nd centuries), but the distillation of beverages began in the Jin (12th–13th centuries) and
Southern Song The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
(10th–13th centuries) dynasties according to archaeological evidence. Freeze distillation involves freezing the alcoholic beverage and then removing the ice. The freezing technique had limitations in geography and implementation limiting how widely this method was put to use.


Distillation of wine

The inflammable nature of the exhalations of wine was already known to ancient natural philosophers such as
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
(384–322 BCE),
Theophrastus Theophrastus (; grc-gre, Θεόφραστος ; c. 371c. 287 BC), a Greek native of Eresos Eresos (; el, Ερεσός; grc, Ἔρεσος) and its twin beach village Skala Eresou are located in the southwest part of the Greek island of Le ...

Theophrastus
(c. 371–287 BCE), and
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
(23/24–79 CE). However, this did not immediately lead to the isolation of alcohol, even despite the development of more advanced distillation techniques in second- and third-century
Roman Egypt , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Roman province, Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_ ...

Roman Egypt
. An important recognition, first found in one of the writings attributed to (ninth century CE), was that by adding salt to boiling wine, which increases the wine's
relative volatilityRelative volatility is a measure comparing the vapor pressures of the components in a liquid mixture of chemicals. This quantity is widely used in designing large industrial distillation processes. In effect, it indicates the ease or difficulty of us ...
, the flammability of the resulting vapors may be enhanced. The distillation of wine is attested in Arabic works attributed to al-Kindī (c. 801–873 CE) and to (c. 872–950), and in the 28th book of al-Zahrāwī's (Latin: Abulcasis, 936–1013) ''Kitāb al-Taṣrīf'' (later translated into Latin as ''Liber servatoris''). In the twelfth century, recipes for the production of ''aqua ardens'' ("burning water", i.e., alcohol) by distilling wine with salt started to appear in a number of Latin works, and by the end of the thirteenth century it had become a widely known substance among Western European chemists. Its medicinal properties were studied by
Arnald of Villanova Arnaldus de Villa Nova (also called Arnau de Vilanova in Catalan language, Catalan, his language, Arnaldus Villanovanus, Arnaud de Ville-Neuve or Arnaldo de Villanueva, c. 1240–1311) was a physician and a religious reformer. He was also thought ...
(1240–1311 CE) and
John of Rupescissa :''Johannes de Rupescissa may also refer to Cardinal Jean de La Rochetaillée'' Jean de Roquetaillade (ca. 1310 – between 1366 and 1370) was a French Franciscan Alchemy, alchemist. Biography After studying philosophy for five years at Tou ...
(c. 1310–1366), the latter of whom regarded it as a life-preserving substance able to prevent all diseases (the ''
aqua vitae ''Aqua vitae'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...

aqua vitae
'' or "water of life", also called by John the '' quintessence'' of wine). In China, archaeological evidence indicates that the true distillation of alcohol began during the 12th century Jin or
Southern Song The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
dynasties. A
still A still is an apparatus used to distill liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or external force. ...

still
has been found at an archaeological site in Qinglong,
Hebei Hebei (; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, f ...
, dating to the 12th century. In India, the true distillation of alcohol was introduced from the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
, and was in wide use in the
Delhi Sultanate The Delhi Sultanate was an Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see int ...
by the 14th century. The works of
Taddeo Alderotti Taddeo Alderotti (Latin: Thaddaeus Alderottus, French language, French : Thaddée de Florence), born in Florence (Italy), Florence between 1206 and 1215, died in 1295, was an Italian doctor and professor of medicine at the University of Bologna, ...
(1223–1296) describe a method for concentrating alcohol involving repeated
fractional distillation Fractional distillation is the separation of a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matt ...
through a water-cooled still, by which an alcohol purity of 90% could be obtained. In 1437, "burned water" (
brandy Brandy is a liquor Liquor or spirit (also hard liquor, or distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink produced by distillation of grains, fruits, or vegetables that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. The distillation process co ...

brandy
) was mentioned in the records of the
County of Katzenelnbogen The County of Katzenelnbogen was an Imperial immediacy, immediate States of the Holy Roman Empire, state of the Holy Roman Empire. Chatti Melibokus is a very old tribe who stayed on a high hill in the Bergstraße (district), Bergstraße region ...
in Germany. It was served in a tall, narrow glass called a ''Goderulffe''.


Government regulation


Production

It is legal to distill beverage alcohol as a hobby for personal use in some countries, including New Zealand and the Netherlands. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, it is illegal to distill beverage alcohol without a license. In some parts of the U.S., it is also illegal to sell a still without a license. However, all states allow unlicensed individuals to make their own beer, and some also allow unlicensed individuals to make their own wine (although making beer and wine is also prohibited in some local jurisdictions).


Sale

Some countries and sub-national jurisdictions limit or prohibit the sale of certain very high-percentage alcohol, commonly known as
neutral spirit Rectified spirit, also known as neutral spirits, rectified alcohol, or ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin is highly concentrated ethanol that has been purified by means of repeated distillation in a process called Distillation#Fractional distilla ...

neutral spirit
. Due to its flammability (see below) alcoholic beverage with alcohol content above 70% by volume is not permitted to be transported in aircraft.


Microdistilling

Microdistilling (also known as craft distilling) began to re-emerge as a trend in the United States following the microbrewing and
craft beer A craft brewery or microbrewery is a brewery brewery A brewery or brewing company is a business that makes and sells beer. The place at which beer is commercially made is either called a brewery or a beerhouse, where distinct sets of brewing eq ...
movement in the last decades of the 20th century. In contrast, large-scale distillation facilities were never as dominant in Scotland, so the tradition of small-scale distillation was never really lost in the
Scotch whisky Scotch whisky (; sco, Scots whisky/whiskie, whusk(e)y; often simply called whisky or Scotch) is malt whiskyMalt whisky is whisky made from a fermented mashing, mash consisting primarily of malted barley. If the product is made exclusively at a ...
market.


Flammability

Liquor that contains 40%
ABV Alcohol by volume (abbreviated as ABV, abv, or alc/vol) is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic chemical compound. It is a sim ...
(80 US proof) will catch fire if heated to about and if an ignition source is applied to it. This temperature is called its
flash point The flash point of a volatile material is the lowest temperature Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter, which is the source of the occurrence of he ...
. The flash point of is , less than average room temperature. The flammability of liquor is applied in the cooking technique . The flash points of alcohol concentrations from 10% ABV to 96% ABV are: * 10% – –
ethanol Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic Organic may refer to: * Organic, of or relating to an organism, a living entity * Organic, of or relating to an anatomical organ (anatomy), ...

ethanol
-based water solution * 12.5% – about –
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flow ...

wine
* 15% – –
sake ''Sake'', also spelled ''saké'' ( , also referred to as ''Japanese rice wine Rice wine is an alcoholic beverage An alcoholic drink is a drink that contains ethanol, a type of alcohol produced by Ethanol fermentation, fermentation ...

sake
,
mijiu Mijiu () is a Chinese rice wine Rice wine is an alcoholic beverage An alcoholic drink is a drink that contains ethanol, a type of alcohol produced by Ethanol fermentation, fermentation of grains, fruits, or other sources of sugar. The co ...
,
cheongju Cheongju () is the capital and largest city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd editio ...
* 20% – –
shōchū is a Japanese distilled beverage Liquor or spirit (also hard liquor, or distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid ...
,
fortified wine Fortified wine is a wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from Fermentation in winemaking, fermented grapes. Yeast in winemaking, Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol and carbon dioxide, releasing hea ...
* 30% – – strong shōchū * 40% – – typical
vodka Vodka ( pl, wódka , russian: водка , sv, vodka ) is a clear distilled alcoholic beverage. Different varieties originated in Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in . It is divided into 16 , ...

vodka
,
whisky Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented Fermentation is a metabolic Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that ...

whisky
or
brandy Brandy is a liquor Liquor or spirit (also hard liquor, or distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink produced by distillation of grains, fruits, or vegetables that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. The distillation process co ...

brandy
* 50% – – typical
baijiu ''Baijiu'' (), also known as ''shaojiu'' (/), is a colourless liquor Liquor or spirit (also hard liquor, or distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid ...
, strong whisky,
bottled in bond Bottled in bond is a label for an American-made distilled beverage Liquor or spirit (also distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink produced by distillation of grains, fruits, or vegetables that have already gone through alcoholic ferme ...
whisky, typical * 60% – – strong baijiu, normal
tsikoudia ''Tsikoudia'' ( el, τσικουδιά, tsikoudiá, literally " terebinth"), is an Geographical Indication for pomace raki (pomace distillate) in Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern: , Ancient: '','' ) is the largest and most po ...
(called mesoraki or middle raki), barrel proof whisky, typical * 70% – –
slivovitz Slivovitz, slivovitza, slivovitsa, sliboviță, šljivovica, śliwowica, Schlivowitz, slivovice, slivovica or slivovka is a fruit spirit (or fruit brandy) made from damson plums, often referred to as plum spirit (or plum brandy). If anyone else h ...

slivovitz
* 80% – – strong absinthe * 90% or more – – neutral grain spirit


Serving

Liquor can be served: * Neat — at room temperature without any additional ingredient(s) * Up — shaken or stirred with ice, strained, and served in a stemmed glass * Down — shaken or stirred with ice, strained, and served in a rocks glass * On the rocks — over
ice cube O'Shea Jackson Sr. (born June 15, 1969), known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper, actor, and filmmaker. His lyrics on N.W.A N.W.A (an abbreviation for Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop Hip hop or hip-hop ...

ice cube
s * Blended or frozen — blended with ice * With a simple mixer, such as
club soda Club soda is a manufactured form of unflavored carbonated water, commonly used as a drink mixer. Potassium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate, potassium citrate, or sodium citrate is artificially added to replicate constituents commonly found in na ...
,
tonic water Tonic water (or Indian tonic water) is a carbonated soft drink A soft drink (see #Terminology, § Terminology for other names) is a drink that usually contains carbonated water (although some vitamin waters and lemonades are not carbonated) ...

tonic water
,
juice Juice is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a fluid flow, flow i ...

juice
, or
cola Cola is a carbonated Carbonation is the chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical A chemical substance is a form of ...

cola
* As an ingredient of a
cocktail A cocktail is an alcoholic Alcoholism is, broadly, any drinking of alcohol (drug), alcohol that results in significant Mental health, mental or physical health problems. Alcoholism is not a recognized diagnostic entity. Predominant diagno ...

cocktail
* As an ingredient of a
shooter Shooting is the act or process of discharging a projectile from a ranged weapon (such as a gun, bow and arrow, bow, crossbow, slingshot, or blowgun, blowpipe). Even the acts of launching flamethrower, flame, artillery, dart (missile), darts, har ...
* With water * With water poured over sugar (as with absinthe)


Alcohol consumption by country

The
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Unit ...
measures and publishes alcohol consumption patterns in different countries. The WHO measures alcohol consumed by persons 15 years of age or older and reports it on the basis of liters of pure alcohol consumed
per capita ''Per capita'' is a Latin phrase literally meaning "by heads" or "for each head", and idiomatically used to mean "per person". The term is used in a wide variety of social sciences Social science is the branch The branches and leaves o ...
in a given year in a country. In Europe, spirits (especially vodka) are more popular towards the north and east of the continent.


Health effects


Short-term effects

Distilled spirits contain ethyl alcohol, the same chemical that is present in beer and
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flow ...

wine
and as such, spirit consumption has short-term psychological and physiological effects on the user. Different concentrations of alcohol in the human body have different effects on a person. The effects of alcohol depend on the amount an individual has drunk, the percentage of alcohol in the spirits and the timespan that the consumption took place, the amount of food eaten and whether an individual has taken other prescription, over-the-counter or street drugs, among other factors. Drinking enough to cause a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.03%-0.12% typically causes an overall improvement in mood and possible euphoria, increased self-confidence, and sociability, decreased anxiety, a Alcohol flush reaction, flushed, red appearance in the face and impaired judgment and fine muscle coordination. A BAC of 0.09% to 0.25% causes lethargy, sedation, balance problems and blurred vision. A BAC from 0.18% to 0.30% causes profound confusion, impaired speech (e.g., slurred speech), staggering, dizziness and vomiting. A BAC from 0.25% to 0.40% causes stupor, unconsciousness, anterograde amnesia, vomiting, and respiratory depression (potentially life-threatening). Death may occur due to inhalation of vomit (pulmonary aspiration) while unconscious. A BAC from 0.35% to 0.80% causes a coma (unconsciousness), life-threatening respiratory depression and possibly fatal alcohol poisoning. Heavy consumption of liquor leads to bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, painful stools, or fullness in the abdomen. High quantity consumption of liquor alcohol and cancer, leads to cancer risk, namely mouth cancer, throat cancer, esophagus cancer, colon cancer, or liver cancer. As with all alcoholic beverages, driving under the influence, operating an aircraft or heavy machinery increases the risk of an accident; as such many countries have penalties for drunk driving.


Long-term effects

The main active ingredient of distilled spirits is alcohol, and therefore, the health effects of alcohol apply to spirits. Drinking more than 1-2 drinks a day increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and stroke. The risk is greater in younger people due to binge drinking which may result in violence or accidents. About 3.3 million deaths (5.9% of all deaths) are believed to be due to alcohol each year. Unlike for wine and perhaps beer, there is no evidence for a J curve, J-shaped health effect for the consumption of distilled alcohol. Alcoholism, also known as "alcohol use disorder", is a broad term for any drinking of ethanol, alcohol that results in problems. Alcoholism reduces a person's life expectancy by around ten years and alcohol use is the third-leading cause of early death in the United States.


Demographics

Consumption of distilled alcohol is the most important single factor behind variation on mortality rates and life expectancy for men in Europe. For example, in heavily Islamic regions of the Caucases (Islam forbids alcohol consumption) the life expectancy gap between women and men is five years; in nearby Christian areas it is ten years, and in the Czech Republic (where beer predominates) the chance of a man dying between the ages of 15 and 60 is less than half that of nearby Ukraine.


See also

*Absinthe *Akvavit *Aguardiente *Alcoholic drink * Amaro (liqueur), Italian herbal liqueur. *Arak (drink), Arak *Arrack *Awamori *Baijiu / Shōchū / Soju *
Beer Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer is brewing, brewed from cereal, cereal grains—most commonly from malted barley, though wh ...

Beer
*Brandy *Borovička *Cachaça *Eau de vie *Er guo tou *Feni (liquor), Fenny *Fractional freezing#Freeze distillation, Freeze distillation *Gin (and Jenever) *Horilka *Liquor store *List of beverages *List of national drinks *Mahuli (wine), Mahua *Mamajuana *Mezcal *Moonshine *Neutral grain spirit *Orujo *Padlamanggan *Pálinka *Pisco *Poitín *Rakı *Rakia *Rectified spirit *Rum *Rượu đế *Schnapps *Slivovitz *Tequila *Tsikoudia *Tsipouro *Vodka *Whisky


References


Bibliography

* * *


External links


History and Taxonomy of Distilled Spirits
{{Authority control Distilled drinks, Distillation Drinks Ancient inventions Arab inventions Alcoholic drinks