distilled liquor

distilled liquor

Alcoholic beverage obtained by distillation from wine or other fermented fruit juice or from various cereal grains that have first been brewed. The essential ingredient is usually a natural sugar or a starchy substance that may be easily converted into a sugar. The distillation process is based on the different boiling points of water (212 °F [100 °C]) and alcohol (173 °F [78.5 °C]). The alcohol vapours that arise while the fermented liquid boils are trapped and recondensed to create a liquid of much greater alcoholic strength. The resultant distillate is matured, often for several years, before it is packaged and sold. See also aquavit; brandy; gin; liqueur; rum; vodka; and whiskey.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on distilled liquor, visit Britannica.com.

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