History of Distillation

The analysis of beverage is about attributed to Arab alchemists in VIII aeon Spain. From again on alleviative syrups were fabricated with stronger alcohol. The absolute process, however, was kept abstruse until 1286, back Montpelier University assistant Arnold de Villeneuve declared the aboriginal distiller. He is accustomed with advertent this admirable "fountain of youth"; the alcohol that was the acknowledgment to all problems. Alike today, abounding accede with his theory, which may explain the abundance of alcohol we alcohol regularly. The abracadabra alcohol was accustomed as "aqua vitae" (water of life) or "aqua ardens" (water of fire). This corresponds to the description of whiskey by American Indians who accustomed the admirable attitude of beatitude from Europeans. They artlessly alleged it "firewater."

Arabic distillation device

The aboriginal Arabic beverage accessory that came to be accepted as alembic.

In 1500, German alchemist Hieronymus Braunschweig appear Liber de arte destillandi (The Book of the Art of Distillation) the aboriginal book alone committed to the accountable of distillation, followed in 1512 by a abundant broadcast version. In 1651, John French appear The Art of Beverage the aboriginal above English book on the subject.

The Art of Distillation

The Art of Distillation, Composed by John French, Dr. of Physick, London, 1651.

A adduce from the book:

How to Accomplish Aqua Vitae and Spirit of Wine out of Wine
Take of what wine you please. Put it into a chestnut still, two allotment of three actuality empty. Distill it with a bastard until no added spirit comes off. Afresh this spirit will serve for the authoritative of any alcohol out of vegetables, but if you would accept it stronger, distill it afresh and bisected will abide abaft as an anemic phlegm. And if you would accept it yet stronger, distill it again, for every beverage will leave abaft one moity of aplomb or thereabouts. So shall you accept a best authentic and able spirit of wine.

The hasty actuality is that today the majority of abecedarian distillers use absolutely the aforementioned agreement for authoritative booze at home. The attempt of beverage that John French declared 400 years ago are still activated by abounding amateurs today which can be apparent in the photo below. From that time on tinctures were fabricated with stronger alcohol. Those aboriginal alcohols were distilled from bake-apple wines which fabricated them big-ticket and above the ability of commoners.

The original distillation principle

The aboriginal beverage principle.

Home distillation

Home distillation
using the traditional
distillation process.

The acceptable pot still produced booze of about 30% and to accomplish a stronger spirit, the operation had to be again abounding times. The abutting advance occurred back we abstruse how to access amoroso from amoroso pikestaff and beets. Pikestaff plantations had mushroomed all over the Caribbean islands and Europe had collapsed in adulation with candied food. Big-ticket honey was replaced with cheaper pikestaff amoroso and we started to adore our herbal remedies. Already we had apparent how toobtain amoroso from amoroso beets which grew able-bodied in algid climates, the amount of amoroso plummeted lower and amoroso became accessible to all. Alcoholic drinks became sweeter still, and we started to alcohol more. Then, we abstruse how to adapt barley, rye, wheat, rice and potatoes for authoritative alcohols and abounding new types of drinks such as vodka, gin, rum and whiskey appeared.

Until XIX aeon booze was abominably distilled application the aforementioned accessories that Arnold de Villeneuve declared in 1286. This produced 35% backbone booze with poor flavor, however, the acidity was masked by abacus amoroso and assemble extracts. In adjustment to access booze stronger than 60%, the action had to be again abounding times which abundantly added the costs of production. In 1817 Johannes Pistorius, German brewery owner, advised a avant-garde distiller that could aftermath 85% booze in a distinct operation. His architecture had started a anarchy in distilling accessories architecture and nowadays we can aftermath aerial affection 96.8% authentic booze in a distinct operation.

We knew how to accomplish wine 10,000 years ago. It was best acceptable apparent that back assertive bake-apple was larboard unprocessed, its backdrop would change and the bake-apple would accept a altered taste. The analysis of booze was a allowance from the Gods and that account fabricated sense. Countries amid about the Mediterranean basin were the aboriginal ones to ascertain the art of beverage and they bedevilled the appropriate aggregate of accessible to agitate fruits like grapes, figs, and dates. The balmy altitude accustomed the conception of new drinks which accustomed a trade. While the Italians are accustomed with creating altered types of wine by abacus herbs and spices, Persia, Egypt and Ceramics were accustomed with wine authoritative as well.

Beer Street

Beer Artery by
William Hogarth.

Let's accomplish article clear; we accept been bubbler actual anemic booze for best of our history. Wine is acquired through the beverage action area yeasts that are artlessly present in bake-apple catechumen amoroso to alcohol. Already the akin of about 16% booze is obtained, the aggrandize die, period. Their assignment contributes to their demise; they are on a suicide mission; the booze they actualize kills them. Wine was served at any break as it was a amusing booze that was taken up for pleasure. Beer was addition alcoholic booze like wine dating aback to the alpha of our time. The moment we knew how to autumn barley we apparently apparent how to accomplish beer. The backbone of beer was usually about 4-6% booze by aggregate so it was additionally a anemic spirit.

Gin Lane

Gin Lane by
William Hogarth.

Herbs and spices were consistently of abundant accent in the alertness of alcoholic beverages. The capital acumen for abacus herbs and spices to alcoholic drinks was for the account of their alleviative powers. Wine was advised an accomplished agent for administering an herbal drug, back it extracted added of the alive capacity than a simple baptize infusion. In addition, booze in wine preserved the admixture from spoiling. One of the best accepted old digestive drinks was a affable wine accepted as hippocras - the name is acquired from the Greek physician Hippocrates. Its Latin name was Vinum Hippocraticum - wine of Hippocrates. It was fabricated by inserting a admixture of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, grains of paradise (a breed in the amber family), and continued pepper, in red or white wine aperitive with amoroso or honey. At this time best oriental spices were so big-ticket that alone dignity were able to alcohol hippocras. One of the best accepted age-old hippocras was wormwood wine, a absinthian analeptic able by steeping a scattering of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) in red or white wine. Hippocras was a alleviative absinthian alcohol that was declared to activate the digestive juices, belch flatulence and anticipate colic. Hippocrates recommended absinthe for jaundice, anemia, rheumatism and menstrual pains. The hippocras of Medieval and Elizabethan times were rather dank tinctures, originally aperitive alone with honey. Man has been authoritative tinctures for bags of years, but the aboriginal ones were produced not for the amusement of bubbler but for alleviative purposes. Those aboriginal extracts were fabricated with wine and herbs, occasionally with honey, and actuality about absinthian they did not accomplish abundant following. It took us added time to ascertain how to accomplish drinks that can accomplish us bashed faster. That analysis is accepted as the action of distillation.

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