The earliest known terra cotta stills were found in what is now Pakistan.
By 1000 B.C.E. the Chinese were distlling rice wine.
For centuries in Europe and America, alcohol was mixed with gunpowder and ignited. If the mixture flashed, then the alochol was proven, hence the word proof as a measure of alcohol content.
Europeans called distilled beverages distilled spirits because of the belief that the essence of the plant was derived while the body of the plant died away.
The Little Ice Age (from the 14th to mid-19th centuries) is the reason that Americans today now drink eleven (11) times as much beer as wine. The lower temperature hurt wine production (grapes required warmer climate) and encouraged the production of beer.
Contact Milo, PO Box 1361, Tustin, California, 92781, USA, for information on private and small group lessons in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, California. Low cost or free for the poor. Recommended donation of $25 an hour.
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