Of Spirituous Liquors Or Spirits
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 marvellous, that it was named Aqua-Vitae, or Water of
fe, 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.