Portal:Liquor

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Rows of distilled beverages in a bar

A distilled beverage, spirit, liquor, hard liquor or hard alcohol is an alcoholic beverage produced by distillation of a mixture produced from alcoholic fermentation. This process purifies it and removes diluting components like water, for the purpose of increasing its proportion of alcohol content (commonly expressed as alcohol by volume, ABV). As distilled beverages contain more alcohol they are considered "harder" – in North America, the term 'hard liquor' is used to distinguish distilled beverages from undistilled ones, which are implicitly weaker.

Examples of distilled beverages include vodka, gin, rum, whisky, eau de vie (fruit brandy or schnapps), tequila, baijiu, soju, aguardiente, pálinka, cachaça, singani, borovička and slivovitz. Brandy is a spirit produced by the distillation of wine, and has an ABV content of over 35%. Distilled beverages bottled with added sugar and added flavorings are known as liqueurs, which includes beverages such as Grand Marnier, Frangelico, and American schnapps.

Distilled beverages are served in many ways, including neat/straight, as a shot, straight up, on the rocks, as an ingredient in a cocktail, as a mixer, blended or frozen, in a gelatin shot, and with water.

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A reservoir glass filled with a naturally colored verte absinthe next to an absinthe spoon
Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45–74% ABV / 90–148 U.S. proof) beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium ("grand wormwood"), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colourless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as "la fée verte" (the green fairy). It is classified as a spirit (as opposed to a liqueur) because it is not traditionally bottled with added sugar. Absinthe is traditionally bottled at a high level of alcohol by volume, but it is normally diluted with water prior to being consumed.

Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It rose to great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Per an association in part with bohemian culture, its consumption was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Absinthe has often been portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen. The chemical compound thujone, although present only trace amounts, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in much of Europe. Recent studies have shown that absinthe's psychoactive properties (apart from that of the alcohol) were exaggerated. A revival of absinthe began in the 1990s, following the adoption of modern European Union food and beverage laws that removed longstanding barriers to its production and sale. By the early 21st century, nearly 200 brands of absinthe were being produced in a dozen countries, most notably in France, Switzerland, Australia, Spain, and the Czech Republic.

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Smirnoff vodka in a shot glass
Pyotr Smirnov founded his vodka distillery in Moscow in 1864 under the trading name of PA Smirnoff, pioneering charcoal filtration in the 1870s, and becoming the first to utilize newspaper ads along with charitable contributions to the clergy to stifle anti-vodka sermons, capturing two-thirds of the Moscow market by 1886. His brand was reportedly a Tsar favorite. When Pyotr died, he was succeeded by his third son Vladimir Smirnov. The company flourished and produced more than 4 million cases of vodka per year.
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