We all love alcohol. You drink it. I serve it. These statements I just made can be assumed to be true or else you wouldn’t even be on my page to begin with!
While we’ve all had our fair share of this wonderful drug and it’s incredible effects on our body, I doubt most of you reading even know what it is.
Let’s take these next few minutes of yours and figure it out together!
Alcohol, at its lowest form is also called ethanol. The same stuff that’s used commercially to power alternative-fuel vehicles.
Isn’t that crazy when you think about it?
This is a tough one because there are many disputes to who and when alcohol came to be. A few points can be made from my research.
However, I’m going to make it easier for you.
Understanding what alcohol is won’t be so easy unless we start with the process it takes to create it in the first place.
Neanderthals from way back when, maybe even dating to 10,000 BC, needed to create some source of food to put in their bodies and bread was among one of those firsts.
By grinding whatever grains they had back in the day and adding water, these monkey-like species somehow figured out how to make bread. Of course, they had to have let some sit overnight. Low and behold, alcohol was created.
Pretty wild huh?
This is all due to one incredible fungus believe it or not,
Yeast is a microscopic fungus that is attracted to to sugar, just like men and women have been so drawn together, at least before this whole ME-TOO movement……I’ll leave this topic for another day!
Anyways! This strange ingredient is the one factor that turns sugar into alcohol through a process called fermentation.
Since the age of the cavemen, humans have refined this fermentation process into an art/science and have produced many different types of alcohols for us to consume.
Fermentation is just the beginning and as such here’s what comes from the process;
Beer is made from fermenting grains.
Cider is made from fermenting fruits.
Wine is made from fermenting grapes. (I’m sure you knew this one already since everyone living in the USA, I’m sure, has heard of wine country, aka, Napa Valley, CA)
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why I haven’t brought up any of the hard liquors yet.
These spirits, otherwise known as “hard liquor,” require an extra effort beyond the latter.
Alcohol percentages during the fermentation process can only go so far before there is either no more sugar left or the yeast itself dies in the process.
In comes distillation.
Distillation is the separation of alcohol from the other parts of a concoction, the fruits/grains etc. By separating the alcohol, the end result becomes more concentrated.
Because alcohol has a lower boiling temperature than that of water, it’s possible to capture the vapors in its gas form.
Another point to make is that alcohol doesn’t have any of its own flavors and because so, it’s quite fortunate that it doesn’t separate from the original content completely.
The flavors and infusions we experience in “flavored” spirits comes from the ingredients used in the process before the distillation (grapes, fruits, etc).
I hope that wasn’t a long one for you regardless of whether I thought it was necessary for you AND I to learn.
In my next few articles, I’ll be describing the different types of alcohol and breaking down what makes each one of them into their own!
Until next time guys,
“10/10 would recommend, Yancy……OUT!