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Alambic

Name (also Alambik, Alambique and Alembik or distilling helmet, helmet or distilling hat) for an onion-shaped distilling bladder or distilling attachment. It is derived from the Arabic article "al" and the Greek word "ambikos" for vessel or bowl. It is used for the separation of substances by heating and then cooling. The vessel collects the alcohol vapours that rise during distillation and directs them to the cooling coils, on which the distillate condenses and precipitates in liquid form. The process was already used by the Egyptians and in ancient Greece to produce essential oils. They were made of various materials such as copper, ceramics or glass. Water cooling was used in the improved apparatus. Apparatus similar in principle to the Alambic are used today for the distillation of brandy such as Armagnac and Cognac (France) or Singani (Bolivia).

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Egon Mark
Diplom-Sommelier, Weinakademiker und Weinberater, Volders (Österreich)

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