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Distillation

Already Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), however, was unsuccessfully concerned with "liberating the spirit of wine from wine". It is not certain when this was first achieved, but there are descriptions from the 2nd century BC. The Roman author Pliny the Elder (23-79) assumed that there must be something combustible in wine. The Aztecs in ancient Mexico mastered this art and made intoxicating drinks from agaves (see under Pulque). Tartars in the Gobi desert produced the alcoholic drink "Kumyss" from mare's milk and distilled it into "Karakumyss" (milk spirit). When the Moors (Arabs) conquered Spain in the 8th century, they brought with them the art of distillation. This was mainly used in the pharmaceutical industry and for the production of scented waters. A document from 1150 describes the art of making "Aqua ardens" (burning water) from wine. At this time the name "Aqua vitae" (water of life) was common.

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