Portal:Liquor

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Introduction

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Swan necked copper pot stills in the Glenfiddich distillery

Liquor (also distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink produced by distillation of grains, fruits, or vegetables that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. The distillation process purifies the liquid to increase its alcohol by volume. As liquors contain significantly more alcohol (ethanol) than other alcoholic drinks, they are considered "harder" – in North America, the term hard liquor is used to distinguish distilled alcoholic drinks from non-distilled ones, whereas the term spirits is used in the UK. Examples of liquors include brandy, vodka, baijiu, shōchū, soju, gin, rum, tequila, mezcal, and whisky.

Like other alcoholic drinks, liquor is typically consumed for the psychoactive effects of ethanol. Liquor may be consumed on its own (“neat”), typically in small amounts. In undiluted form, distilled beverages are often slightly sweet, bitter, and typically impart a burning mouthfeel, with a strong odor from the alcohol; the exact flavor varies between different varieties of liquor and the different impurities they impart. Liquor is also frequently enjoyed in diluted form, as flavored liquor or as part of a mixed drink; with cocktails being a common category of beverage that utilize liquor. (Full article...)

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Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave (agave azul) or tequila agave, is an agave plant that is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled beverage. The high production of sugars named agavins, mostly fructose, in the core of the plant is the main characteristic that makes it suitable for the preparation of alcoholic beverages.

The tequila agave is native to the states of Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit and Aguascalientes in Mexico. The plant favors altitudes of more than 1,500 metres (5,000 ft) and grows in rich and sandy soils. Blue agave plants grow into large succulents, with spiky fleshy leaves, that can reach over 2 metres (7 ft) in height. Blue agaves sprout a stalk (quiote) when about five years old that can grow an additional 5 metres (16 ft); they are topped with yellow flowers. The stalk is cut off from commercial plants so the plant will put more energy into the heart.

The flowers are pollinated by the greater long-nosed bat, (also by insects and hummingbirds) and produce several thousand seeds per plant, many of them are sterile. The plant then dies. The plants are then reproduced by planting the previously removed shoots; this has led to a considerable loss of genetic diversity in cultivated blue agave. (Full article...)
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The Bronfman family is a Canadian-American Jewish family. It owes its initial fame to Samuel Bronfman (1889–1971), who made a fortune in the alcoholic distilled beverage business during American prohibition through the family's Seagram Company.

The family is of Russian Jewish and Romanian Jewish ancestry; "they were originally tobacco farmers from Bessarabia". According to The New York Times staff reporter Nathaniel Popper, the Bronfman family is "perhaps the single largest force in the Jewish charitable world." (Full article...)

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George Washington reviews the troops near Fort Cumberland, Maryland, before their march to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.

The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 and ending in 1794 during the presidency of George Washington, ultimately under the command of American Revolutionary war veteran Major James McFarlane. The so-called "whiskey tax" was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. Beer was difficult to transport and spoiled more easily than rum and whiskey. Rum distillation in the United States had been disrupted during the American War of Independence, and, for factors described below, whiskey distribution and consumption increased after the Revolutionary War (aggregate production had not surpassed rum by 1791). The "whiskey tax" became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but consumption of American whiskey was rapidly expanding in the late 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a "whiskey tax". Farmers of the western frontier were accustomed to distilling their surplus rye, barley, wheat, corn, or fermented grain mixtures to make whiskey. These farmers resisted the tax. In these regions, whiskey often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the federal government maintained that the taxes were the legal expression of Congressional taxation powers.

Throughout Western Pennsylvania counties, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a US Marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. Washington himself rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency, with 13,000 militiamen provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned. Most distillers in nearby Kentucky were found to be all but impossible to tax—in the next six years, over 175 distillers from Kentucky were convicted of violating the tax law. Numerous examples of resistance are recorded in court documents and newspaper accounts. (Full article...)

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