Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Alcohol, or Ethylic Alcohol, the spirituous principle of wines and beers. It occurs in nature as a result of the fermentation of saccharine liquids. An aqueous solution of alcohol is obtained by the distillation of such liquids which have undergone the process of fermentation, and it may be rendered stronger by repeated distillations; but the last 9 per cent. of water cannot in this way be removed, except by the aid of some such dehydrating agent as chloride of calcium or carbonate of potassium. Pure alcohol or Absolute Alcohol is a colourless, refractive, mobile liquid which is soluble in water in all proportions. It has never been frozen, and is therefore of great value in very cold countries in thermometers, where it takes the place of mercury. Eau de Cologne (q.v.) is made by flavouring alcohol with a kind of oil. All spirituous liquors contain alcohol, and it is this that forms the intoxicating element in brandy, whisky, etc. The estimation of the quantity of alcohol present in spirituous liquors is termed Alcoholometrg, and is an important operation in connection with the revenue. The term Alrohol is now applied to any one of a series of substances containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and similar in their constitutional type to common alcohol. [Ex., Methyl Alcohol or Wood Spirit; Glycerin, etc.] Some of the more complex forms of alcohol have the property of existing in isomeric modifications, which are termed primary, secondary, and tertiary alcohols, and differ from each other both in the relative arrangement of atoms in the molecule, and also in their products of oxidation.