Spirit Of Wine, an ardent, colourless liquor, destitute of any peculiar flavour : it may be obtained by distilling the farinaceous or saccharine roots, as well as pulpy fruit of vegetables, in general, by means of a common still, but more effectually in what is termed a water -bath (balneum maris) ; after which, the spirituous fluid is purified by repeated rectification ; and, when divested of nearly all its aqueous particles, it is called Alkohol.

This expensive liquor is chiefly employed for dissolving gum-resins in the preparation of varnishes ; for separating resins from the vegetable matters containing them; and also for making essences, tinctures, elixirs, and various other compounds, for medicinal use. It may, likewise, be applied with advantage to different parts of the body, especially in sprains and bruises ; as it strengthens the vessels ; but, if inadvertently swallowed in a pure state, and in a large quantity, it corrugates the membranous parts of the stomach; being attended with a temporary suspension of their functions, and sometimes even inducing apoplexy or palsy, which generally ends in death. Hence, spirit of wine ought to be preserved with the greatest caution, so that children or ignorant persons may not have an opportunity of tasting so deleterious a liquor.