According to the EU Spirits Ordinance, an alcoholic drink intended for human consumption is special sensory Features and over a alcohol content of at least 15% vol. Exceptions are eggnog and advokaat with 14% vol. The production takes place differently depending on the category of spirits either directly distillation from naturally fermented products and / or through maceration (Mashing) of vegetable substances in ethyl alcohol ( ethanol ) and / or in distillates. It can also be made by mixing a spirit drink with another spirit drink, ethyl alcohol, other alcoholic beverages or beverages. All alcoholic ingredients must be of agricultural origin.
Aromas, sugars and other sweeteners such as, for example, may differ depending on the category RTK (rectified concentrated grape must), more concentrated grape or fresh grape must be added. Furthermore, there are defined maximum quantities for certain substances for certain spirits acetaldehyde and acetic acid (Total acidity) of any ethyl alcohol used, as well methanol (different for each category). See also the problematic in this context ethyl carbamate,
There are different names depending on the basic product used (fruits, cereals, fruit, grapes etc.), alcohol content and manufacturing process. The term spirits is now only used for a wine distillation product. Colloquially, spirits are often also called schnapps referred to, but this name has no legal meaning. At a fire becomes a Mash fermented and distilled the resulting product. In the case of a spirit (lat. Spiritus = spirit), added alcohol first releases the aromas from the fruit or raw material before the distillation takes place.
For example, spirits categories Aquavit Bitter spirits, Genever ( grain wine ) gin. liqueur, Maraschino, fruit fire. rum. brandy. whiskey and vodka, There are names reserved for certain countries. These are for example grappa (Italy) and Zivania (Cyprus) for the pomace brandy. The usual names for this brandy Marc (France), and rape respectively grains (Germany, Austria) are not protected. Other protected names are Korn (Germany or in countries with German as the official language), ouzo and Tsipouro (Greece). There is also within the EU origin protected Products like Armagnac and cognac from France, Lourinhã from Portugal, Metaxa from Greece as well pacharán from Spain. Well-known spirits from overseas are Pisco from Peru, singani from Bolivia and tequila from Mexico.
As with wine, there are also different types of spirits for the individual types spirits glasses, Complete lists of the numerous vinification measures or cellar techniques, as well as the various types of wine, sparkling wine and distillate regulated by wine law are under the keyword winemaking contain. There is extensive wine law information under the keyword wine law,