How to Distill Liquor


Brandys are 80 to 90 proof liquors that are produced by distilling grape or other fruit wines. Distilling alcohol is really nothing more than the process of evaporation. The difference is that when you distill, you capture the vaporizing alcohol. This captive is liquor. For the cost of your favorite bottle of grape or fruit wine, you can easily distill liquor using ordinary household utensils.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-quart glass heatproof bowl
  • Lobster pot
  • Large glass heatproof bowl to cover lobster pot
  • Glass bottle or jar with lid
  • Grape or fruit wine
  • Lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Center the quart bowl in the lobster pot and put the pot on the stove. Empty the bottle of wine into the pot around the outside of the bowl. Fill the large bowl with ice and set it on top of the pot. Make sure that the big bowl completely covers the opening of the pot.

  • Set the stove's heat to low. When the wine reaches 172 degrees F, it will begin to boil and emit vapors. These alcohol vapors are lighter than air and will rise to the top of the pot. The bowl of ice will turn the vapors into liquid by cooling them, and will prevent the liquor from escaping from the pot. The liquor collecting on the bottom the bowl of ice will drip into the quart bowl sitting in the bottom of the pot.

  • Turn the heat down and cook the wine without boiling it on low for about one hour, at which time its alcohol content should be completely rendered into liquor.

  • Take the bowl of ice off of the pot and empty it. Set the bowl of liquor on a rack to cool to room temperature. Cover it right away so that the hot liquor doesn't vaporize and get away.

  • Stir ¼ tsp. of lemon juice into the bowl of liquor. Pour it into a glass bottle or jar and cap it tightly. Store it in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using a large clear bowl to cover the lobster pot permits you to monitor how your liquor distillation is coming along.

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