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Thank These Master Alchemists for the Magic of Alcohol

The history of alcohol goes way back. Booze made with foraged honey predated agriculture, and breweries and wineries have been with us since 4000 B.C. But all these ancient-yet-familiar beverages are fairly low proof. In the sweep of human history, the distillation of hard liquors—from brandy to ouzo to soju—has been a surprisingly recent development: Scholars have pinpointed the invention of advanced distilling technology to the height of the Islamic Golden Age, which started in the 8th century.
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