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Overview

To make the alcohol in the first place, you have to ferment special sugars with yeast that has been developed for this purpose. This part of the process is done in a fermenter in the same way as you would ferment beer or wine.

You are using special sugars & yeasts instead of cane sugar & ordinary yeast because those ordinary products produce alcohol that tastes awful & can often contain unpleasant or even dangerous by-products. The recommended yeast & sugars have been specially developed to produce virtually no unwanted by-products which is why it is important to use them rather than opting for the cheap alternative. In the end, it's safety & quality that really matter. Low quality alcohol that tastes awful & might make you sick is never a suitable alternative.

Having fermented the alcohol (which is called the "wash"), you now have the option to distill it to purify & increase its strength. This process is legal in NZ & some other countries. Although it is legal to buy a small still in Australia & use it for distilling essential oils & water, it is not legal to use it for distilling alcohol.

At this stage, the alcohol you have made either by fermentation alone or by fermentation & distillation may still contain very small amounts of impurities that could reduce the quality & taste a little*. Special "activated carbon" has the ability to absorb these impurities & remove them from the alcohol. You make this happen by running your spirit through a "carbon filter".

*NOTE If you have used low quality sugar & yeast, it will contain a high level of impurities that are very hard to remove even with carbon filtration.

Finally you adjust the strength of your spirit & add the flavour essence of your choice.

Although some people have the impression that a flavouring essence will produce an unsatisfactory copy of the real thing, in practice this is far from the truth. In fact, many commercial manufacturers make their products in the same way by mixing flavour essences & spirit.

The quality of the flavours is extremely important & the Still Spirits flavours are amazingly authentic. Every day, we talk to people who are amazed at how the "Still Spirits" range of flavours deliver spirits & liqueurs that do taste like the real thing. The same cannot always be said of other brands on the market many of whom use cheap essences to keep their costs down.