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Alcohol is an colorless organic flammable liquid that is intoxicating if ingested. It is the same intoxicating agent in “alcoholic” drinks such as beer, spirits, wine and others. There are several types of alcohol but in culinary arts we usually exclusively refer to the type named ethanol.

To make ethanol one usually needs to ferment a sugar solution by the action of yeast on it which produces carbon dioxide and the alcohol.