Aqua vitae

Aqua vitae

Aqua vitae (Latin, “water of life”) is an archaic name for a concentrated aqueous solution of ethanol. The term originated in the Middle Ages and was originally used as a generic name for all types of distillates. It eventually came to refer specifically to distillates of alcoholic beverages. [Scully, Terence (1995) "The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages", pg. 159, ISBN 0-85115-611-8]

Aqua vitae was typically prepared by distilling wine; it was sometimes called “spirits of wine” in English texts. “Spirits of wine” was a name for brandy that had been repeatedly distilled.

A local translation of "aqua vitae" was often applied to an important local distilled spirit. Thus, we have whisky in Scotland (from Gaelic, "uisge-beatha") , whiskey in Ireland (from Irish, "uisce beatha") , "eau de vie" in France, and akvavit in Scandinavia.

When the term is used in England, it usually refers to French brandy.

Aqua vitae was also known in Slavic lands; it appears in Ukrainian "оковита" (okovita), Belarusian "акавіта" (akavita), and "яковита" (yakovita) is southern Russian dialects.

ee also

*Aqua fortis
*Aqua regia



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  • Aqua vitae — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El aqua vitae (en latín literalmente ‘agua de vida’), es un nombre arcaico para una solución acuosa concentrada de etanol. No debe ser confundida con el aquavit. El aqua vitae se preparaba típicamente destilando vino …   Wikipedia Español

  • aqua vitae — [vīt′ē] n. [ML, spirit distilled from wine and herbs, alcohol, lit., water of life (> ME aqua vite, brandy, Dan akvavit, Ger aquavit) < L aqua, water + gen. of vita, life: see VITAL & WHISKEY] 1. Alchemy alcohol 2. brandy or other strong… …   English World dictionary

  • aqua vitae — лат. (аква витэ) «живая вода», т. е. водка. Толковый словарь иностранных слов Л. П. Крысина. М: Русский язык, 1998 …   Словарь иностранных слов русского языка

  • aqua vitae — (n.) early 15c., Latin, lit. water of life, an alchemical term for unrefined alcohol. Applied to brandy, whiskey, etc. from 1540s. Cf. WHISKEY (Cf. whiskey), also Fr. eau de vie spirits, brandy, lit. water of life …   Etymology dictionary

  • Aqua vitae — Aqua A qua, n. [L. See {Ewer}.] Water; a word much used in pharmacy and the old chemistry, in various signification, determined by the word or words annexed. [1913 Webster] {Aqua ammoni[ae]}, the aqueous solution of ammonia; liquid ammonia; often …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • aqua vitae — aqua vi·tae .ak wə vīt ē, .äk n a strong alcoholic liquor …   Medical dictionary

  • aqua vitae — /vuy tee, vee tee/ 1. alcohol. 2. spirituous liquor, as brandy or whiskey. [1375 1425; late ME aqua vite < L: water of life; cf. AQUAVIT, WHISKEY] * * * …   Universalium

  • aqua vitae — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin, literally, water of life Date: 15th century a strong alcoholic liquor (as brandy) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • aqua vitae — noun a) An aqueous solution of alcohol typically prepared by distilling wine. b) A concentrated aqueous solution of ethanol …   Wiktionary

  • aqua vitae —  (Lat.) Water of life ; used to describe whiskeys and other alcoholic spirits …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors