Distillation - the oldest method of producing chemically pure substances - is the most ancient of the techniques used in applied chemistry. The word "distillation" is used to describe the physical separation of a mixture containing at least two or more compounds.
The production of "distilled spirits" is based on fermentation, the natural process of decomposition of organic materials containing carbohydrates.
The Seagram Collection contains some of the earliest and important works on the process of distillation and of special interest in these works are the detailed drawings and diagrams of the apparatus used in the purification process.
Also included in the collection are works detailing the production of a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. Some of those are shown here.