Why are distilled grains and fruits called Spirits?
There's an answer: The term "spirit" in reference to alcohol stems from Middle Eastern alchemy. These alchemists were more concerned with medical elixirs than with transmuting lead into gold. The vapor given off and collected during an alchemical process (as with distillation of alcohol) was called a spirit of the original material.
I like to think they also make us feel a little closer to godly, or at least mystical.
This map describes several categories of spirits to give any aspiring bartender the basics.
8" x 8" Letterpress Print