Wine Law

Spirit Drinks and Their Categories João Amaral1 1. Spirit Drinks; 2. Other Spirit Drinks. 1. SPIRIT DRINKS Given the importance and complexity of the spirit drinks sector, it is appropriate to establish concepts that also aim to prevent the misuse of the term “spirit drink”. From this beginning, it should be noted that a “distillate of agricultural origin” is legally defined as the alcoholic liquid obtained by distillation, after alcoholic fermentation of one or more agricultural products listed in Annex I of the EU Treaty, which does not present even the characteristics of ethyl alcohol or those of a spirit drink, but which has preserved the aroma and flavour of the raw materials used and whenever reference is made to the raw material used, the distillate must be obtained exclusively from that raw material. In turn, the legal definition of spirit drinks states that “spirit drink” is understood as an alcoholic beverage: a) Intended for human consumption; b) With specific organoleptic characteristics; c) With a minimum alcoholic strength of 15% vol.; d) Obtained: i) Either directly: - by distillation of naturally fermented products, with or without added flavouring, and/or - by maceration or similar processes for transforming plant products into ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin and/or distillates of agricultural origin and/or spirit drinks within the meaning of this Regulation, and/or 1 Legal expert.