Spirits or essences are alcoholic or hydroalcoholic solutions
of volatile substances (usually volatile oils) with alcohol contents ranging
from 62-85% (124-170 proof). They are most frequently used as flavoring
agents, e.g. Peppermint Spirit USP. Some spirits are used for their medicinal
effect, but most spirits are a convenient means of obtaining a proper amount
of a flavoring oil. All essences have a high alcohol content, and the addition
of water invariably causes turbidity and separation.
Whisky and Brandy are prepared by distillation. Compound Orange Spirit,
Camphor Spirit, and Compound Cardamon Spirit are prepared by simple solution.