Saturday, May 23, 2009

Today's awesome amazing fact

I've often wondered why 100 proof was 50% alcohol. The Bourbon FAQ explains why:
Before the hydrometer became a common instrument of the distiller there existed a method of proofing known as "gunpowder proof". It was a simple procedure and took advantage of readily available "tools". Bourbon and gunpowder were mixed in equal proportions in a small fireproof vessel and ignited. If the flame burned yellow the liquor was too strong, if it burned blue the proof was true. A yellow proofed liquor was mellowed with spring water until it burned blue. The proof of a blue flame spirit was about 100, or 50 per cent.

I have to think there is probably nothing more awesome than taking gunpowder and spirit, mixing it together, and setting it on fire...