The scientific name for spirits is ethanol.
Spirits are unsweetened, distilled, alcoholic beverages with an ethanol concentration of at least 20% by volume.
Many distilled beverages, such as whiskey and vodka, have an ethanol concentration of about 40%. Some have even higher concentrations.
Do not confuse the term "spirits" with "methylated spirits". The term has two different meanings.
- Methylated spirits or denatured alcohol is ethanol has methanol and other substances added to it. This makes it poisonous, bad tasting, foul smelling, or nauseating. The methanol can cause blindness, liver disease, and death.
- Methylated spirits is a mixture of 95 % methanol and 5 % ethanol. It is used as fuel and as a solvent in nontechnical or non-scientific applications