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Let there be light—and alcohol

Whether rum, vodka, or gin, traditional booze brewing depends on heat to evaporate alcohol from water. But now, Scientific American reports that researchers at Rice University in Houston, Texas, have shed new light on the matter—literally—with a process called “optical distillery.”  The new method, though likely not a replacement for heat-based distillation, is more efficient and reaches alcohol concentrations of 99%, pretty potent compared with 95%, where most alcohols top out.

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