Alcohol Awareness
What is Alcohol?

It is a chemical compound whose formula is C2H5OH. Most of the family of alcohols are completely poisonous to the human body.The type of alcohol we drink, ethyl alcohol, is tolerable only in small amounts.

How is it made?
Alcohol is made from fruit, vegetables or grains that are fermented with sugar, water and yeast. Over time, this mixture produces carbon dioxide (the bubbles) and alcohol. Yeast can only grow in the presence of up to 14% alcohol - then the alcohol starts to kill off the yeast. This means that any drink with a higher percent of alcohol has had extra alcohol added, usually through distillation. Pure ethyl alcohol is a clear, colourless liquid.

What are Canadians drinking?
Most Canadians drink beer, which has an alcohol content of around 5% (light beers have less). We also drink spirits like rye, vodka and rum (40% alcohol) and less so, wine (12% alcohol) or fortified wines like port or sherry (18%).

Last Updated: January 11,2005

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