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While reading this article I stumbled on the following paragraph:

There is no easy way to say this, but gin was like the meth of 1700s England. For real. While its production didn’t involve exploding RVs in cornfields or mass Sudafed heists, gin wreaked significant havoc on society, with just about every Londoner either making the spirit or consuming vast quantities of it. Its critics blamed it for a range of societal maladies, including crime, lawlessness and, of course, blind intoxication.

What does making the spirit means? Is this a common expression?

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Spirits is a category of alcoholic drinks of which gin is one.
These are also referred to as hard liquors.

making the spirit

means making gin, the spirit referred to is gin.

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  • I thought that "making the spirit" was an expression. Now that you clarified, I could search a little further on my own: "The term spirit refers to a distilled beverage that contains no added sugar and has at least 20% alcohol by volume". – talles Feb 11 '16 at 17:00
  • Does using "spirit" in this way more common in a specific region or country (as only heard in England for instance)? It's okay to use it colloquially (spoken language)? – talles Feb 11 '16 at 17:02
  • Can use it any way you would like and anywhere, people will understand. If you just say "spirits", you will be asked "Which one?": gin, vodka, whiskey (only people outside of Scotland call it "Scotch"), bourbon, a host of flavoured liquors, basically anything not beer or wine and usually clear and has a higher alcohol content – Peter Feb 11 '16 at 17:07
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The meaning of "spirit" here is "alcoholic drink"."Making " means "producing." "Spirit" stands for "gin" mentioned above.

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