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The act of diluting a spirit, normally done with soft, filtered water. This reduces the proof of the spirit to drinking strength. The most common proof for drinking is 80°, or 40% ABV.

Alcohol is hydroscopic and can absorb ~3% water by volume, meaning that, for example, mixing 1 liter of 95% neutral spirits with 1 liter of water will not result in 2 liters of fluid by volume. This will result in calculated proofs being off by a small amount. The volume contraction that happens at different ABV when mixing pure alcohol with pure water can be seen in this graph:

Relative volume by abv.png

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