One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: †a drink of low alcoholic content (obsolete). Since the 17th cent.: a distillate of modest alcoholic content, from fermented grain, fruit, or other source of sugar; specifically the first liquid that is collected in the course of a distillation or series of distillations, which is typically further distilled into whisky or similar strong liquor (frequently in plural).
Early 16th century; earliest use found in Treasure of Pore Men. From low + wine.
low wine/ˌləʊ ˈwʌɪn/
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