It's hard to tell what goes in college party drinks most of the time, especially when it's just sitting in a huge container. Too often, grain alcohol is used to make crowd drinks like jungle juice, even though grain alcohol is very strong (like 95 percent alcohol content strong) and should be used carefully. So what is grain alcohol, you may ask? Here's everything you need to know. 

What is grain alcohol?

Grain alcohol, also known as ethanol, is a twice distilled, neutral spirit derived from fermenting grain. Basically? Pure alcohol that has been made from fermented grains.

All alcohol comes from the fermentation and distillation of a type of grain, which includes wheat, corn, rice, and rye. Each grain produces a different type of alcohol, and "grain alcohol" is the product of corn, yeast, sugar, and water

With a 95 percent alcohol content, grain alcohol is extremely potent. Consumption of grain alcohol can cause unconsciousness and alcohol poisoning. 

How is grain alcohol made?

As I mentioned in the beginning, grain alcohol is made from a fermented mixture of corn, yeast, sugar, and water. The extensive step-by-step process is explained in this article. The resulting alcohol is 100 to 200 proof (200 proof is pure alcohol).

Grain alcohol is a clear liquid, with no color, no smell, and no taste. It has a very harsh, burning aftertaste, that makes most people cough.

Popular Examples

1. Everclear

The Luxco company manufactures Everclear. Due to its high alcohol content, Everclear 190 is illegal in some states.

2. Golden Grain

Golden Grain, also manufactured by Luxco, is a 190-proof alcohol. 

3. Clear Spring

Clear Spring is another 190-proof grain alcohol. 

Final thoughts

Now if someone asks, what is grain alcohol? You have the answer. Even though I personally wouldn't recommend using grain alcohol in your drinks, if you must, there are "safe" cocktail recommendations you could follow (definitely don't drink it straight). Grain alcohol is known for its unpredictable effects and hangovers, too. There's a reason it's illegal in some states. Be careful!