What happened next – Smith’s purification method

With help from Bodil Hasselgren

Smith promoted his heat treatment system at home and abroad, but he never gained complete control of the market. At the time, the heat treatment was the only scientifically proven method to remove harmful substances. Despite this, merchants and producers continued to buy and prepare rectified spirits for consumption in other ways. Also, other methods appeared that came very close to a completely pure spirit, such as cold treatment through a carbon filter.

During the 20th century, the competition between Sweden’s major alcohol distilleries increased. In 1910, they were merged into Reymersholms Gamla Spritförädlings AB. Through the merge, the company could offer three times the capacity. Reymersholms was active until 1917, when it was reinvented as AB Vin- & Spritcentralen – the state-owned company that governed all Swedish spirit manufacturers and importers. The monopoly was abolished only in 1994, when Sweden joined the EU.