If you boil the water out of murky water, only the murk remains — and if you collect the water, you've got distilled water. The Greeks starting doing that about 2,000 years ago. Arabs in the ninth century refined the process and invented the alembic still, variations on which are used to this day, though mainly to make perfume. A 13th-century Valencian physician and alchemist named Arnaud de Villeneuve is often credited with having figured out that if you distilled wine, boiling off all that pesky water and getting down to the good stuff, it was probably going to be party time. Brandy, whisky, and (much later) Grey Goose L'Orange appeared subsequently.