This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
Extract of ginger ale is composed of extract or soluble essence of ginger, to which various additions have been made to enhance and enrich its aroma. The principal additions are lemon essence, essence of ginger oil, rose-essence, oenanthic ether, extract of raisins, and tincture of capsicum in various proportions. Even extract of vanilla, extract of liquorice (about half an ounce to the gallon), essences or tinctures of cassia or cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, pineapple (artificial), capillaire syrup or its ingredients, enter into the combination of a ginger-ale extract, and we know preparations into which very small quantities of tincture of ambergris and tincture of musk are admitted to fix and ensure a greater stability of aroma, for which these latter two admixtures are well noted; they are perfectly harmless, but the latter should be used with care on account of it intense aroma. (About proportions see under the next heading.)
If the ginger extract is employed, all the admixtures desired may be practically added to it in concentrated solutions, and made water soluble all together; if, however, the soluble essence of ginger be employed, all the admixture, essences or tinctures, must be in water-soluble condition also. The value of those admixtures has been recognized in many formulae, but they are a matter of taste entirely, and calculated to improve the "bouquet," and that is about all that can recommend their use. We cannot append definite formulae. If the carbonator applies and combines the various flavors with judgment, he will meet the taste of his most fastidious customers. The taste of the Southerner is different from that of the Northerner. What predominating taste is preferred here, is disliked somewhere else. The Englishman differs in his requirements from the American. One likes a mild, harmoniously flavored beverage, another wants a "hot" throat-tickling draught. Therefore no all-round formulae can be given. For example only we append two formulae, which should be varied in proportion and constituents to suit the taste.
Jamaica ginger, powdered, sixteen ounces; lemon or orange peel, fresh, sliced and cut, eight ounces; capsicum, powdered, one-half ounce. Mix and extract with strong alcohol of 95 per cent, sufficient to obtain twenty ounces of extract, or any desired quantity, as directed for ginger extract. To the extract obtained add two drachms of essence of oenanthic ether and one-half fluid drachm of* essence of rose. Keep in stock, and prepare the soluble extract of it when required.
Extract of ginger, one pint; essence of lemon or orange, cone, one ounce; essence of ginger oil, cone, one ounce; essence of rose, cone, one-half ounce; oenanthic ether essence, two drachms; tincture capsicum, one drachm. Mix and prepare the soluble essence of ginger ale as directed for preparing the soluble essence of ginger.
Soluble essence of ginger, one pint; essence of lemon, soluble, one, ounce; essence of ginger oil, soluble, one ounce; extract vanilla, soluble, one ounce; soluble essence of rose oil, one-half ounce; tincture of cinnamon, soluble, one drachm; essence of pineapple, (artificial), half a drachm; soluble essence of capsicum, two drachms; mix and keep ready for use. The manufacturers usually add some sugar coloring to their preparations, which addition is superfluous for the home-made preparation. The sugar-color is better added when compounding the syrup. Whether the extract or soluble essence of ginger is thus used in preparing these ginger-ale flavors, we advise and urge the carbonator to make the combination in advance, as ginger-ale extracts, etc., improve by age, and for this purpose Formulas I. and II. are preferable, while Formula III. is for immediate use.
From the remarks that we append to the preparation of distilled or rectified ginger-ale extract, the conclusion will follow, that we favor these kinds of ginger-ale flavors, viz.: the non-distilled or non-rectified, better than we do the other, for the simple reason that the ginger-ale flavors prepared as directed under this heading, without the aid of distillation, represent closer the drug which they are intended to do, and hold more ginger principle in solution,than the next preparations.
When we make our ginger-ale extract or soluble essence considerably in advance, keep it tightly stoppered in a moderate temperature; we can preserve it indefinitely. The longer we have preserved it the more harmonious will the various flavors appear, the more thoroughly they will unite and combine, and we should advise to prepare all ginger-ale extracts a year in advance, which is beneficial rather than otherwise. There will be gradually a turbidity, more or less, observed, which is no sign of decomposition, simply a part of the ginger resin separating from the solution, when cold more than when warm.
When the stored extract is intended to be used, then prepare the soluble essence as directed; it will become bright and yield clear drinks, but if a soluble essence of ginger ale has been prepared and stored, and is intended to be used to clarify if necessary, by shaking it with an ounce or two of powdered pumice stone, filter, and it will yield a bright and clear beverage.