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.
Fabulous prices in some instances are paid by bottlers for imitation formulae. The ginger extract prepared after such a formula (which is largely advertised) consists of capsicum extract, essence of lemon and oenanthic ether.
We append hereafter a Formula and directions for imitating ginger extracts, but mention first a few substitutes for ginger root.
Grains of paradise (grana paradisi). There appear the seeds of two plants under this name in commerce, which resemble cardamom seeds in size and appearance, but are destitute of the furrow seen on the latter. Both come from Western Africa and are also known as melqueta pepper and Guinea grains. Both varieties are feebly aromatic and have a very pungent and burning taste, and are chiefly used for imparting artificial strength to liquors.
The Zerumbet-root of Java has an agreeable odor and a ginger-like, somewhat bitter, taste. The cassummar-root of India has a camphor-aceous odor and a hot, aromatic taste.