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.
"Capsicum is an irritant and a local stimulant. Applied to the skin it causes redness, and if continuously applied may ultimately produce vesication. In proper quantities it excites a grateful warmth in the throat and stomach, and quickens the appetite and digestion. It tends to prevent the flatulence occasioned by vegetable food, and for this purpose is largely used as a condiment in hot climates. In large doses it causes a general glow, with thirst, but does not raise the temperature or accelerate the pulse. If too lavishly used, it sometimes brings on torpor of the digestive functions, but often, it seems not to be injurious".- N. D. In the manufacture of carbonated beverages the extract or tincture of capsicum is solely employed for adulterating ginger extracts, and we refer.in this respect to what we have said on that subject.
The fluid extract of capsicum is prepared as-follows: Take one pound of powdered capsicum, moisten it with a few ounces of alcohol, and pack hrmly into the percolator; then add enough alcohol to saturate the powder and leave a stratum above it. When the liquid begins to drop from the percolator close the lower orifice, and having closely covered the percolator, macerate for forty-eight hours. Then allow the percolation to proceed, gradually adding alcohol, until the capsicum is exhausted and 16 fluid ounces of extract are obtained. Re-percolate (see page 484 and followiug). The fluid extract is of a rich brown-red color, yields a turbid mixture with water and has the hot taste of the drug.
Take of capsicum, powdered, four ounces; alcohol, one pint; macerate for twenty-four hours in well-stoppered bottle; then transfer to a filter or decant to a liquid and pack the moistened capsicum into a percolator, and gradually pour the liquid upon it and add more alcohol until one pint of tincture is obtained. The tincture has a light reddish-orange color and the fiery taste of capsicum, and is probably the most convenient preparation for the carbonator's use.
The extract or tincture of capsicum is prepared water soluble as we have directed. Some formulae, in order to avoid this separate treatment, recommend to prepare the tincture of capsicum with diluted alcohol; however, experience has proved that when prepared with strong alcohol and made water soluble, an essence better miscible with water is obtained. As the capsicum preparations only enter the ginger-compounds, they are best mixed with the extract or tinctures of ginger, and treated with them to become a soluble essence as directed for soluble ginger essence; or, if desired, they may be treated separately just like the ginger flavors, or even some powdered capsicum may be extracted along with the ginger root.