This section is from the book "The Manufacture Of Liquors, Wines, And Cordials, Without The Aid Of Distillation", by Pierre Lacour. Also available from Amazon: Manufacture of Liquors, Wines, and Cordials, Without the Aid of Distillation.
The essence is made by dissolving the oil in alcohol, in the proportions of half an ounce of the oil to four ounces of alcohol. Sassafras is used in the syrups and cordials, and for beer made from saccharine fermentation. The essence, when used as above, the quantity is generally added to suit taste - the odor of sassafras is too well known to attempt its use in liquors.
Is used for flavoring malt whiskey, or well cleaned corn whiskey, in imitation of Irish or Scotch whiskeys; from sixty to eighty drops to one hundred gallons. Some contend that the addition of from thirty to fifty drops of cedar oil, first dissolving it in alcohol, perfects the imitation; the number that use cedar oil are in the minority, as the most extensive dealers and importers use creasote alone. It is not an unusual occurrence to find a large portion of this whiskey made from common corn whiskey, with the grain oil concealed by the powerful odor of the creasote. Persons not familiar with the odor of fusel oil or corn oil can detect it by the use of nitrate of silver. For particulars on this subject, see the chapter on tests for the purity of French brandy.
The spirit intended for an imitation of this whiskey should be well cleaned or freed of grain oil by filtration, and barrelled in the barrels that formerly contained the genuine. Irish and Scotch whiskey contain from forty-eight to fifty-five per cent, of alcohol.
This is used singly, or combined with oil of juni per. for the different brands of gin, and the common gin contains this alone. Strasburg turpentine is the best. From one drachm to half an ounce to one hundred gallons. The excessive quantity is added to destroy any traces of grain oil that may exist, for the base of the American gin is rectified whiskey. Spirit intended for gin should be free of essential oil, and should show but little traces of this oil by the nitrate of silver test.
This oil, when freshly distilled, is nearly colorless, but as usually found has a brownish or reddish yellow color. It is of a sweetish, pungent taste, and of a very agreeable odor.
It may be distinguished from other oils from its great weight - it is the heaviest of the known essential oils.
Its unusual weight affords a convenient test of its purity.
This oil is used for flavoring clean spirit in imitation of "Old Bourbon, "Monongahela," "Rye," "Old Roanoke," and "Tuscaloosa" Whiskeys. For Burbon the spirit is cleaned, allowing no smell of grain oil. and from ten to fifteen drops of oil of win tergreen are added to forty gallons.
For giving liquors a body, bead, and age, look under the proper heads, as those chapters are intended to point to the most useful flavoring materials.
Rye whiskey consists of clean spirit, containing about the same portion wintergreen oil, dissolved in four ounces of acetic ether. "Old Roanoke" same as the last. Some dealers add a few drops of crea-sote, say from fifteen to twenty drops to every forty gallons. "Monongahela," when prepared for bottling, contains to ten gallons of spirit, five drops of the oil of wintergreen dissolved in acetic ether, six ounces.
Every manufacturer varies the proportions of both the oil and the ether. These variations are matters of fancy; the object sought is merely a pleasant and agreeable aroma, which if added in excess will attract observation. When an excess does exist, it is for the purpose of covering the smell of the grain oil.