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.
This spirit is distilled for the use of rectifiers from oil of lemon one-half ounce, nutmegs two ounces, oil of cinnamon one drachm, cleaned alcohol four pints, and mix the oils; then add spirit of ammonia three ounces. The proportions, of course, can be varied, and any aromatic can be used. This spirit is of a fine aromatic taste and. odor, and is well suited for flavoring cordials and domestic brandies.
Properly this would be called a tincture or infusion. Take any convenient quantity of prunes, and add double their quantity by measure of clean spirit, and digest for ten days. Used principally for flavoring domestic brandies, from one pint to three quarts to forty gallons of clear spirit. When an excess is added, the object is to conceal the remaining traces of grain oil in the spirit. The tincture of prunes is greatly benefited by the addition of an equal quantity of Jamaica rum. Prunes do not yield a very strong odor, and care should be used in their selection. As they are usually found, they contain but little flavor, and the only test for them will be their aroma. This tincture is used in conjunction with nitric ether and acetic ether, for brandies. The usual quantities of the tincture of prunes are added to forty gallons of spirit, and from one to five ounces of either one of the last named ethers. The spirit used for digesting the prunes in should be perfectly free of grain oil. The prunes are subjected to this digestion as long as they will yield any perceptible perfume to fresh spirit. It is usual to add to the spirit containing the prunes one ounce of powdered orris root to every gallon, or orange peeling, or nutmegs; and the whole of them combined will make a desirable perfume for common brandy.
This is one of the most convenient and economical flavoring aromatics that the rectifier makes use of. Jamaica contains a larger per centage of alcohol than any other brand, and also a corresponding amount of essential oil; and it is this essential oil that is sought for. The perfume of rum will answer in the absence of butyric ether, or oil of wine. Each gallon of rum is tempered with one ounce of acetic ether. Rum thus charged is used for flavoring plain, clean spirit, in imitation of French brandies, in the proportion of from four to fifteen gallons to one hundred. The lowest extremes are for domestic brandies, and the highest are for fine imitations. This excess- of fifteen to twenty gallons of rum adds a fine vinous taste to the brandy. The rum added to this extent is usually New England rum, which is, from its low price, the most convenient; but the most economical mode of imparting a vinous taste to any kind of spirit is by the use of sulphuric acid, from one to two ounces of the acid to one hundred gallons of spirit. For the general effect of acids on liquors, see chapter on "The Benefit of Acids to Liquors." Rum tempered with one ounce of butyric ether and half an ounce of acetic ether to each gallon, is used in the proportion of one gallon to six of well cleaned spirit in imitating rum.