Creasote

A peculiar substance, obtained from tar or from crude pyroligneous acid by distillation. Creasote when pure, is a colorless liquid, of the consistency of oil of almonds, slightly greasy to the touch, and having a caustic, burning taste, and a penetrating, disagreeable odor, like that of smoked meat.

Creasote is sometimes adulterated with the fixed and volatile oils. These substances are detected by strong acetic acid, which dissolves the creasote, and leaves them behind, floating above the creasote solution. Creasote is used in flavoring plain spirit, in imitation of Irish and Scotch whiskey, and also for some of the American brands.

Cubebs

The odor of this berry is agreeably aromatic. The taste warm, bitterish, and camphorous, leaving in the mouth a peculiar sensation of coolness, like that produced by the oil of peppermint. The powder is of a dark color and of an oily aspect; powdered cubebs become impaired by age, in consequence of the escape of their volatile oil. The powder is sometimes adulterated with pimento. Powdered cubebs form an ingredient in the French medicated gin bitters, and also the gin bitters. An infusion is prepared from powdered cubebs and proof gin. See chapter on Bitters. Cubebs are gentle, stimulant, excite the digestive organs, with special direction to the urinary organs.

Slippery Elm Bark

The inner bark is the part made use of, and is found in commerce in long, nearly flat pieces, from one to two lines in thickness, of a fibrous texture, a tawny color, which is reddish on the inner surface, a peculiar sweetish, not unpleasant odor, and a highly mucilaginous taste when chewed. It abounds in mucilaginous matter, which it readily imparts to water. This mucilage is precipitated by the solutions of lead, but not by alcohol.

Much of the bark recently brought into the market is of an inferior quality, imparting comparatively little mucilage to water. It has the characteristic odor of the genuine bark, but is much less fibrous and more brittle, breaking abruptly when bent, instead of being capable, like the better kind, of being folded lengthwise without breaking.

The mucilage of Slippery Elm Bark is used by some for giving the appearance of age to liquors, and also an oily mucilaginous quality, in the proportion of three or four ounces to eight gallons; and if added in excess, the mucilage will be observed floating through the liquid in the form of small flaky particles, which will have to be removed by straining. Considering that this mucilage is tasteless and has but little body or substance, its effects should not be relied upon in the manufacture of liquors, when honey, sugar, etc. can be obtained.

Ginger

Is too well known to need a description. Those pieces of ginger which are very fibrous, light, and friable, or worm-eaten, should be rejected. Ginger is used in the manufacture of cordials and syrups.

Hops

Consist of numerous thin-veined, leaf-like scales which are of a pale greenish yellow color, and contain near the base, two small, round black seeds.

Though brittle when quite dry, they are pulverised with great difficulty; their odor is strong, peculiar, and fragrant; their taste very bitter, aromatic, and slightly astringent. These qualities are imparted to water. Hops are extensively used, by some manufacturers, in the place of catechu, or for furnishing the bitter principle of fine brandies, rum, etc.