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 berries, as the fruit is sometimes called, are sometimes collected in this country; but though equal to the European in appearance, they are inferior in strength, and are not much used. The best comes from Europe,, particularly from Trieste and the Italian ports. They are globular, more or less shrivelled, about as large as a pea, covered with a glaucous bloom, beneath which they are of a shining, blackish purple color, and containing a brownish yellow pulp and three angular seeds. The berries impart their substance to water and alcohol - and are used in the preparation of gin.
The small and round nutmegs are preferred to those which are large and oval. They should be rejected when very light, with a feeble taste and smell, worm-eaten, musty, or marked with black veins, or feel light, deficient in weight.
An artificial oil of mace is sometimes substituted for the genuine. It is made by mixing together various fatty matters, such as suet, castor oil, spermaceti, wax, tallow, etc, adding some coloring substance, and flavoring the mass with the volatile oil of nutmeg. The various formulas throughout this work, will show the great utility nutmegs are to the manufacturer.
Orange Peel. - A tincture is prepared from this peel, with clean spirit, that possesses all the substance of the oil. For convenience a small bag, containing the peel, is suspended in those liquors where this odor would be desirable. This peel also enters into the composition of the various formulas for bitters.
When the object in the use of the orange peel is simply to obtain its agreeable flavor, the rind of the sweet orange is preferable, and for a bitter principle that of the Seville orange.
Orange flower water is commonly prepared in France and Italy. It is nearly colorless, though usually of a pale yellowish tint, in consequence of being kept in copper bottles.
Much color, an offensive odor, or mouldiness, would indicate impurity, derived from the flowers in the process of distillation.
An oil is obtained from the flowers by distillation, which is called Nerolia, in France, and enters into the composition of various liquors and cordials.
Orange berries are sometimes used for flavoring cordials. See Formulas.
The rind of the Seville orange is much more bitter than that of the other varieties.
The essential oil is imported into the United States • in tinned or copper cans. If has properties resembling those of the oil of lemons, but spoils more rapidly on exposure to the air, acquiring a turpentinish odor. This oil is employed as a flavoring material in all classes of liquors. See Formulas.
This root is only used for its odor in this business. The root should be bruised or ground, and the spirit used to obtain the odor, should be free from grain oil; from two to four ounces to a quart of spirit. This odor enters into the composition of various perfumes for brandy, acetic ether, and spirit of orris, and for cordials, etc. See Formulas.