This wood is inodorous, and has a pure bitter taste, which is surpassed by that of few other substances in intensity; it imparts its bitterness, with a yellow color, to water or alcohol.

Quassia is sometimes used in the place of catechu to impart a bitterness without astringency to liquors, but is used more extensively in the manufacture of bitters. See Bitters.


Is a climbing plant, growing in the West Indies, Mexico, and South America. The pods are collected before they are quite ripe, dried in the shade, and covered with a coat of drying oil, and then tied in bundles which are surrounded with sheet-lead or inclosed in small metallic boxes and sent to market. Several varieties of vanilla exist in commerce. The most valuable consists of cylindrical, somewhat flattened pods, six or eight inches long, three or four lines thick, nearly, straight, narrowing towards the extremities, but at the base shining and dark brown, externally wrinkled, longitudinally soft and flexible, and containing within their tough shell a soft black pulp, in which numerous minute black glossy seeds are embedded. It has a peculiar, strong, agreeable odor, and a warm, aromatic, sweetish taste; the interior pulpy portion is most aromatic.

Vanilla does not yield volatile oil, but the odor is extracted by clean spirit, in the form of the tincture or essence, which is made by cutting very small two ounces of vanilla, and infusing in neutral spirit for twelve days; this is sometimes distilled, forming the spirit of vanilla. The essence is used in vanilla syrups, for flavoring chocolate, ice cream, cordials, cognac brandy, peach brandy, etc.

Black Mustard Seed

Owing to the adulteration that ground mustard is liable to, the use of the seed will be found, more economical. Black mustard seed contain different properties to those of white mustard, and are best suited to the purposes of the manufacturer. The acrid properties of mustard are not yielded to alcohol, neither does this property pre-exist in the seed, but is dependent upon water for its develop ment; and when the active principle is to be obtained, it should be by infusing in water, or if the spirit is low proof containing an excess of water, the mustard should be added to the spirit.

Horseradish is used for the same purposes and in the same manner as mustard, and their properties are identical.

The above articles are used for giving a pleasant, biting sensation, to cordials and wines.


This is a native of China, and is used in the manufacture of liquors, wines, and cordials, for imparting a roughness to them, which is both agreeable and natural to the taste. A decoction of it is made by boiling. See Formulas.

Liquorice Root

The acrimony perceptible to the taste in this root, renders it unfit for any of the purposes of the manufacturer, other than in the manufacture of sarsaparilla syrup that is used in soda water, which may be given thus: liquorice root, bruised, two ounces; oil of sassafras, oil of anise, 8 drops; oil of wintergreen, 5 drops; 6 lbs. brown sugar; water, 3 quarts. Boil the liquorice two hours, then mix the sugar, water., and liquorice water, and boil as for other syrups, then work the oils in the syrup when cool.