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 great secret of success in the manufacture of liquors consists in imparting to the imitation the precise aroma of the genuine, and thus obtain an article of spirit as near reality as possible, at a far less cost.
Brandy, for example, contains alcohol, oil of wine, etc, etc. Analysis has rendered the components of this fluid familiar, and has furnished the exact proportions, with their properties, and hence the various imitations of brandy, and some of them containing all of the essentials of, and scarcely distinguishable from the genuine. The list of aromatics, perfumes, etc, presented in the following, comprises the whole that are in use.
The operator should avoid, as far as is practicable, the excessive use, either singly or combined, of any aroma, or perfume, that would indicate its own presence; that this would be an injurious result, must be obvious. In imitating the aroma of brandy, the ethers will be found to be the most valuable. The aroma of cordials have been greatly neglected by manufacturers. Why this should be the case is certainly astonishing, since this addition could be made at an insignificant cost.
The consumer of these articles will find it more economical to manufacture them, as the same articles, when found in commerce, contain adulterations to a greater or less extent, and the chemical preparations particularly, which are made by the manufacturing chemists to suit the low price paid for them, are largely adulterated. The articles in question will be arranged rather with a view to their importance and availability, than to an alphabetical arrangement.
Owing to their extreme volatility, they should be excluded from the air. Ether, when good, evaporates from the hand without leaving a disagreeable odor. The inflammability of ether should prevent its use in the vicinity of flame - when too long kept they undergo decomposition. They combine in all proportions with alcohol; their usual impurities are, water, acids, alcohol, and heavy oil of wine. As these impurities do not injure the ethers for manufacturing purposes to offer any tests would be deemed unnecessary. The process of their formation will be necessary to fully comprehend their adaptation.
Is generated by the distillation of sulphuric acid, or oil of vitriol, with alcohol; it is a colorless, very limpid liquid, of a strong and sweet odor, and hot and pungent taste. It is used in imitating brandy, and also rum; the proportions are from four to nine ounces to forty gallons of clean spirit; though it is used more extensively in combination with spirit of orris root, orange, lemon, and rum; thus, for instance, five parts of the ether to one of orris root, or two parts of orange, and eight of rum. These proportions are for brandy, but sulphuric ether is inferior to acetic or butyric ether, for any of the purposes of the manufacturer of liquors. By some, it stands very high in imitating rum. From neutral spirit, acetic ether, three parts; sulphuric ether, six parts; rum, eleven parts.