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.
When ethers are used, the barrels should be closely bunged, as the ether will soon escape by evaporation if exposed.
The perfume of the essential oils are more lasting than those of the ethers. The objection to the essential oils is, that their odors are too common, and will detect themselves. These remarks apply more particularly to the oils of cinnamon, cloves, aniseed, and peppermint.
The perfumes best suited to this purpose, are acetic and nitric ether, oil of wintergreen, oil of lemon, essence of ambergris, oil of mace and creasote. The ethers are usually found in two to five pound pack ages, and the manufacturers prices vary from fifteen cents to thirty cents a pound, but when found at the druggists, they are usually sold for an advance of one hundred per cent.; this is partly owing to the cupidity of dealers, and the expenses incident to the transportation of the article.
Ethers are sometimes largely adulterated with various articles. When pure, ether evaporates from the hand without leaving any disagreeable odor, and evaporates from paper without leaving any stain of grease, color, etc, etc.
The consumer should, to prevent imposition, become familiar with the nature and composition of ethers. See Ethers.
The essential oils are usually dissolved in alcohol or rubbed up well with dry sugar, and added, to prevent detection of the oils by their odors; they should never be added singly or uncombined, owing to the similarity existing between the odor of pure brandy and acetic ether. The detection of the latter would be difficult, and the same remarks will apply to nitric ether and gin; and thus it will be seen, that neither nitric nor acetic ethers require combinations of other perfumes to prevent detection. In the absence of acetic, nitric ether can be substituted by the addition of any sweet-scented aromatic.
To give these liquors the appearance of age and a body, add to every forty gallons, from half to two thirds of a pint of the decoction of slippery elm bark, which is made by boiling one pound of the bark with one and a half gallons of water for two hours. By the addition of an excessive quantity of this mucilage of elm bark, it will be observed floating throughout the mass of spirit, in the form of small flakes. The removal of these flakes is effected by passing the liquor through a straining bag.
The articles used for giving strength to these liquors, are grains of paradise, pellitory, sweet spirits nitre, and a strong decoction of samqua tea.
The nitre is the most dangerous to animal life, and should not be used. The other three enumerated articles are extremely healthy, and not in the slightest degree are they injurious.
These liquors will be greatly improved if the same quantity of refined sugar or honey is added to them, that is prescribed in the Formulas for the finer liquors.