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.
Clean spirit, containing fifty per cent, of alcohol, one hundred gallons; seven gallons of honey dissolved in three gallons of water, having first bruised one and a half ounces of cochineal, and allowed it to macerate in the water for a few days. If the honey is slow in dissolution, assist it by heat; then add first, working it to a thin paste, eight ounces of catechu; then add five gallons of rum (Jamaica is preferable); twelve ounces of acetic ether; then add good, clean, burnt sugar, and bring the color to.suit fancy, or the particular market intended for.
It is a fact, though not generally known outside of the trade, that the "unsophisticated barbarians" prefer all high or strongly colored spirits, under the impression that the coloring indicates its true strength. Thus, coffee-colored brandy to them is the highest proof brandy that is distilled; whereas, a pale light-colored brandy is supposed to have a mean origin or rather it is indebted to a barrel of whiskey for its existence; and, on the other hand, persons of intelligence reject high colored liquors, as the excess of coloring favors the notion that the spirit is an imitation. And thus between the two extremes of ignorance, the operator will be guided by a sense of common discretion. Under the present improved mode of manufacturing spirits, burnt sugar alone is unsuited for brandy. As all good imitations are not of a brown color, rather of a purplish brown, made by the addition of red; for this, use cochineal for the finest, and tincture of sanders wood for the common (see directions for preparing this tincture); for the third, use red beets. The two last are used in domestic brandies.
Clean spirit, one hundred gallons: honey, six gallons, dissolved in two of water; catechu, five ounces; Jamaica rum, seven gallons; acetic ether, five ounces; half a glass of spirit of orange peel (see directions for making these spirituous essences); and four ounces of spirits of orris root. Color this pale by the addition of one and a half pints of sugar coloring, and half a pint of tincture of cochineal. See directions for preparing all of the tinctures for coloring and flavoring that are mentioned in these Formulas in another part of this work.
Clean spirit, one hundred gallons; honey, nine gallons, dissolved in four of water; catechu, four ounces; decoction of strong tea, three gallons (this is made by boiling three gallons of water with three pounds of Samqua tea, for two hours); raisin spirit, five gallons; sulphuric acid, one and a half ounces. Color this any desired shade with cochineal and burnt sugar. Sarzerac, Marett. and Poultney brandies contain about fifty-two to fifty-five per cent, of alcohol; and a spirit containing this per centage of alcohol should be used in their manufacture.
Clean spirit of fifty-five per cent., one hundred gallons; add five gallons of honey, dissolved in two gallons of water; catechu, eight ounces; one grain of ambergris dissolved in an ounce of warm alcohol; two gallons of the infusion of bitter almonds. This infusion is made by digesting two pounds of bruised bitter almonds in two gallons of the spirit for a week. Rum, four gallons; raisin spirit, five gallons, Color to suit fancy.
Clean spirit of fifty-five per cent, of alcohol, one hundred gallons; honey, nine gallons, dissolved in three of water; infusion of bitter almonds, two gallons; two grains of ambergris dissolved in alcohol; sulphuric acid, half an ounce; catechu, nine ounces; rum, five gallons; acetic ether, six ounces; raisin spirit, four gallons. Color same as the last.
Clean spirit of fifty per cent., one hundred gallons; add sugar, forty pounds, dissolved in three gallons of water; three gallons of honey, dissolved in two of water; six ounces of catechu, one-half ounce of sulphuric acid, two gallons of the spirit of prunes (see directions for making this spirit), nine ounces of acetic ether; of the infusion of sweet almonds, two gallons; this is made in the same manner; infusion of bitter almonds. Color with cochineal and burnt sugar.
The rum, acetic ether, raisin spirit, and prune spirit, that are prescribed in the preceding formulas, are added for the vinous flavor that they yield, being a good imitation of the heavy oil of wine, for which pure brandy is indebted for its flavor or aroma. The acid gives a vinous taste, the almonds give a nutty flavor, the sugar or honey gives a fine body and luscious taste, the ambergris, in combination, gives an odor that is much admired by good judges of brandy.
The cheapest modes, however, of making these brandies, and to save a large portion of sugar or honey, is to pass the clean spirit through a bed of starch, etc. See Directions. Liquors containing starch, need but a small portion of sugar.
The operator has an extensive range of aromatics to select from as substitutes for oil of wine. Among the most prominent, may be found butyric ether, which possesses a strong odor of pineapples, prune spirit, raisin spirit, acetic ether, rum, a combination of orange, orris, and ambergris perfumes, nitric and chloric ethers, and an extensive assortment of perfumes.