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.
Stoughton's Bitters. - Water, six gallons; whiskey, two gallons; gentian-root, three pounds; Virginia snakeroot, one pound; orange peel, two pounds; calamus-root, eight ounces; Guinea pepper, twelve ounces. Infuse the whole of the ingredients in the two gallons of whiskey for eight days. All solid substances, viz. roots, plants, etc, etc, should be well bruised or mashed before adding to the spirit. Color the above bitters with eight ounces of bruised alka-net-root.
After the mass has digested for eight days, strain through a filtering or muslin bag.
Boker's Bitters. - Whiskey, one gallon; water, six gallons; rasped quassia, three ounces; powdered catechu, three ounces; calamus, three ounces; car damom, two ounces. Macerate the above in the whiskey for one week, and strain. Forty ounces of tincture of cochineal, and five ounces of burnt sugar for coloring.
Berlin Bitters. - Whiskey, one gallon; water, seven gallons; Guinea pepper, twelve ounces; catechu, two ounces; gentian, two pounds; calamus, eight ounces. Digest for six days, and strain. Color with three ounces of burnt sugar, and four ounces of tincture of cochineal.
Goulefs Bitters. - Whiskey, one gallon; water, six gallons; Guinea pepper, one pound; orange peel, two pounds; rasped quassia, eight ounces; gentian, one pound; calamus, eight ounces. Digest the solids in the whiskey for eight or ten days, and then strain. Color with tincture of sanders wood, five ounces; and burnt sugar coloring, four ounces.
Chandler's Aromatic Bitters. - Whiskey, two gallons; water, six gallons; take of bruised ginger one pound; calamus, eight ounces; cloves, six ounces; cinnamon, five ounces; nutmegs, six ounces; grains of paradise, twelve ounces; cardamom, six ounces; then dissolve in one pint of alcohol the following: oil of cloves, twenty drops; oil of cinnamon, twenty drops; oil of nutmegs, one drachm; oil of bergamot, one drachm; oil of orange, one drachm then add to infuse with the mass half an ounce of cochineal, digest the whole for one week, and then strain. The essential oils should not be added until the liquid is strained.
Brandy Bitters. - Spirit, one gallon; bruised gentian, eight ounces; orange peel, five ounces; cardamom, three ounces; cassia, one ounce; cochineal, a quarter of an ounce; digest for one week, and strain; and then digest the dregs with four pints of water for four days, and then mix the two tinctures together.
Howard's Spiced Bitters. - Whiskey, one gallon; nutmegs, three ounces; cloves, five ounces; calamus, two ounces; bruise and digest for six days, and strain; then add sulphuric acid, half an ounce; and oil of cloves, thirty drops; oil of lemon, one drachm; the oils to be dissolved in two ounces of alcohol. Color with four ounces of burnt sugar, and one ounce of tincture of cochineal.
Stomach Bitters.-Proof whiskey, five pints; senna, five ounces; guaiacum, red sanders, dried elecampane root, seed of aniseed, coriander, and caraway, and root of liquorice, of each two ounces and a half; raisins, eight ounces ; digest in the spirit for eight days, and strain off the liquid for use; half a wine-glassful taken one hour before each meal. These bitters correct a tendency to constipation, and improve the digestion, and increase the appetite.
The preceding formulas will serve to furnish the practical information necessary for the manufacture of the various popular bitters of the day for commerce. To render this class of liquids profitable to the manufacturer, the ingredients made use of should be few and simple, and of an insignificant value.
The value of the spirit used is often of the most important consideration in the manufacture of bitters on a large scale. The object of the spirit is to extract the bitter principles from the ingredients, and to prevent fermentation and putrefaction, which must necessarily ensue, from the watery infusion of the plants made use of.
The fermentation can be prevented by using the alkalized water, which is formed by the addition of two ounces of carbonate of soda to each gallon of water, or one and a half ounces of sulphuric acid to every ten gallons; and in some instances from six to twelve per cent, of spirit is added with the above quantity of sulphuric acid. When an excessive quantity of water is used in the formation of bitters, ground mustard is largely used, owing to its anti-fermenting qualities; three ounces per gallon is the quantity usually made use of.
The manner in which these fluids are put up con trols their commercial success. Neat bottles, labels of artistic patterns, and a perfectly transparent liquid, are the requisites for success; and of these, the two first can be obtained by the skill and ingenuity of the glass-ware manufacturer and lithographer, and the latter by filtration through sand. For this, see Directions for Making an Economical Sand Filter.
The directions for filtering are simple. Pour the fluid into the filter, and if it does not pass off clear, increase the depth of the sand several inches, and continue the filtration.