Take an ounce of cochineal, and pound it to a fine powder. Put it into an earthen or porcelain vessel, that is quite clean, and entirely free from grease. Add a small salt-spoonful of potash, or soda, and pour in a pint of clear, soft water. Set it over the fire; and, when it has come to a boil, add a quarter of an ounce of cream of tartar, with a quarter of an ounce of powdered alum; and let it boil ten minutes. Then, while it is boiling hot, stir in three ounces of powdered loaf-sugar. Bottle it, when cold, and keep it closely corked. You can then have it always at hand, as a fine red colouring for icings, blanc-mange, creams, jellies, and other sweetmeats.
An ounce of real Spanish arnotta will colour fifty pounds of cheese. Tie up the arnotta, in a thin linen rag, and put it, over-night, into half a pint of warm water. In the morning, put the arnotta-water into the tub of milk, along with the infusion of rennet, indispensable in making cheese. For a deeper tint, dip the bag into the milk, and squeeze it as long as any colour runs out.
Alkanet is now much used for giving a beautiful red colour to confectionary. It is much cheaper than cochineal, and more easily prepared. It has no peculiar taste, and no unwholesome properties. You can purchase it at any druggist's, and at a trifling cost. It comes in small, dark-red chips. Before using it, pick it clean, and see that there is none of the dust or powder remaining about it. Tie up some of the alkanet chips, in a bit of very thin, clean muslin, like a small bag, and let it infuse with the mixture you wish to colour. It either may, or may not be boiled.
Infuse, for two or three hours, (or till the colour is well communicated,) a muslin bag of alkanet chips, in the clearest and best winter-strained lamp-oil. Then remove the bag of alkanet, (which may be used again for the same purpose,) and put the oil into clear glass lamps. It will be coloured of a beautiful red. According to the quantity of alkanet, or the length of time it remains steeping in the oil, you may have it of different tints, from light pink to deep crimson. Oil thus coloured is beautiful for illuminations; ballrooms; or dispersed among the shrubbery, at a garden entertainment. The price of alkanet does not exceed six cents per ounce; and an ounce will do a great deal of colouring.
Slice a fresh red cabbage, and pour boiling water upon it. Cover it, and let it stand till cold. Then strain off the water, and put a portion of the infusion into three glasses. Pour into one glass a little alum-water; into the second, a little dissolved potash; and into the third, a few drops of muriatic acid. The liquid in the first glass will be turned of a purple colour, by the alum-water; that in the second will be changed to a green, by the solution of potash; and the third will assume a fine crimson, from the muriatic acid. This water is used by druggists, for the coloured jars in their shop-windows.