The perfection of this grand branch of distillery depends upon the observation of the following general rules, which are easy to be observed and practised: 1. The artist must always be careful to use a well-cleansed spirit, or one freed from its own essential oil; for as a compound cordial is nothing more than a spirit impregnated with the essential oil of the ingredients, it is necessary that the spirit should have deposited its own. 2. Let the time of previous digestion be proportioned to the tenacity of the ingredients, or the ponderosity of their oil. 3. Let the strength of the fire be proportioned to the ponderosity of the oil intended to be raised with the spirit. 4. Let a due proportion of the finest parts of the essential oil be united with the spirit; the grosser and less fragrant parts of the oil not giving the spirit so agreeable a flavor, and at the same time rendering it thick and unsightly. This may in a great measure be effected by leaving out the feints, and making up to proof with fine soft water in their stead.
A careful observation of these four rules will render this extensive part of distillation far more perfect than it is at present. Nor will there be any occasion for the use of burnt alum, white of eggs, isinglass, etc. to fine down the cordial waters, for they will presently be fine, sweet, and pleasant.
_To make Aniseed Cordial._
Take aniseed, bruised, 2 lbs, proof spirit 12 1/2 galls.; water, l gall. Draw off 10 galls., with a moderate fire. This water should never be reduced below proof, because the large quantity of oil with which it is impregnated will render the goods milky and foul when brought down below proof. But if there is a necessity for doing this, their transparency may be restored by filtration.
_Strong Cinnamon Cordial._
Take 8 lbs. of fine cinnamon, bruised; 17 galls of clear rectified spirit, and 2 galls. of water. Put them into the still, and digest them 24 hours with a gentle heat; after which draw off 16 galls. by a pretty strong heat.
For 20 galls. Take 1 1/2 oz. of oil of caraway, 20 drops of cassia-lignea oil, 5 drops of essence of orange peel, 5 drops of the essence of lemons, 13 galls. of spirits, 1 in 5, and 8 lbs. of loaf sugar. Make it up and fine it down.
The cedrat is a species of citron, and very highly esteemed in Italy, where it grows naturally. The fruit is difficult to be procured in this country; but as the essential oil is often imported from Italy it may be made with it as follows: Take of the finest loaf-sugar, powdered, 1/4 lb. Put it into a glass mortar, with 120 drops of the essence of cedrat; rub them together with a glass pestle, and put them into a glass alembic, with a gallon of fine proof spirit and a quart of water. Place the alembic in a bath heat, and draw off 1 gall., or till the feints begin to rise, then dulcify with fine sugar. This is considered the finest cordial yet known; it will therefore be necessary to be particularly careful that the spirit is perfectly clean, and, as much as possible, free from any flavor of its own.
Take of dry yellow rinds of citrons, 3 lbs.; orangepeel, 2 lbs.; nutmegs, bruised, 3/4 lb.; proof spirit, 10 1/2 galls.; water, 1 gall. Digest with a gentle heat, then draw off 10 galls. in a bath heat, and dulcify with fine sugar.
Take of cloves, bruised, 4 lbs.; pimento, or allspice, 1/2 lb.; proof spirit, 16 galls. Digest the mixture 12 hours in a gentle heat, and then draw off 15 galls. with a pretty brisk fire. The water may be colored red, either by a strong tincture of cochineal, alkanet, or corn poppy-flowers. It may be dulcified at pleasure with refined sugar.
For 3 galls. Take 7 qts. of spirits, 2 lbs. of coriander seed, 1 oz. of caraway seed, 6 drops of the oil of orange, and 2 lbs.; of sugar. Fill up with water. The coriander seed must be bruised and steeped in the spirits for 10 or 12 days, and well stirred 2 or 3 times a any. Fine it the same as gin.
_Eau de Bigarade._
Take the outer or yellow part of the peels of 14 bigarades (a kind of orange), 1/2 oz. of nutmegs, 1/4 oz. of mace, 1 gall. of fine proof spirit, and 2 qts. of water. Digest all these together 2 days in a close vessel; after which draw off a gallon with a gentle fire, and dulcify with fine sugar.
Take of the roots of angelica, sliced, 4 lbs.; raisins, stoned, 2 lbs.; coriander seeds, 1/2 lb.; caraway seeds and cinnamon, each 1/2 lb.; cloves, 2 oz.; figs and liquorice root, sliced, each 1 lb.; proof spirit, 11 galls.; water, 2 galls. Digest 2 days, and draw off by a gentle heat, till the feints begin to rise; hanging in a piece of linen, fastened to the mouth of the worm, 1 oz. of English saffron. Then dissolve 8 lbs. of sugar in 3 qts. of rose-water, and add to it the distilled liquor.
The above cordial derives its name from a quantity of leaf gold being formerly added to it; but this is now generally disused.
For 20 galls. Take of the fresh roots of lovage, valerian, celery, and sweet fennel, each 4 oz.; essential oil of caraway and savin, each 1 oz.; spirit of wine, 1 pt.; proof spirit, 12 galls.; loaf sugar, 12 lbs.; Steep the roots and seeds in the spirits for 14 days, then dissolve the oils in the spirit of wine, and add them to the undulcified cordial drawn off from the other ingredients; dissolve the sugar in the water for making up, and fine, if necessary, with alum.
Take of dried lemon-peel 4 lbs., proof spirit, 10 1/2 galls., water 1 gall. Draw off 10 galls. by a gentle fire, and dulcify with fine sugar.
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