The best method of making common country Gin.
Take of singlings a sufficient quantity to fill the doubling still, put therein ten or twelve pounds of juniper berries, with one shovel full of ashes, and two ounces alum—put on the bead, and run her off, as is done in making whiskey. This is the common mode of making country gin; but is in this state little superior to whiskey, save as to smell and flavor.
It is therefore in my mind, that the mode of clarifying, prescribed, ought to be pursued in all distilleries, so far as necessary to make a sufficient quantity of good spirit for any market convenient—the supply of respectable neighbors, who may prefer giving a trifle more per gallon, than for common stuff and for domestic use. And moreover,[Pg 108] I think the distiller will meet a generous price for such clarified, and pure spirit, as he may send to a large mercantile town for sale—as brewers and others, frequently desire such for mixing, brewing, making brandies in the French and Spanish mode, and spirits after the Jamaica custom. And after the establishment of a filtering tub or hopper, prepared as before described, with holes, flannel or woollen cloth, and plenty of maple charcoal, and burnt brick-dust, a distiller may always find leisure to attend to the filtration; indeed it will be found as simple and easy, as the process for making ley from ashes in the country for soap. But I would suggest that spirit prepared and clarified in this way, should be put into the sweetest and perfectly pure casks.
New barrels will most certainly impart color, and perhaps some taste, which would injure the sale, if intended for a commercial town market, and for brewing, or mixing with spirits, from which it is to receive its flavor.
The taste of peach brandy may be imparted to it by a quantity of peach stone kernels, dried, pounded and stirred into the cask; in this way, those who are fond of the peach brandy flavor, may drink it without becoming subject to the pernicious consequences that arise from the constant use of peach brandy. Peach brandy, unless cleansed of its gross and cloying properties, or is suffered to acquire some years of age, has a cloying effect on the stomach, which it vitiates, by destroying the effect of the salival and gastric juices, which have an effect on aliment, similar to that of yeast on bread, and by its singular properties prevents those juices from the performance of their usual functions in the fermentation of the food taken into the stomach—producing acid and acrimonious matter, which in warm climates generates fevers and agues. Apple brandy has not quite a similar but equally pernicious effect, which age generally removes—indeed, age renders it a very fine liquor, and when diluted with water, makes a very happy beverage, gives life and animation to the digesting powers, and rarely leaves the stomach heavy, languid and cloyed. Then both those, (indeed, all liquors,) ought to be avoided when new, by persons of delicate habit, and those who do not exercise freely. A severe exercise and rough life, generally enables the stomach to digest the most coarse food, by liquor, however new.
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