Rare Book Review: The Distiller's Guide;...

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Rare Book Review: The Distiller's Guide;...

Unread postby bourbonv » Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:40 am

The Distiller's Guide; Comprehending the Whole Art of Distillation and Rectification, In All Its Various Branches; Also Genuine Recipes For Making Rum, Brandy, Holland Gin, and All Sort of Compounds, Cordials, and Spirituous Waters, by Distillation, Agitation, Infusion and Digestion; Likewise Showing the Best Methods of Distilling Simple Waters' From Flowers, Fruits, Spices, and Aromatic Plants; With The Art of Making British Wines, From Fruits, Flowers, and Herbs, All of the Native Growth of Great Britain. by, Jonas, Peter. London: Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1818. Preface, Contents, 292 pp.

This book's title really does do an excellent job describing what is in the book. The book is designed to make a practical distiller out of the reader but also to make the same reader able to rectify any spirit desired. These desired spirits are for the most part rums, gin, and brandy. Many of the recipes are for various "waters" such as Lemon water, Jessamine water and the unlikely titles of "Plague Water" and "Gout Water". These seem to be different types of what would be defined now as "Bitters". The book is very informative giving the recipe for these various concoctions as well the use for the spirit.

The book is orientated to the English Market. There is little mention of the American market or American spirits. It is still a very good book for a whiskey library helping the reader to understand the nature of early 19th century spirits. Most of these spirits were simply flavored alcohols similar to gin and flavored vodkas of the 21st century. There is no mention of aging spirits and even the Highland Whisky recipe calls for flavoring with herbs and spices.

Mike Veach
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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