Saturday, January 21, 2023

Temperance Drinks ... 1850

It's Dry January, so here are over 25 recipes in Temperance Drinks section in Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book. NY: 1850. Image (click to enlarge) of coffee urn cart with free bread, from a temperance group. Harper's Weekly. NY: 1880.

"THE advocates of entire abstinence from intoxicating drinks seem to be divided into three classes. One class consider it to be a sin in itself, to take anything that contains the intoxicating principle.

Another class adopt the temperance pledge on the principle urged by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 8:13, and engage not to use intoxicating drinks as a beverage, nor to offer them to others, and maintain that though neither their pledge nor divine command requires more than this, yet that, to avoid the appearance of evil, they will not use any kind of alcoholic liquors for any purpose. Such will not employ it in cooking, nor keep it in their houses.

The third class believe that the wisest course is to adopt the pledge "not to use, or offer to others intoxicating drinks as a beverage, " and strictly to adhere, both to the spirit and letter of this pledge, but not to go beyond it. Such think it proper to use wine and brandy in cooking, and occasionally for medicinal purposes, and suppose that the cause of temperance will be best promoted by going no farther. The writer belongs to this last class, and therefore has not deemed it desirable to omit or alter receipts in which wine and brandy are employed for cooking

It has now become almost universal, in the medical profession, to maintain the principle, that alcoholic drinks, except as medicine, are never needful, but as the general rule, are always injurious. And they consider that those cases where the use of them seems to involve no evil, should be regarded as owing to the fact that a strong constitution, or some peculiarity of temperament, can occasionally resist the evil influence for a certain length of time, just as some persons, by similar causes, are sustained in health in a malaria district.
But none can tell how long a good constitution will resist the baleful operation of alcohol or malaria, nor are these exceptions any argument in favor either of intoxicating drinks or a pestilential atmosphere.
The great abundance of delicious and healthful drinks that are within reach, leaves no excuse for resorting to such as are pernicious. The following receipts furnish a great variety, and many of them are very easily and cheaply obtained.

In regard to effervescing drinks, Dr.Pereira remarks:
"Water charged with carbonic acid forms a cool and refreshing beverage. It acts as a diaphoretic and diuretic (i.e., to promote perspiration and the healthful action of the kidneys), and is a most valuable agent for checking nausea and vomiting. When it contains bicarbonate of soda in solution, it proves antacid, and is a most valuable beverage for persons afflicted with calculi in the bladder."
The following receipts may be tried in succession, and some among them will suit the taste of every one. Some of the receipts for drinks for the sick are also very fine for common use.

Ginger Beer Powders, and Soda Powders.
Put into blue papers, thirty grains to each paper, of bicarbonate of soda, five grains of powdered ginger, and a drachm of white powdered sugar. Put into white papers, twenty-five grains to each, of powdered tartaric acid.
Put one paper of each kind to half a pint of water.
The common soda powders of the shops are like the above, when the sugar and ginger are omitted.
Soda powders can be kept on hand, and the water in which they are used can be flavored with any kind of syrup or tincture, and thus make a fine drink for hot weather.

Currant Ice Water.
Press the juice from ripe currants, strain it, and put a pound of sugar to each pint of juice. Put it into bottles, cork and seal it, and keep it in a cool, dry place. When wanted, mix it with ice water for a drink.
Or put water with it, make it very sweet, and freeze it. Freezing always takes away much of the sweetness.
The juices of other acid fruits can be used in the same way.

Sarsaparilla Mead.
One pound of Spanish sarsaparilla. Boil it in four gallons of water five hours, and add enough water to have two gallons. Add sixteen pounds of sugar, and ten ounces of tartaric acid.
To make a tumbler of it, take half a wine-glass of the above, and then fill with water, and put in half a teaspoonful of soda.

Effervescing Jelly Drinks. When jams or jellies are too old to be good for table use, mix them with good vinegar, and then use them with soda, or saleratus, as directed:

Past blog post on using old jelly to make drinks. HERE

Effervescing Fruit Drinks.
Very fine drinks for summer are prepared by putting strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries into good vinegar and then straining it off, and adding a new supply of fruit till enough flavor is secured, as directed in Strawberry Vinegar. Keep the vinegar bottled, and in hot weather use it thus. Dissolve half a teaspoonful or less of saleratus, or soda in a tumbler, very little water till the lumps are all out. Then fill the tumbler two-thirds full of water, and then add the fruit vinegar. If several are to drink, put the soda, or saleratus into the pitcher, and then put the fruit vinegar into each tumbler, and pour the alkali water from the pitcher into each tumbler, as each person is all ready to drink, as delay spoils it.

Summer Beverage.
Ten drops of oil of sassafras. Ten drops of oil of spruce. Ten drops of oil of wintergreen. Two quarts of boiling water poured on to two great spoonfuls of cream tartar. Then add eight quarts of cold water, the oils, three gills of distillery yeast (or twice as much home-brewed), and sweeten it to the taste. In twenty-four hours, bottle it, and it is a delicious beverage.

Simple Ginger Beer.
One great spoonful of ginger and one of cream tartar. One pint of home-brewed yeast and one pint of molasses. Six quarts of water. When it begins to ferment bottle it, and it will be ready for use in eight hours.

Orange, or Lemon Syrup.
Put a pound and a half of white sugar to each pint of juice, add some of the peel, boil ten minutes, then strain and cork it. It makes a fine beverage, and is useful to flavor pies and puddings.

Acid Fruit Syrups
The juice of any acid fruit can be made into a syrup by the above receipt, using only a pound of sugar for each pint of juice, and kept on hand for summer drink.

Imitation Lemon Syrup.
Four ounces tartaric acid, powdered. Two drachms oil of lemon. This can be kept in a vial for a month, and then must be renewed. A tablespoonful put to water sweetened with loaf sugar, makes six glasses of lemonade.

Superior Ginger Beer.
Ten pounds of sugar.
Nine ounces of lemon juice.
Half a pound of honey.
Eleven ounces bruised ginger root.
Nine gallons of water. Three pints of yeast.
Boil the ginger half an hour in a gallon and a half of water, then add the rest of the water and the other ingredients, and strain it when cold, add the white of one egg beaten, and half an ounce of essence of lemon. Let it stand four days then bottle it, and it will keep good many months.

Lemon Sherbet.
Dissolve a pound and a half of loaf sugar in one quart of water, add the juice of ten lemons, press the lemons so as to extract not only the juice, but the oil of the rind, and let the skins remain a while in the water and sugar. Strain through a sieve, and then freeze it like ice cream.

Orange Sherbet.
Take the juice of a dozen oranges, and pour a pint of boiling water on the peel, and let it stand, covered, half an hour. Boil a pound of loaf sugar in a pint of water, skim, and then add the juice and the water in the peel to the sugar. Strain it and cool it with ice, or freeze it. The juice of two lemons and a little more sugar improves it.

Sham Champagne.
One lemon sliced.
A tablespoonful of tartaric acid.
One ounce of race ginger.
One pound and a half of sugar.
Two gallons and a half of boiling water poured on to the above. When blood warm, add a gill of distillery yeast, or twice as much of home-brewed. Let it stand in the sun through the day. When cold in the evening, cork and wire it. In two days it is ready for use

Mocha and Old Java are the best, and time improves all kinds. Dry it a long time before roasting. Roast it quick, stirring constantly, or it will taste raw and bitter.
When roasted, put in a bit of butter the size of a chestnut. Keep it shut up close, or it loses its strength and flavor. Never grind it till you want to use it, as it loses flavor by standing.
To prepare it, put two great spoonfuls to each pint of water, mix it with the white, yolk, and shell of an egg, pour on hot, but not boiling water, and boil it not over ten minutes. Take it off, pour in half a tea-cup of cold water, and in five minutes pour it off without shaking.
When eggs are scarce, clear with fish skin, as below.
Boiled milk improves both tea and coffee, but must be boiled separately. Much coffee is spoiled by being burned black instead of brown, and by being burned unequally, some too much and some too little. Constant care and stirring are indispensable.

Fish Skin for Coffee. [to clear coffee]
Take the skin of a mild codfish which has not been soaked, rinse and then dry it in a warm oven, after bread is drawn. Cut it in inch squares. One of these serves for two quarts of coffee, and is put in the first thing.

Allow three large spoonfuls of scraped chocolate to each pint of water, or take off an inch of the cake for each quart of water, boil it half an hour, and do not boil the milk in it, but add it when wanted.

Cocoa and Shells.
Dry the nut in a warm oven after bread is drawn, pound it, and put an ounce to each pint of water. Boil an hour, and do not add milk till it is used. If shells are used, soak them over night, then boil them an hour in the same water. Put in as much as you like. Boil cocoa and chocolate the day before, cool and take off the oil, and then heat for use, and it is as good, and more healthful.

The old-fashioned rule to put one teaspoonful for each person, is not proper, as thus fifty persons would require fifty teaspoonfuls, which is enormous. Every person must be guided by taste in this matter. Tea is spoilt unless the water is boiling when it is made.
Black tea improves by boiling, but green is injured by it.

It is said that the seeds of ochra burnt like coffee, make a beverage almost exactly like it.

Children's Drinks.
There are drinks easily prepared for children, which they love much better than tea and coffee, for no child at first loves these drinks till trained to it. As their older friends are served with green and black tea, there is a white tea to offer them, which they will always prefer, if properly trained, and it is always healthful.

White Tea.
Put two teaspoonfuls of sugar into half a cup of good milk, and fill it with boiling water.

Boy's Coffee.
Crumb bread, or dry toast, into a bowl.
Put on a plenty of sugar, or molasses.
Put in one half milk and one half boiling water.
To be eaten with a spoon, or drank if preferred.
Molasses for sweetening is preferred by most children.

Strawberry Vinegar.
Put four pounds very ripe strawberries, nicely dressed, to three quarts of the best vinegar, and let them stand three, or four days. Then drain the vinegar through a jelly-bag, and pour it on to the same quantity of fruit. Repeat the process in three days a third time.

Finally, to each pound of the liquor thus obtained, add one pound of fine sugar. Bottle it and let it stand covered, but not tight corked, a week; then cork it tight, and set it in a dry and cool place, where it will not freeze.
Raspberry vinegar can be made in the same way.

Royal Strawberry Acid.
Take three pounds of ripe strawberries, two ounces of citric acid, and one quart of spring water. Dissolve the acid in the water and pour it on to the strawberries, and let them stand in a cool place twenty-four hours. Then drain the liquid off and pour it on to three pounds more of strawberries, and let it stand twenty-four hours. Then add to the liquid its own weight of sugar, boil it three or four minutes (in a porcelain lined preserve kettle, lest metal may affect the taste), and when cool, cork it in bottles lightly for three days, and then tight, and seal them. Keep it in a dry and cool place, where it will not freeze. It is very delicious for the sick, or the well.

Delicious Milk Lemonade.
Pour a pint of boiling water on to six ounces of loaf sugar, add a quarter of a pint of lemon juice, and half the quantity of good sherry wine. Then add three quarters of a pint of cold milk, and strain the whole, to make it nice and clear.

Portable Lemonade.
Mix strained lemon juice with loaf sugar, in the proportion of four large lemons to a pound, or as much as it will hold in solution; grate the rind of the lemons into this, and preserve this in a jar. If this is too sweet add a little citric acid. Use a tablespoonful to a tumbler of water."

Beecher, Catharine Esther. Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book: Designed As A Supplement To Her Treatise On Domestic Economy. NY: 1850
Dr. Kennions Street Coffee-urn Cart – A Good Temperance Movement. Harper’s Weekly Nov 20, 1880 - image

Drink up! Taped Talks: Taverns, Prohibition, Temperance, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Whiskey... TAPES HERE


Some interesting talks this week include Swiss (and other countries) cows annually moved to higher pastures for the warmer months; SUNDAY: Saffron; Dining postcards. Greek diners in America; Lunar New Year Dumplings; Community cookbooks; Occupied France recipes. Then links to some taped talks.


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