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reign of Henry II. Spirit was distilled land. And the usquebaugh is preferred from corn, in Ireland, at an early period. before our aqua vitæ, because the mingling In the common language of the country, of raisins, fennel seed, and other things, this liquor was called uisqe beatha, or us- mitigating the heat, and making the taste quebah, and also bulcaan. The latter term pleasant, makes it less inflame, and yet restrongly expresses the fiery nature of the fresh, the weak stomach with moderate heat spirit, being derived from the words buile, and good relish. These drinks the Englishmadness, and ceann, the head. The term Irish drink largely, and in many families whiskey is derived from the word usque. (especially at feasts) both men and women The consumption of corn in the produc- use excess therein: but when they come to tion of whiskey, alarmed, at an early any market town to sell a car or horse, period, the Irish government, by whom it they never return home until they have was viewed as a deplorable waste of nutri- drank the price in Spanish wine, (which tious food. An act passed in the reign of they call the King of Spain's daughter,) or Philip and Mary, is thus headed: "To pre- in Irish usquebaugh, and until they have vent the making of aqua vitæ."* The outslept two or three days' drunkenness."* preamble of this act states as follows:- Howell, in reference to the same subject, "Forasmuch as aqua vitæ, a drink noth- observes: "In Ireland they are more given ing profitable to be daily drunken and to milk and strong waters of all colours; the used, is now universally throughout this prime is usquebaugh, which cannot be made realm of Ireland made, and especially in anywhere in that perfection; and whereas the borders of the Irishy, and for the fur- we drink it here in aqua vita measures, it niture of Irishmen, and thereby much goes down there by beer glass-fulls, being corn, grain, and other things, is consumed more natural to the nation." Campion respent, and wasted, to the great hindrance, lates, that in his time the natives of Ireland cost, and damage of the poor inhabitants of would in haste squeeze out the blood of this realm," &c.; it hereby enacts, that raw flesh, and ask no more dressing thereto, none, save peers, gentlemen of £10 freehold, the rest boileth in their stomachs with aqua and freemen, (for their private use,) shall vitæ, which they swill, after such a surfeit, make aqua vitæ without the deputies' by quarts and pottles."‡ license. Sir James Ware is of opinion that ardent In 1584, Sir John Perrot, then Lord spirits were distilled in Ireland at an earlier Deputy of Ireland, during his visit to the period than in England. "The English town of Galway, in his address to the aqua vitæ," he observes, "is thought to be mayor and corporation, among other "ar- the invention of modern times. Yet we ticles touching reformacions in the com- find," he further remarks, "the virtues of mon wealthe," adverts in strong terms to usquebaugh, and a receipt for making it, the evil of intemperance which had then both simple and compound, in the red book begun to spread: "That a more straighter of Ossory, compiled nearly 200 years ago; order be taken to bar the making of aqua and another receipt for making a liquor called vitæ of corne than hitherunto hath beene used, nectar, made up of a mixture of honey and for that the same is a consumation of all wine, to which are added ginger, pepper, the provition of corne in the common cinnamon, and other ingredients." Ledwich wealthe;" and, "That the aqua vitæ that is states, that, for a considerable period, aqua sould in towne ought rather to be called vita was employed only as a medicine. It aqua mortis, to poyson the people than was, he also affirms, eagerly sought after, comfort them in any good sorte, and in like and believed by physicians to dissipate humanner all their byere, and all wherein mours, strengthen the heart, cure the colic, the officers, in reformynge the same, have dropsy, palsy, quartan fever, stone, as well nede to be mor vigilant and inquisitive than as to preserve health and to prolong life. they be."t The Act of Philip and Mary, previously The testimony of Moryson, (including adverted to, contributed in a great degree the period between 1599 and 1603,) may be to prevent the common use of whiskey as a adduced in evidence of the common use of beverage in Ireland. Mead and ale appear aqua vitæ by the Irish, and the evils which to have been the usual drink of the natives thereby resulted. "At Dublin, and in of that country. In regard to the use of arsome other cities, (in Ireland,) they have dent spirits, historians of the time are almost taverns wherein Spanish and French wines altogether silent. Sir William Petty (1672), are sold; but more commonly the mer- in reference to the drinks of the operative chants sell them by pints and quarts in classes, frequently alludes to beer, and their own cellars. The Irish aqua vitæ, assigns causes for the great use of ale, and vulgarly called usquebaugh, is held the the excessive number of public-houses, but best in the world of that kind, which is makes no mention of ardent spirits.§ Lawmade also in England, but nothing so good as that which is brought out of Ire
3rd and 4th Philip and Mary, cap. vii. + Hardman's History of Galway.
* Moryson's Hist. of Ireland.
† Familiar Letters, letter lv., 1634.
rence, also, has no reference to the same ing drinks, known and used by the natives subject, although he particularly states the of those countries who have enjoyed the adloss of grain, which arose from the too ge- vantages of civilization and refinement, as neral use of ale.* well as those tribes whose inventive faculties About the close of the seventeenth and have been stimulated by the desire to gratify commencement of the eighteenth century, the pleasures of sensual enjoyment. The distillation in Ireland was conducted on a juice of almost every tree-the vast varieties large scale. An imprudent and short-sighted of fruits which a kind Providence has beAct of legislation gave great encouragement stowed upon man for his lawful enjoyment to this destructive art. Corn had been little-grain and herbs of every descriptioncultivated in Ireland, and a slight failure of have been employed for this end. the harvest entailed on the country great some of the forms of animal creation have scarcity of this necessary of life. In the been perverted for a similar purpose. No earlier part of the eighteenth century, the inquiry, indeed, displays a more lamentable Irish legislature directed their attention to view of human nature; while, on the other the best means of increasing its growth.- hand, it presents a subject of profitable reActs for the encouragement of tillage were flection and warning for the guidance of fupassed, and bounties were granted in fur-ture generations.
NATURE AND COMBINATIONS OF ALCOHOL.
Under the names of rum, brandy, gin, whiskey, is become the bane of the Christian world.-DR. DARWIN.
Throughout the wide-spread kingdom of animal and vegetable nature, not a particle of alcohol, in any form or combination whatever, has been found, as the effect of a single living process; but it arises out of the decay, the dissolution, and the wreck of organized matter.---DR. MUSSEY.
therance of the same object. The manufacture of spirits became a popular measure, not only as a means of increasing the growth of corn, but as an efficient and powerful method of augmenting the revenue. Men of enlarged views and philanthropic minds witnessed the encouragement thus given, with well-founded apprehension. "In order to promote tillage," remarks one judicious writer of that period, "several gentlemen have of late encouraged the distillation of usquebaugh, wine, cider, beer, and porter, alcohol whiskey; but it may be doubted whether the use of this liquor, by the common people, may not in time contribute to the ruin of tillage, by proving a slow poison to the drinkers of it." Unfortunately for the interests of Ireland, these fears were realised at an early period. The revenue in 1719, produced not more than £.5785. The con- Sugar is the indispensable material out of which sumption of foreign and home-made spirits, in the year 1729, was 439,150 gallons. In 1795, the consumption amounted to 4,505,447 gallons. This increase, remarks an accurate writer, could not have arisen from an increase of population. In the interval alluded to, the population of Ireland had only doubled. In 1731, the inhabitants of Ireland were estimated at 2,010,221. In 1792, at 4,088,226. Nor was the enlarged consumption attributable to increase of wealth. Other articles of luxury do not appear to have increased in any similar proportion.‡
alcohol is formed; and it is melancholy to reflect on the misapplication of art in converting one of the most pleasant, harmless, and nourishing substanc s in nature, into a bewitching poison.-DR. Drake.
I. Alcohol, the origin of its name and chemical properties.-II. The nature and effects of fermentation.-III. The combinations of alcohol.IV. The comparative strength of intoxicating liquors.-V. The comparative effects of alcoholic drinks on the human frame.-VI. Is alcohol "a good creature of God?"-VII. Alcohol not ready formed in fermented liquors.
I. Alcohol, the origin of its name and cheThe rapidly increased consumption of ardent spirit in England and Scotland, in mical properties.-Alcohol received its name conjunction with its direful effects on indi- from an Arabian physician, by whom it was vidual and national welfare, has been else-first discovered. The phrase is said to be where referred to. An eminent physician derived from the Arabic words al, the, and well observes, that the art of extracting al-kahol, a fine impalpable powder. With this substance the ladies of Barbary were accoholic liquors by distillation must be regarded as the greatest curse ever inflicted customed to tinge their hair and the edges on human nature.§ of their eyelids. Dr. Shaw remarks, that The preceding observations include a de-none of the women of Barbary think themscription of a large proportion of intoxicat-selves completely dressed until they have tinged their hair, as well as the edges of their eyelids, with al-ka-hol, the powder of
* Interest of Ireland in its Trade and Wealth lead ore.* In course of time, however, this stated. London, 1682.
† Ancient and Present State of Waterford, by Charles Smyth, M.D., 1746, p. 282.
An Inquiry into the Influence of Spirituous Liquors, p. 25. Dublin, 1830.
§ Paris's Pharmacologia.
word appears to have been used to express the separation of any subtile or powerful
*Travels through Barbary, p. 294.
substance from the grosser materials with ingredients, gradually run into the acetous which it was connected. Hence, perhaps, or second stage of decay, a condition which its application to the refined and potent is subsequently followed by putrefaction. stimulus extracted from fermented liquors. In course of time, man, by the exercise of The name of alcohol, in the present day, his ingenuity, found that he could arrest the is exclusively applied to the spirit or intoxi- progress of vegetable decomposition at those cating principle contained in all fermented periods which best suited his purposes. drinks. Alcohol was formerly supposed to By this means he had placed at his disposal be the generical product of distillation. It vinegar, which is applied to many useful is now ascertained that distillation is purposes, and fermented liquors, by which but a mechanical agency which separates he might indulge and gratify unnatural and the alcohol unchanged from those fer- injurious appetites. mented liquors, where it had been previously formed.
The vinous or first stage of decomposition, like every other operation of nature, is subAlcohol, in its pure state, is light and ject to necessary and invariable laws. colourless, and of the specific gravity, 0.796 2. Conditions necessary to fermentation.— at 60° Fahrenheit. It has a powerful odour The presence of a sufficient quantity of when submitted to the smell, and is highly water.-To produce fermentation, the matepungent and irritating to the taste. Alcohol rials must be in a liquid state. A mixture is exceedingly inflammable, and instanta- of sugar and water will not properly ferment neously burns when in contact with ignited in a state of syrup, but when reduced to a matter. The flame has a peculiar bluish liquid condition it becomes susceptible of appearance in the dark, the degree of fermentation. The ancients were acquainted which depends on the purity of the spirit with this fact, and by inspissating or boiling which is ignited. This powerful fluid acts down the juice of fruits, they prevented it on dead animal matter as an astringent and from running into a state of fermentation. antiseptic, lessening the bulk of the subA proper temperature. The regulation of stance to which it is applied, and preserving the temperature forms an important item in it from speedy decomposition. the preparation of intoxicating liquors. In Alcohol is essentially composed of three hot countries, the atmospheric heat is in elementary principles, carbon, hydrogen, general sufficient to carry on the process of and oxygen. The following are the propor- fermentation. Vinous fermentation will tions of one hundred parts of pure alcohol, not take place at a temperature of 329. It according to the calculations of Saussure, is languid at 50°, but rapid at 60°. The the eminent French chemist:
latter temperature, therefore, is required to produce the necessary fermentation for the production of alcohol. Great care is required to prevent the acetous stage, which commences at 70°.
The presence of a ferment in addition to fermentable matter.-The grape contains all The alcohol used in medicinal prepara- [the requisites for fermentation, viz., water, tions, by direction of the London Pharma-ferment, and fermentable water. The fercopoeia, is of specific gravity, 815, and ment is analogous to the gluten of plants. contains 93 parts of pure or anhydrous Fermentation, however, cannot take place alcohol, and seven parts of water. The until the fruit is dispossessed of its vitality. rectified spirit of the chemist, sp. gr. 835, The whole of its substance, indeed, must be contains 15 per cent. of water, blended. This circumstance is accounted for
II. The nature and effects of fermenta- by the fact, that the ferment and the ferdion. The nature and results of fermenta- mentable matter are placed in different tion form an interesting and important divisions of fruit. The saccharine portion subject for philosophical investigation. of must or grape juice resides in the cells of 1. The nature of fermentation.-Fermen- the grapes; the fermenting principle lodges tation is now known to be one of the first on the membranes which separate the cells. results of the partial decomposition of ve- The wine-press, however, amalgamates the getable matter. The several stages of whole. Yeast is employed as a ferment in fermentation through which decomposition the preparation of malt liquors. Vegetables, passes, previous to its completion, are deno- which contain a large amount of saccharine minated the vinous, the acetous, and the matter, are most capable of fermentation. putrefactive. Each stage is subject to In the grape, and in similar fruits, the elecertain laws, which would go on to comple- ments are already formed. In malt liquors, tion, were it not for the obstructing hand of however, saccharine matter is developed man. Alcohol is the product of the first from the starch of the grain in sufficient stage of decomposition, which is from quantity by the process of malting. thence termed the vinous. Vinous com- The presence of an acid in the juices of pounds, when subject to a certain tempera- fruits peculiar to each.-All the juices of ture, or exposed to the atmosphere, and fruits which undergo the vinous fermentaunmixed with artificial and counteracting tion contain an acid. The apple contains
malic acid, the lemon citric acid, the grape These changes principally depend on tartaric and malic acids. Must will not undergo separation of the elements of the sacchafermentation if the tartaric acid which it rine matter, and the recomposition of contains is entirely removed. Tartaric acid these elements in the form of a new comand sugar are sometimes added to wines to pound. Every forty-five parts, or three increase their strength. Those grapes which equivalents of sugar, will, by their decomcontain the most sugar possess the least position in the process of fermentation, amount of tartar. The addition of tartar yield one equivalent, or twenty-three parts and gluten to very saccharine must, pro- of alcohol, and one equivalent, or twentyduces an enlarged quantity of alcohol. two parts of carbonic acid. The annexed 3. Changes effected by fermentation.· diagram illustrates this decomposition:—
The whole of the hydrogen entering into addition of a sufficient quantity of extraneous the composition of the sugar, two parts of sugar, or by cutting the stem while growing the carbon, and one part of the oxygen, upon the tree, so as to deprive the grapes unite and form alcohol; whilst the remain- of their usual supply of watery particles. ing one part of carbon, and two parts of Donovan affirms, "that it is indispensably neoxygen, unite and form the well-known cessary to enrich the juice of some grapes, heavy gas of the brewer's vat-carbonic by methods like these, otherwise they will acid. Some portion of this carbonic acid rapidly run into a hasty feeble fermentation, remains combined with the fermented li- which would again pass quickly into the quor, communicating to it a sparkling acetous stage." "The result," he further
remarks, "would be a poor, spiritless, acidulous wine." Thus, also, in regard to the temperature, and other conditions of the utmost importance in the manufacture of wine. The wine-maker is ever on the alert, interrupting the operations of nature, and rendering such assistance as will supply wine in accordance with the acquired appetites of mankind.
In order to improve their flavour and strength, all wines have to undergo a series of artificial operations. These are respectively termed racking, sulphuring and fining.
In order to obtain alcohol in an absolute condition, it is necessary to subject it to some mechanical agency-as distillation. By this process it is separated from foreign matters of various kinds, such as water, colouring matter, and vegetable extractive. III. The combinations of alcohol.-Combinations of wines.-Wines vary very much in their strength, taste, and colour. These conditions depend on climate, soil, and other circumstances of like nature. Wine-making depends greatly on artificial aid, and is not altogether the natural process which it is The following are the principal component generally supposed to be. Wine prepared in parts of grapes, viz., a considerable quantity a natural manner, without the adventitious of soluble saccharine matter, a small quantity aid of the wine-maker's experience. would of mucilage, some tannin, a portion of the not be relished by modern society. Imper- bitartrate of potass; and lime, and sometimes fect fermentation, indeed, would be the sulphate of lime, in addition to an azotized result. Some wines would contain too small vegetable extractive. The theory of the fera quantity of saccharine matter, others too mentation of the grape does not differ from much of the tartar or acid principle. In that already given in a previous table. some grapes, moreover, there is a deficiency All wines contain, 1, an acid; 2, alcohol; of sugar. This is frequently remedied by 3, extractive matter; 4, volatile oil; 5, colourboiling the juice, and evaporating the super- ing matter. The peculiar odour of wines fluous water; and at other times, either by the pends on the volatile oil which they contain
Neumann, in the following Table, exhibits the amount of these ingredients, contained in the most popular wines now in use:-
Mr. Brande, Dr. Prout, and M. Zez the most casual observer. have prepared similar but more accurate and extensive tables. A glance at the above analysis will show why wines are not so nutrituous or innocent as is generally supposed.
2. Combinations of malt liquors. -The early and very general use of corn, in the preparation of malt liquors, led to the adoption of various methods by which this art might be brought to a state of comparative perfection. The object was, as much as possible, to "imitate nature," or, by the chemical decomposition of the ingredients used in the process, to effect the production of a wine of corn in a manner similar to that of the grape. The art of manufacturing malt liquors, it may be observed, is altogether the result of mechanical operation.
The one is a
heavy, hard, and horny substance, the structure of the other is much more light, soft, and floury. The difference in colour and taste, also, between the two is not less remarkable. Barley is rather transparent; malt opaque; the latter also is much sweeter than when in the state of barley. Barley undergoes divers operations previous to its conversion into malt. These processes are named steeping, couching, flooring, and kilndrying. The process of steeping, or immersing or soaking in cold water, continues for forty-eight hours, which prepares it for couching, or placing it in heaps in which state it heats, and the process of germination commences; that is, sprouts of the future root and stalk protrude from the ends of the grain. After remaining thirty hours in this Those vegetables are employed in this condition, it is floored; that is, spread out in process which contain saccharine matter in thinner beds, where the process of germinasuch abundance as will afford the elements tion goes on more uniformly, and this is for the production of alcohol. Barley has completed in about twelve days. It is then long been selected as the most suitable vege- consigned to the kiln for the purpose of being table for this purpose. This nutritious grain dried by its heat. The buddings of the contains a larger proportion of sugar and spear, or sprit, are now rubbed off, and the starch than most other vegetables. Starch malt is ready for bruising or grinding, and is composed of almost the same elements as is thus prepared for brewing. sugar, and is therefore easily convertible into that substance.
The conversion of barley into malt is a signal instance of the direct interference and control of man in the production of intoxicating drinks. It is effected by a process similar to the germination of plants, and has for its object, not the production of more nutritious food, but the change of solid nutritious matter into such a form as will best afford the development of alcohol. The remarkable difference which exists between barley and malt cannot escape the notice of!
The following table of Prout will amply illustrate the changes which barley undergoes in its conversion into malt: