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The origin of the cocktail. Part 1: Purl and Stoughton’s Bitters.

Mary Kettilby's most excellent Bitter, not inferior to Stoughton's Drops.

In this series of posts, we take an in-depth look at the origins of the cocktail. In each case, we look at individual important aspects and put them together to form an overall picture. In order to understand the origin of the cocktail, one should initially deal with Purl and Stoughton’s Bitters.

Introduction

 

The Balance, Columbian Repository, 13. May 1806.
The Balance, Columbian Repository, 13. May 1806. [14]

Much has been written about the history and origins of the cocktail and we have also gone on a quest to find the origins of the same. Commonly, the “first definition” of the cocktail from 1806 is referred to and everything is traced back to this definition. We also started with this in our research. However, we noticed that some essential sources were partly not taken into account or no conclusions were drawn from them. We tried to see everything in context and came across some astonishing findings. Apparently, the origin of the cocktail is different than often described. In the following chapters, we will report on our findings and put the clues together to form a conclusive overall picture. We have also done some experimental archaeology for verification, with a surprising result.

We thought long and hard about how to clearly connect all the findings and present them in a meaningful way, and decided to proceed chronologically and gradually bring the individual threads together.

We first look at Purl and Stoughton’s Bitters, followed by the individual classic cocktail ingredients. We then look at the etymology of the term “cocktail” and analyse historical recipes in this context. The question then arises as to what extent the cocktail was originally a medicinal drink. This leads us to the cocktails as they were probably enjoyed in England and to the question of how they are connected to the punch. We then briefly look at the further development of the cocktail in America. Finally, we will also look at other theories to explain how the cocktail came into being and got its name.

So let’s start our excursion into the history of the cocktail first with Purl and Stoughton’s Bitters.

Purl & Stoughton’s Bitters

To understand Stoughton’s Bitters better and to place them in a historical context, we have to go further back in history and look at the “purl”. Nowadays this is a mixture of hot ale, gin, sugar and egg with a little nutmeg on top. [3-210] [6] But in the 17th century a purl was something quite different. It was an ale or beer infused with wormwood and other drugs. It was drunk in the morning to settle the stomach. [3-211] [6] It was drunk to maintain health. A spirit rich in alcohol was not used to make a purl. [3-212]

We know of the Purl not only from William Shakespeare, but also find it in the diary of Samuel Pepys. [3-211] [19] Pepys was Secretary of State in the English Navy, President of the Royal Society and a member of the House of Commons. He is best known today as a diarist. His notes from the years 1660 to 1669 are among the most important sources for this period in the English-speaking world. [11] Samuel Pepys also mentions a version called Royal Purl, for which a sack was used instead of ale or beer. A sack is a relatively sweet sherry fortified with brandy. Today, this Purl Royal would probably be classified as a type of vermouth. [3-211] [19] But if you wanted to drink Purl, you had to go to great lengths to prepare it. Here Richard Stoughton offered an alternative.

Richard Stoughton owned a pharmacy in Southwark, now a London borough. [1] [3-211] [4] [12] [13-162] In his time, people began to sell prefabricated medicine instead of getting a custom-made medicine after a visit to a doctor. Thus, in 1690, Richard Stoughton also launched his “Elixir Magnum Stomachicum”, also called “Stoughton’s Great Cordial Elixir”. This elixir seemed to sell well, and Richard Stoughton was able to enrol in Cambridge 8 years later to study medicine. In 1712 he registered a patent for his elixir. It was the second British patent in the field of medicine, [1] [3-211] [12] [13-162] [18] was valid in England, Wales and for the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and within the Kingdom of Ireland, for a period of 14 years. [2]

The ingredients of Stoughton’s Elixir are unknown. Richard Stoughton himself did not state them, only that they consisted of 22 different ingredients and that only he knew the recipe. But gentian seems to have had the largest share. [1] [3-211] [12] [13-162] In addition, orange, saffron, snake root and other spices were included. [17]

In an advertisement from 1710, published on 18 April 1710 in the “Old Bailey Proceedings”, we receive more detailed information about the elixir and what it was used for: [3-212] [5]

SToughton’s great Cordial Elixir: Now famous throughout Europe for the Stomach and Blood, as is defended in the Bais with it, prepar’d only by him, Apothecary at the Un in Southwark, set forth 19 Years: It makes the best Purl in Beer or Ale, Purl Royal in Sack, and the better Draught in a Minute, being the best and most pleasant Bitter in the World; now drank by most Gentlemen in their Wine, instead of any other, much exceeding any Bitter made with, which being so excessive hot and drying, thicken the Blood, dulls the spoils the sight, and is well known to recover and restore a weaken’d Stomach or lost Appetite beyond any thing that ever was taken occasioned by hard Drinking or Sickness, &c. and certainly carries off the effects of bad Wine, which too many die of. It has been so incerted in the Bills with It almost 20 years, and the certainty of its doing this, was one of the first Occasions of its being made publick. Sold at the Author’s House, and at many Booksellers and Coffee-houses in and about the City of London; also at some one such place in most Cities and great Towns in Europe at 1 s. a Bottle. Where it is not yet sold, any Person who send first, may have it to sell again with good Allowance, many now selling 50 or 60 Dozen a Year, some more. Ready Mony expected of all. The Seal on each Bottle has Richard Stoughton cut found it, or else ’tis a Counterfeit.

The best thing about it was that you no longer had to prepare your purl for a long time, but had it ready practically immediately, within a minute.

In 1820, Stoughton’s Magen-Elixir is advertised in the “Intelligenzblatt der Zeitung für die elegante Welt” as follows: “On Stoughton’s Stomach Elixir. There is no remedy among the many which have received fame in England, France and Germany which is so universally known to be beneficial as this elixir. In fact, it is also the best remedy for all kinds of stomach weaknesses and digestive defects, for hypochandria, stomach cramps, flatulence, colic, after cold fever, and all such ailments, to be cured quickly, safely and definitely. Whoever suffers from a weakness of the stomach which has lasted for a long time, and which manifests itself by belching, acidity, mucus, and a coated tongue, should take a coffee spoonful of it in half a cup of water, tea, wine, or meat broth one hour before a meal at noon and in the evening, or at most one or two hours after the meal, for one or two months, and will be astonished to see how his stomach will improve. This elixir is also an excellent remedy for colic, stomach cramps, flatulence and diarrhoea; 60-80 drops are taken in warm chamomile tea or meat broth, as well as a clyster of chamomile flowers with half or a whole quintal of pure starch flour (where there is no blue colour underneath), and the coincidence is certainly magicked away. If necessary, take another portion 2-3 hours later. In wet weather, in fog, during the time when infectious diseases, especially dysentery, are rampant, this elixir, taken 1-2 times a day at 60 drops, provides the best protection and preservation. It can also be given to children for all the ailments mentioned. One-year-olds get 3 drops, two-year-olds 5, and so 2 drops more are added to each year. This elixir is available in a jar of 16 gr. (a dozen costs 6 Thlr. 4 Gr.) from Mr. D. G. W. Becker, Medical Practitioner, living in Petersstraße No. 114, next to the Arm, opposite the Hôtel de Bavière in Leipzig.[20-2]

Ueber Stoughton's Magen-Elixir. Intelligenzblatt der Zeitung für die elegante Welt, 3. 29. February 1820. Page 2.
Ueber Stoughton’s Magen-Elixir. Intelligenzblatt der Zeitung für die elegante Welt, 3. 29. February 1820. Page 2. [20-2]

– “Ueber Stoughton’s Magen-Elixir. Es gibt kein Arzneimittel unter den vielen, welche in England, Frankreich und Deutschland Ruf erhalten haben, das so allgemein vorteilhaft bekannt wäre, als dieses Elixir. In der That ist es aber auch bei allen Arten von Magenschwächen und Verdauungsfehlern, bei Hypochandrie, Magenkrämpfen, Blähungsbeschwerden, Koliken, nach dem kalten Fieber, und allen solchen Leiden das beste Mittel, um schnell, sicher und bestimmt geheilt zu werden. Wer an einer schon lange dauernden Magenschwäche, die sich durch Aufstoßen, Säure, Schleim, belegte Zunge zu erkennen gibt, leidet, nimmt davon allemal eine Stunde vor der Mahlzeit Mittags und Abends, oder auch allenfalls eine bis zwei Stunden nach derselben, einen Kaffeelöffel in einer halben Tasse Wasser, Thee, Wein, Fleischbrühe während eines oder zweier Monate, und wird mit Erstaunen wahrnehmen, wie sich sein Magen bessern wird. Bei Kolik, bei Magenkrämpfen, desgleichen bei Blähungsbeschwerden, bei Durchfällen ist dies Elixir gleichfalls ein treffliches Mittel; es werden 60 – 80 Tropfen in warmen Chamillenthee oder Fleischbrühe genommen, so wie ein Klystier von Chamillenblüthen mit einem halben oder ganzen Quentchen reinem Stärkenmehl (wo keine blaue Farbe darunter ist), und der Zufall ist gewiß wie weggezaubert. Allenfalls nimmt man 2-3 Stunden darauf nochmals eine solche Portion. Bei nasser Witterung, bei Nebeln, in der Zeit, wo ansteckende Krankheiten, besonders die Ruhr, grassiren, gewährt dies Elixir, täglich 1-2 Mal zu 60 Tropfen genommen, das beste Schutz- und Verwahrungsmittel. Auch Kindern kann man es bei allen den genannten Beschwerden reichen. Einjährige bekommen 3 Tropfen, zweijährige 5, und so werden auf jedes Jahr 2 Tropfen mehr gerechnet. Echt zu haben ist dies Elixir das Glas zu 16 Gr. (ein Dutzend kostet 6 Thlr. 4 Gr.) bei Hrn. D. G. W. Becker, Med. Pract., wohnhaft in der Petersstraße No. 114. neben dem Arme, dem Hôtel de Bavière gegenüber in Leipzig” [20-2]

As we can read in historical recipes, to maintain health, one drank one’s teaspoon of Stoughton Bitters – or a home-made substitute – in the morning or at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and added it to one’s wine, tea, beer or any other alcoholic beverage. [7] [8] The original Stoughton’s Elixir was also consumed in these quantities, about 50 to 60 drops, which, according to a 1750 advertisement, was put “in a glass of Spring water, Beer, Ale, Mum, Canary, White wine, with or without sugar, and a dram of brandy as often as you please”, i.e. in a glass of spring water, beer, ale, “mum”, sack (sherry), white wine, with or without sugar, and a portion of brandy as often as you liked. [12] [13-162]

Richard Stoughton died in 1726, and subsequently the family fell out. Both one son and the widow of another son both claimed to be the only ones to know the original recipe for the elixir. While both were at loggerheads, a third party came along claiming the same: the widow of a patent clerk claimed to have received the recipe from her husband, who would have known it from the patent application. [13-162]

Our trial

Bitter, not inferior to Stoughton's Drops. Mary Kettilby: A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick and surgery, 1734, page 180.
Bitter, not inferior to Stoughton’s Drops. Mary Kettilby: A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick and surgery, 1734, page 180. [15-180]
Since the original recipe of Stoughton’s Bitters is not known, we decided to try one of the historical imitations. Our choice fell on the oldest one we found, published in 1728 in the fourth edition of Mary Kettilby’s book “A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick and surgery”. They are not yet included in the first edition of 1714, and we have not been able to consult the editions of 1719 and 1724. It is made from gentian root, orange peel, saffron and carmine. Since carmine is tasteless and thus only used for red colouring, one can do without it. This also avoids the allergens it contains. We chose this recipe because we found the addition of saffron interesting. Saffron colours the bitters and also adds its aromas. Presumably, it will have been omitted in other recipes, as saffron was certainly an expensive spice 200 years ago. Nevertheless, it is used in numerous later recipes to make an imitation of Stoughton’s Bitters. Another argument in favour of this recipe is the fact that all the ingredients were also used in the original Stoughton’s Elixir. The recipe from 1728 is as follows: [15-180]

A most excellent Bitter, not inferior to
Stoughton’s Drops.
TAKE two Ounces of Gentian-root, the
Rinds of nine Oranges, they must be of
the largest right Seville, and par’d very thin,
two Drams of Saffron, and two Drams of Co-
chineal; infuse all in one Quart of Brandy,
for forty eight Hours, in the hottest Sun;
then philter it thro’ whited-brown Paper:
After this you may take from twenty Drops
to a Tea-spoonful, in Wine, Beer, Tea, or
any Liquor you like.

Mary Kettilby's most excellent Bitter, not inferior to Stoughton's Drops.
Mary Kettilby’s most excellent Bitter, not inferior to Stoughton’s Drops.

Unfortunately, the recipe is somewhat inaccurate. It calls for two drams of saffron. This quantity needs to be interpreted. There are two possibilities of what is meant by one dram. One dram (avoirdupois) corresponds to 1.722 grams, one dram (apothecarius), also known as drachm, corresponds to 3.888 grams. The latter is used as a weight for precious metals, medicinal prescriptions and scientific determinations, which is also where the addition “apothecarius” comes from. [9] One would therefore assume that the dram (apothecarius) was meant in the recipe. On the other hand, the other quantities are given in ounces, and one ounce is equal to 16 drams (avoirdupois). [10] From this point of view, therefore, the dram (avoirdupois) could also have been meant. We tried both and came to the conclusion that the dram (avoirdupois) is correct for us. Otherwise, the saffron aromas become too dominant.

If you use the quantities of the original recipe, you make the bitters from 60 ml gentian root, peel of 9 oranges, 1.8 grams saffron, 1.14 litres cognac. This results in a very large quantity, and we have therefore calculated down to

15 ml dried gentian root
Zest of 2 oranges
0,33 gram Safran
225 ml Pierre Ferrand cognac 1840

The mixture is left to stand for 48 hours. The original recipe calls for this to be “in the hottest sun” and we shook it occasionally. We then filtered the mixture as required, using a coffee filter, and bottled it.

We will report on the result later, when it comes to reconstructing a historical cocktail. This much should be reported in advance: We found the result exceedingly delicious. Bitter, clearly structured and with wonderful aromas.

On the history of bitters

Thomas Sydenham in 1688.
Thomas Sydenham in 1688. [21]

In connection with Stoughton’s Bitters, one should also mention Sydenham’s Bitters. Thomas Sydenham lived before Richard Stoughton and was a pioneer of bitters. He lived from 1624 to 1689, was an English physician who is also known as the “English Hippocrates”. He opened a practice in the Westminster district of London. [22] [23] Unlike most bitters, whose main focus was treating stomach and digestive complaints, his bitters were used as a remedy for gout. Thomas Sydenham deplored the traditional therapies of the time, including bloodletting, for example, and recommended instead a gentler approach consisting of a change of diet, regular exercise, a large intake of fluids and the consumption of his medicine. The latter were made from roots of angelica and elecampane, wormwood, watercress and horseradish. The bitter substances they contained proved to be a popular remedy for gout. Thus, even before Richard Stoughton, Thomas Sydenham made a significant contribution to considering and taking bitters as medicine. [23]

Sources
  1. George B. Griffenhagen & Mary Bogard: History of Drug Containers and Their Labels. ISBN 0-931292-26-3. Madison, American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, 1999. Page 72. https://books.google.nl/books?id=N4N9bsxc2LYC&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=stoughton+patent+1712&source=bl&ots=9hZHn-fmRn&sig=TZLAN42-27I0IqkpAQpBk7ODKo8&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigydKO5J7TAhXF0hoKHR7cAboQ6AEIIjAA#v=onepage&q=stoughton%20patent%201712&f=false
  2. Bennet Woodcroft: Titles of Patents of Invention, Chronologically Arranged from March 2, 1617 (14 James I.) to October 1, 1852 (16 Vivtoriae). London, 1854. Page 71. https://archive.org/stream/chronologicalin1617grea_0#page/70/mode/2up/search/stoughton
  3. David Wondrich: Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, A Salute in Stories and Drinks to „Professor“ Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. 2. Auflage. ISBN 978-0-399-17261-8. New York, 2015, Seite 313-316.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Borough_of_Southwark: London Borough of Southwark.
  5. https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=a17100418-1&div=a17100418-1&terms=stoughton#highlight: Old Bailey Proceedings advertisements, 18th April 1710.
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purl: Purl.
  7. 1729 E. Smith: The compleat housewife: or, Accomplished gentlewoman’s companion. 3. edition. London, 1729. Page 248. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=h_ZAAQAAMAAJ&vq=cochineal&dq=editions:OCLC14326985&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  8. Mary Kettilby: A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick and surgery: for the use of all good wives, tender mothers, and careful nurses. 5. Auflage. London 1734. Page 180. https://books.google.de/books?id=OYQEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA180&lpg=PA180&dq=%22Stoughton%27s+drops%22&source=bl&ots=RT_l-SA50L&sig=MZc2kro3D9GKWAwsKloX6rmAnrI&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxiovT08HTAhWJ0xoKHbZ9ChEQ6AEIQjAF#v=onepage&q=%22Stoughton%27s%20drops%22&f=false
  9. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dram_%28Einheit%29: Dram (Einheit).
  10. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unze: Unze.
  11. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Pepys: Samuel Pepys.
  12. Craig Horner (Hrsg.): The Diary of Edmund Harrold, Wigmaker of Manchester 1712-1715. ISBN 978-0-7546-6172-6. Hampshire, England & Burlington, USA, Ashgate Publishing, ltd, 2008. https://books.google.de/books?id=f7SGdfGHYwIC&pg=PA40&lpg=PA40&dq=1712+%22Stoughton%27s+Elixir%22&source=bl&ots=fLCJaq_j91&sig=oTYVCD2GlXAVTNPure6t9Wt03ik&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj4u8mWlvHSAhXWFsAKHWYmCpUQ6AEIKjAA#v=onepage&q=1712%20%22Stoughton%27s%20Elixir%22&f=false
  13. George B. Griffenhagen & James Harvey Young: Old English patent medicines in America. In: United States National Museum, Bulletin 218. Papers 1 to 11. Seite 155-184. Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology. Washington, D. C., Smithonian Institution, 1959.  https://archive.org/details/bulletinunitedst2181959unit. See also http://www.aolib.com/reader_30162_5.htm or https://archive.org/details/oldenglishpatent30162gut.
  14. http://www.beeretseq.com/the-cocktails-origin-the-racecourse-the-ginger-part-i/: The Cocktail’s Origin, The Racecourse, The Ginger, Part I. By Gary Gillman, 30. January 2017.
  15. Mary Kettilby: A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick and surgery: for the use of all good wives, tender mothers, and careful nurses. 4. edition. London 1728. Page 180. https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/10320
  16. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:James_Edward_Alexander00.jpg: Lithograph of James Edward Alexander, 1827.
  17. Anistatia Miller & Jarred Brown: Die Geschichte des Cocktails. Teil 2. Die kleinen Getränke. In: Mixology 2/2007, page 34-37.
  18. http://www.saveur.com/how-the-cocktail-got-its-name: Ancient Mystery Revealed! The Real History (Maybe) of How the Cocktail Got its Name. By David Wondrich, 14. January 2016.
  19. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purl: Purl.
  20. https://books.google.de/books?id=tYZEAAAAcAAJ&pg=PT11&dq=Stoughtons+elixier&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjIzrOkj6zXAhWKKMAKHa74Bx8Q6AEIrQEwEw#v=onepage&q=Stoughtons%20elixier&f=false Ueber Stoughton’s Magen-Elixir. Intelligenzblatt der Zeitung für die elegante Welt, 3. 29. February 1820. Page 2.
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thomas_Sydenham_by_Mary_Beale.jpg: Portrait of Thomas Sydenham, Mary Beale, 1688.
  22. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sydenham: Thomas Sydenham.
  23. Dr. Adam Elmegirab: Book of Bitters. ISBN 978-1-909313-94-1. London & New York, Ryland Peters & Small Ltd, 2017. Page 12-13.

Recipes for Stoughton’s Bitters

1728 Mary Kettilby: A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick and surgery: for the use of all good wives, tender mothers, and careful nurses. 4. Auflage. London 1728. Seite 180. https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/10320

A most excellent Bitter, not inferior to
Stoughton’s Drops.
TAKE two Ounces of Gentian-root, the
Rinds of nine Oranges, they must be of
the largest right Sevil, and pared very thin,
two Drams of Saffron, and two Drams of
Cochineal; infuse all in one Quart of Brandy,
for forty-eight Hours, in the hottest Sun;
then philter it through whited-brown Paper:
After this you may take from twenty Drops
to a Tea-spoonful, in Wine, Beer, Tea, or
any Liquor you like.

1729 E. Smith: The compleat housewife: or, Accomplished gentlewoman’s companion. 3. Auflage. London, 1729. Seite 248. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=h_ZAAQAAMAAJ&vq=cochineal&dq=editions:OCLC14326985&source=gbs_navlinks_s

To make Stoughton’s Elixer.
PARE off the Rinds of six Seville Oranges very
thin and put them in a quart Bottle, with
an ounce of Gentian scrap’d and slic’d, and six
pennyworth of Cochineal: Put to it a pint of the
best Brandy; shake it together 2 or 3 times the
first day, then let it stand to settle 2 days, and
clear it off into Bottles for use; Take a large
Tea spoonful, in a Glass of Wine in a Morning,
and at 4 in the Afternoon; Or you may take it,
in a dish of Tea.

1734 Mary Kettilby: A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick and surgery: for the use of all good wives, tender mothers, and careful nurses. 5. Auflage. London 1734. Seite 180. https://books.google.de/books?id=OYQEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA180&lpg=PA180&dq=%22Stoughton%27s+drops%22&source=bl&ots=RT_l-SA50L&sig=MZc2kro3D9GKWAwsKloX6rmAnrI&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxiovT08HTAhWJ0xoKHbZ9ChEQ6AEIQjAF#v=onepage&q=%22Stoughton%27s%20drops%22&f=false

A most excellent Bitter, not inferior to
Stoughton’s Drops.
TAKE two Ounces of Gentian-root, the
Rinds of nine Oranges, they must be of
the largest right Seville, and par’d very thin,
two Drams of Saffron, and two Drams of Co-
chineal; infuse all in one Quart of Brandy,
for forty eight Hours, in the hottest Sun;
then philter it thro’ whited-brown Paper:
After this you may take from twenty Drops
to a Tea-spoonful, in Wine, Beer, Tea, or
any Liquor you like.

1736 Anonymus: The complete family-piece: and, country gentleman, and farmer’s best guide : in three parts … : with a complete alphabetical index to each part : the whole, being faithfully collected by several very eminent and ingenious gentlemen, is now first published, at their earnest desire, for the general benefit of mankind. London, J. Roberts, 1736. http://resource.nlm.nih.gov/101091222

To make Stoughton’s Elixir.
PARE off the Rinds of 6 Seville Oranges very thin, and
put them in a Quart Bottle, with an Ounce of Gentian
scrap’d and sliced, and six Penny worth of Cocheneal;
put to it a Pint of the best Brandy; shake it together
two or three Times the first Day, and then let it stand
to settle two Days, and clear it off into Bottles for Use.
Take a large Tea-spoonful in a Glass of Wine in a
Morning, and at Four of the Clock in the Afternoon;
Or you may take it in a Dish of Tea.

1739 E. Smith: The compleat housewife: or, Accomplished gentlewoman’s companion. 9. Auflage. London, 1739. Seite 257. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=XvMHAAAAQAAJ&q=stoughton#v=snippet&q=stoughton&f=false

To make Stoughton’s Elixir.
PARE off the rinds of six Seville oranges very thin,
and put them in a quart bottle, with an ounce
of gentian scraped and sliced, and six pennyworth
of cochineal; put to it a pint of the best brandy;
shake it together two or three times the first day,
and then let it stand to settle two days, and clear
it off into bottles for use; take a large tea spoonful
in a glass of wine in a morning, and at four in the
afternoon; or you may take it in a dish of tea.

1746 Mary Kettilby: A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick and surgery: for the use of all good wives, tender mothers, and careful nurses. 6. Auflage. London 1746. Seite 180. https://archive.org/stream/2691712R.nlm.nih.gov/2691712R#page/n183/mode/2up/search/stoughton

A most excellent Bitter, not inferior to
Stoughton’s Drops.
TAKE two Ounces of Gentian-root, the
Rinds of nine Oranges, they must be of
the largest right Seville, and par’d very thin,
two Drams of Saffron, and two Drams of Co-
chineal; infuse all in one Quart of Brandy,
for forty eight Hours, in the hottest Sun;
then philter it thro’ whited-brown Paper:
After this you may take from twenty Drops
to a Tea-spoonful, in Wine, Beer, Tea, or
any Liquor you like.

1749 Charles Carter: The London and Country Cook: Or, Accomplished Housewife, Containing Practical Directions and the Best Receipts in All the Branches of Cookery and Housekeeping. 3. Auflage. London, 1749. https://books.google.de/books?id=cqNhAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA261&lpg=PA261&dq=%22Stoughton%27s+drops%22&source=bl&ots=30scyq0PsH&sig=qDPfi-dhmUlxzHBvgbkvRGZsEU0&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxiovT08HTAhWJ0xoKHbZ9ChEQ6AEIRzAG#v=onepage&q=%22Stoughton%27s%20drops%22&f=false

A most excellent Bitter, not inferior to Stoughton’s
drops.
TAKE two ounces of gentian-root, the rinds of
nine Oranges, they must be of the largest right Se-
ville, and pared very thin, two drams of saffron,
and two drams of cochineal; infuse all in one quart
of brandy, for forty eight hours, in the hottest sun;
then philter it through whited-brown paper: after
this you may take from twenty drops to a tea-spoon-
ful, in wine, beer, tea, or any liquor you like.

1755 Elizabeth Cleland: A New and Easy Method of Cookery: Treating, I. Of Gravies, Soups, Broths, &c. II. Of Fish, and Their Sauces. III. To Pot and Make Hams, &c. IV. Of Pies, Pasties, &c. V. Of Pickling and Preserving. VI. Of Made Wines, Distilling and Brewing, &c.Edinburgh, Selbstverlag, 1755. Seite 203. https://books.google.de/books?id=8vQpAAAAYAAJ&dq=%22Stoughton%E2%80%99s+Drops%22&hl=de&source=gbs_navlinks_s

To make Stoughton’s Drops.
INFUSE in a Chopin of French Brandy a Penny-
worth of Cocheneal, a Penny-worth of Snake-root,
half an Ounce of Jamaica Oranges, two Ounces of
bitter Orange-peel, one Ounce of Gentian-root, two
Drachms of Turkey Rhubarb; pound the Rhubarb, Co-
cheneal, and Jamaica Oranges, slice the Gentian; put
them near the Fire for two Days in a strong Glass Bot-
tle; then put the Bottle in a Pan of cold Water, on a
slow Fire: And when it simmers take of the Pan,
and when the Water is cold take out the Bottle, let it
stand two Days; then pour off all that is clear, and you
may put strong Whiskey to the rest, and it will be
good for present Use.

1781 John Wesley: Primitive physic: or, an easy and natural method of curing most diseases. 20. Auflage. London, 1781. Seite 118. https://archive.org/stream/b28043522#page/118/mode/2up/search/stoughton

Stoughton’s Drops.
Take Gentian-Root, one Ounce; Cochineal and
Saffron, one Drachm; Rhubarb, two Drachms;
the lesser Cardamom-Seeds, Grains of Paradise,
Zeodary, Snake-Root, of each half an Ounce;
Galengale one Ounce; slice the Roots, and bruise
the Seeds; then infuse them in a Quart of the best
Brandy, and add the Rinds of four Seville Oranges.
When it has stood eight Days, clear it off; and
put a Pint and a half more of Brandy to the same
Ingredients till their Virtue is drawn out. This
is greatly helpful in Disorders of the Stomach.
– See Stomachic Tincture, page 100.

Hinweis: In der 12. Auflage von 1764 stehen die Stoughton Drops noch nicht, auch nicht in der 14. Auflage von 1770.

1795 Sarah Martin: The new experienced English housekeeper, for the use and ease of ladies, housekeepers, cooks, &c. Doncaster, Selbstverlag, 1795. Seite 148. Stoughton Drops. https://archive.org/stream/b21505056#page/148/mode/2up

TAKE the rind of three large seville oranges, peel
them, lay them on a paper and dry them well, take a
quarter of an ounce of gention root when well dried, and
one dram of shred saffron, put them into a wide mouth-
ed bottle, boil a pint of spring water, and a quarter of
a pound of refined sugar, boil it ten minutes, skim it well
when cold, put in a stick of cinnamon and bottle it with
a quart of the best french brandy, shake this every day
for a fortnight, then filter it, fill up your bottle and cork
it.

1796 Samuel Hemenway: Medicine chests, with suitable directions. Salem, 1796. Seite 14. Stoughton’s Elixir. https://archive.org/stream/2556050R.nlm.nih.gov/2556050R#page/n15/mode/1up

This is a good bitter, excellent to create appetite, and
exhilirate the spirits, and to remove weakness and faint-
ness from the stomach. From one to two tea-spoonful
may be taken in a glass of wine, cider, or water, in the
morning at eleven o’clock, and at 5 or 6 in the afternoon.

1799 Major John Taylor: From England To India In The Year 1789. Seite 77. Stoughton’s Elixir. https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.280069/2015.280069.From-England#page/n78/mode/1up

An infusion, or the tincture of bark, gentian,
chamomile, orange-peel, or Stoughton’s
Elixir, used morning and evening are excel-
lent preventative medicines.

1825 Thomas G. Fessenden: The New England farmer. Vol. III. Boston, John B. Russel, 1825. Seite 211. Stoughton’s Elixir. https://archive.org/stream/newenglandfarmer03bost#page/211/mode/1up

Pare off the thin yellow rinds of six large Se-
ville oranges, and put them into a quart bottle,
with an ounce of gentian root scrapped and slic-
ed, and half a dram of cochineal. Pour to these
ingredients a pint of the best brandy; shake the
bottle well, several times, during that and the
following day let it stand two days more to set-
tle; and clear it off into bottles for use. Take
one or two spoonfuls morning and evening, in
a glass of wine, or even in a cup of tea. As a
pleasant and safe family medicine this elixir of
Dr. Stoughton is highly recommended.

1844 G. Girardey: The North American compiler, containing a large number of selected, approved, and warranted receipts. Rossville, G. Girardey, 1844. Seite 29. Stoughton bitter. https://archive.org/details/northamericancom00gira

Stougton bitter. – – – Put 1-2 a pound wormwood, 1-4 of a pound
bitter orange peals, 1 ounce of cascarilla, 1-2 ounce of rhubarb, 2
drachms aloes and 1-4 of wild cherries, with five gallons of rectifi-
ed whisky and 1 gallon of alcohol; let it infuse for 2 months; then
rack it off, and filtrate it through brown paper.

1850 John Wesley: Primitive physic, or, An easy and natural method of curing most diseases. London, Milner and Company, 1850. Darin im Anhang: H. Gifford: The General Receipt Book; or, oracle of knowledge, containing several hundred useful receipts and experiments in every branch of science; with directions of making british wines, &c. London, Milner & Company, ohne Jahr [1850]. Seite 105. Dr. Stoughton’s Stomachic Elixir. https://archive.org/stream/b28123050#page/105/mode/1up/

Dr. Stoughton’s celebrated Stomachic Eli-
xir. — Pare off the thin yellow rinds of six large
Seville oranges, and put them in a quart bottle
with an ounce of gentian root scraped and sliced,
and half a dram of cochineal. Pour over these
ingredients a pint of brandy, shake the bottle
well several times during that and the following
day, let it stand two days more to settle, and
clear it off into the bottles for use. Take one or
two tea-spoonfuls morning and afternoon, in a
glass of wine or in a cup of tea. This is an ele-
gant preparation, little differing from the com-
pound tincture of gentian either of the London
or Edinburgh dispensatories, the former adding
half an ounce of canella alba, (white cinnamon)
and the latter only substituting for the cochineal
of Stoughton, half an ounce of husked andbruised
seeds of the lesser cardamom. In deciding on their
respective merits, it should seem that Stough-
ton’s elixir has the advantage in simplicity,
and, perhaps, altogether as a general stomachic.
Indeed, for some intentions, both the London and
and Edinburgh compositions may have their res-
pective claims to preference; in a cold stomach,
the cardamom might be useful; and, in a laxa-
tive habit, the canella alba. As a family medi-
cine, to be at all times safely resorted to, there
is no need to hesitate in recommending Dr.
Stoughton’s Elixir.

1853 Pierre Lacour: The manufacture of liquors, wines and cordials, without the aid of distillation. Also the manufacture of effervescing beverages and syrups, vinegar, and bitters. Prepared and arranged expressly for the trade. New York, Dick & Fitzgerald, 1853. Seite 283. Stoughton’s Bitters. https://archive.org/stream/manufactureofliq00lacoiala#page/283/

Stoughton’s Bitters. – Water, six gallons; whiskey,
two gallons; gentian-root, three pounds; Virginia
snakeroot, one pound; orange peel, two pounds;
calamus-root, eight ounces; Guinea pepper, twelve
ounces. Infuse the whole of the ingredients in the
two gallons of whiskey for eight days. All solid
substances, viz. roots, plants, &c., &c., should be well
bruised or mashed before adding to the spirit. Color
the above bitters with eight ounces of bruised alka-
net-root.

1853 Pierre Lacour: The manufacture of liquors, wines and cordials, without the aid of distillation. Also the manufacture of effervescing beverages and syrups, vinegar, and bitters. Prepared and arranged expressly for the trade. New York, Dick & Fitzgerald, 1853. Seite 288. Stoughton Bitters. https://archive.org/details/manufactureofliq00lacoiala?q=%22stoughton+bitters%22

Stoughton Bitters, for Making One Gallon. – Gen-
tian, three ounces; Virginia snakeroot, two ounces;
dried orange peel, two ounces; calamus root, half an
ounce; cochineal, one drachm; cardamom seed, two
drachms; whiskey, two pints; bruise or mash the
ingredients, and digest in the spirit for five days, and
strain; then add six pints of water, and bottle for
use.

1861 Daniel Young: Young’s Demonstrative translation of scientific secrets. Toronto, 1861. Seite 55. Stoughton Bitters. https://archive.org/details/youngsdemonstrat00youn

Take of gentian 4oz., orange peel 4oz., columbo
4oz., chamomile flowers 4oz., quassia 4oz., burned
sugar 1lb., whiskey 2 1/2 galls., water 2 1/2- galls.; mix
and let stand one week, then bottle the clear liquor.

1864 Arnold James Cooley: Cooley’s cyclopaedia of practical receipts. processes, and collateral information in the arts, manufactures, professions, and trades, including medicine, pharmacy, and domestic economy. Vierte Auflage. London, John Chichill and Sons, 1864. Seite 555. Stoughton’s Elixir. https://archive.org/stream/b28131423#page/555/mode/1up/

Prep. 1. Raisins (stoned
and bruised), 1 lb.; gentian root, 3/4 lb.; dried
orange peel, 6 oz.; serpentary, 1/4 lb.-; calamus
aromaticus, 1 1/2 oz.; cardamoms, 1/2 oz.; sugar
coloring, 1/4 pint; brandy or proof spirit, 2
gall.; digest a week, and strain.

1864 Jerry Thomas: The Bartenders’ Guide. Seite 118. Stoughton Bitters.

8 lbs. of gentian root.
6 do. orange peel.
1 1/2 do. snake root (Virginia).
1/2 do. American saffron.
1/2 do. red saunders wood.
Ground to coarse powder; displace with 10 gallons of
4th proof spirit. (See No. 4.)

1868 John Rack: The French wine and liquor manufacturer : a practical guide and receipt book for the liquor merchant being a clear and comprehensive treatise on the manufacture and imitation of brandy, rum, gin and whiskey with practical observations and rules for the manufacture and management of all kinds of wine by mixing, boiling, and fermentation, as practiced in Europe including complete instructions for maufacturing champagne wine, and the most approved methods for making a variety of cordials, liqueurs, punch essences, bitters, and syrups … New York, Dick & Fitzgerald, 1868. Seite 208. Stoughton Bitters. https://archive.org/details/b28061561?q=%22stoughton+bitters%22

12 lbs. dry orange peel,
3 “ Virginia snake root,
1 “ American saffron,
16 “ gentian root,
1 “ red saunders wood.
Grind all the above ingredients to a coarse powder,
and macerate for ten days in 20 gallons alcohol, 65 per
cent; then filter.

Seite 208. Stoughton Bitters. (Another Recipe.)

2 lbs. ginsing,
2 “ gentian root,
“ dry orange peel,
“ Virginia snake root,
1 oz. quassia,
1/4 lb. cloves,
3 oz. red saunders wood,
3 gals. alcohol, 95 per cent,
3 “ soft water.
Grind all the ingredients to coarse powder, and infuse
ten days, and filter.

1869 William Terrington: Cooling Cups andDainty Drinks. Seite 84. American Stoughton Bitters.

16 oz. gentian
root, 12 oz. orange-peel, 3 oz. Virginia snake-root,
1 oz. saffron, 1 oz. red sounders wood; grind
these into a powder; add 1 gallon of rectified spirit;
macerate for three weeks, constantly agitating for
a fortnight; strain carefully; the last pint of
liquor strain separately with pressure, and, when
clear, add it to the clear spirit.

1872 William Terrington: Cooling Cups andDainty Drinks. Seite 84. American Stoughton Bitters.

16 oz. gentian
root, 12 oz. orange-peel, 3 oz. Virginia snake-root,
1 oz. saffron, 1 oz. red sounders wood; grind
these into a powder; add 1 gallon of rectified spirit;
macerate for three weeks, constantly agitating for
a fortnight; strain carefully; the last pint of
liquor strain separately with pressure, and, when
clear, add it to the clear spirit.

1876 Christian Schultz: Manual for the Manufacture of Cordials, Liquors, Fancy Syrups. Seite 118. Bitters, Stoughton.

8 lbs. of gentian root.
6 do. orange peel.
1 1/2 do. snake root (Virginia).
1/2 do. American saffron.
1/2 do. red saunders wood.
Ground to coarse powder; displace with 10 gallons of
4th proof spirit. (See No. 4.)

1891 Anonymus: Wehman’s Bartenders’ Guide. Seite 81. Stoughton Bitters.

Mix together the following ingredients, and let stand for 5
weeks. Gentian, 4 ounces. Orange peel, 4 ounces, Columbo,
4 ounces. Camomile Flowers, 4 ounces. Quassia, 4 ounces, burnt
Sugar, 1 pound, Whiskey, 2 1/2 gallons. Bottle the clear liquor.

1895 R. C. Miller: The American Bar-Tender. Seite 98. Stoughton Bitters.

8 lbs. of gentian root.
6 do. orange peel.
1 1/2 do. snake root (Virginia),
1/2 do. American saffron.
1/2 do. red saunders wood.
Ground to coarse powder, displace with 10 gallons of
4th proof spirit.

1910 Raymond E. Sullivan: The Barkeeper’s Manual. Seite 45. Stoughton Bitters.

Mix together the following ingredients, and
let stand for five weeks. Gentian, 4 ounces,
orange peel, 4 ounces, Columbo, 4 ounces, camo­-
mile flowers, 4 ounces, quassia, 4 ounces, burnt
sugar, 1 pound , whiskey, 2 1/2 gallons. Bottle
the clear liquor.

1912 Anonymus: Wehman Bros.’ Bartender’s Guide. Seite 76. Stoughton Bitters.

Four ounces of gentian,
Four ounces of orange peel,
Four ounces of columbn,
Four ounces of chamomile flowers,
Four ounces of Quassia,
One pound of burnt sugar,
Two and one-half gallons of whiskey,
Let it stand for five weeks. Bottle the clear liquor.

1912 John H. Considine: The Buffet Blue Book. #192. Stoughton Bitters.

Three-quarter ounce Peruvian bark, 1
ounce wild cherry bark, 2 ounces gentian
root, bruised, 1 ounce dried orange peel, 1
ounce cardamon seeds, bruised. Put In 1
gallon spirits and it will be ready for use
in one week. Strain Into small bottle when
using.

explicit capitulum
*

About

Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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