Ginger Ale (1863)

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Tue Jan 28 05:25:30 UTC 2003

   OED and Merriam-Webster have "ginger ale" from 1886.  This is also the earliest date for a "ginger ale" advertisement in HARPER'S WEEKLY.  Several other databases have earlier.


ITEM #5934
February, 1863
Godey's Lady's Book
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Vol LXVI Page 198


OIL STAINS IN SILK AND OTHER FABRICS. Benzine collas is most effectual, not only for silk, but in any other material whatever. It can be procured from any chemist. By simply covering both sides of greased silk with magnesia, and allowing it to remain for a few hours, the oil is absorbed by the powder. Should the first application be insufficient, it may be repeated, and even rubbed in with the hand. Should the silk be Tussah or Indian silk, it will wash.
Oil stains can also be entirely removed from silks and all dress materials, also leather, paper, etc., by applying pipe-clay, powdered and moistened with water to the consistency of thick cream, laid on the stain, and left to dry some hours, then lightly scraped or rubbed off with a knife or flannel, so as not to injure the surface. If the pipe-clay dries off quite light in color, all oil has been removed; if it comes off dark-looking, then more should be laid on, as grease still remains to be removed. Pipe-clay will not injure the most delicate tints of silk or paper.
<< GINGER ALE>> . To ten gallons of water, put twelve pounds of sugar, six ounces of bruised ginger (unbleached is the best). Boil it one hour, put it into a barrel with one ounce of hops and three or four spoonfuls of yeast. Let it stand three days; then close the barrel, putting in one ounce of isinglass. In a week it is fit for use. Draw out in a jug, and use as beer.

   FATHER MATHEW by John Francis Maguire
(NY: D. & J. Sodlier & Co., 1864) (MAKING OF AMERICA-Mich.-Books)
   Pg. 302:  ...Such as Soda, Peppermt. Ginger ale, cordial, lemonade...
(There are several "ginger ale" database hits for during the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial.  VISITOR'S GUIDE TO NEW ORLEANS (1875) has an ad selling drinks including "Cautrell & Cochrane's Ginger Ale"--ed.)

   1 November 1871, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. 7:
   ...sell the person property of the bankrupts, consisting of a lot of ginger ale, soda, sarsaparilla, ale and porter in bottles, syrup and sugar in barrels...

   8 April 1876, SATURDAY EVENING POST (American Periodical Series online), pg. 2:
   It may be interesting to thirsty mortals to know something of what they drink.  There is no sarsaparilla in "sarsaparilla;" there is no ginger in "ginger ale;" there is nothing of a mineral character in "mineral water," and "seltzer" has nothing appertaining to the real seltzer, or Seltzer's water in its composition--except water.  Ottawa beer is usually made with sugar, snake-root, and aromatics which will acetify soon after the beer is manufactured.  It should be made fresh every day; but it is not.  The carbonic acid gas will disguise the bad taste of stale Ottawa beer until you have swallowed it, but you may expect internal disturbances.  Fresh Ottawa beer is rather a nice drink, and kept freshly on tap is rather popular in summer time.  A first-class drug store will sometimes sell forty gallons daily in the sultry season.  Pure sarsaparilla has no flavor at all, and the agreeable flavor of the so-called "extract of sarsaparilla" is produced by a decoction of wintergreen and sassafras.  The "sarsaparilla" sold in saloons has nothing of wintergreen or sassafras, not to say sarsaparilla, in its composition.  It is simply carbonated water, colored with caramel or burnt sugar, and sweetened with common syrup and bad molasses.  Druggists who sell soda-water sweetened with "sarsaparilla" generally manufacture a better article from clear sugar and liquorice extract, and those who have a large soda-water trade will sometimes use the real decoction of wintergreen, oil of lemon, caramel and sassafras.  "Mineral Water" is aerated water, flavored with lemon syrup of poor quality, or with aritifical sugar or glucese, manufactured from potato starch.  "Ginger Ale" is aerated water sweetened with sugar, and flavored with Cayenne pepper in small quantities is rather beneficial than otherwise, and this is really a healthy and refreshing beverage compared with others.  Good ginger ale--like the imported Belfast ginger ale--should be made with lemons, ginger, sugar, and tartaric (?--ed.) acid.  "Seltzer water" is carbonated
water flavored with salts--generally common salts, sometimes Epsom and medicinal salts.  This is not a beverage very pleasant to the palate, but it certainly has a specific influence on the bowels, and is quite effective in "straightening a fellow out" when he has been meddled up over night in a crooked whisky investigation.  In fact, none of the above drinks are injurious--rather the opposite, provided their bases have been made in wholesome fountains.

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