This is the first of a series which will be placed on Smashwords.com when I have all the recipes down. My dad made these drinks during the WWII years in Shanghai after his business collapsed.
2 grams Tartaric Acid
1-1/2 oz. Brandy Solution
30 drops Vanilla Essence
32 oz. alcohol
2 lbs. sugar
40 oz. water
18 milligrams Cherry Essence
10 drops Tincture of Cochineal
60 drops chocolate brown coloring
1 gram cherry red coloring
You might wonder where my father obtained all these ingredients during wartime in China. Well, before the ports closed down he had a stock of these from his supplier, Bush House of London, and there were local chemists who still had some of what he needed. The alcohol he bought locally, and he always made sure it was NOT wood alcohol, which can kill or cause blindness.
Crowding all the other furniture in the dining room were several five-gallon glass demijohns. After dumping in all the ingredients minus the alcohol, he grasped the neck of the vessel with two hands and whirled and rocked it around. The alcohol went in last and again the contents of the demijohn got a mixing.
Years and years later my husband Renato and I were living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and he would bring home various wines from the duty-free shops in Paraguay. Among them was cherry brandy. Best internationally known brand of course. We decanted it, toasted each other.
Renato commented, “I’m sure it isn’t much better than your dad’s.”
I was touched.