United States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Consular reports, Issues 224-227 online

. (page 72 of 92)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 72 of 92)
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in different countries and districts. One thing is certain, social and political justice



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598 SPECIAL TAXATION FOR DEPARTMENT STORES.

could only be approximately reached by taxation; no tax can cover and fit exactly
every socio-political condition. Exaggeration in this direction, the attempt to
change economical conditions and commercial relations by taxation alone, might
lead to dangerous consequences. The whole road is beset with dangers and diffi-
culties that can be only dimly foreseen.

If the smaller merchant is protected against the overshadowing department
store, the mechanic might with equal justice demand protection from the great in-
dustrial factories. The blacksmith might say, '*! demand protection from the
great forges and factories that manufacture wrought-iron products so cheaply that
I can not exist." The shoemaker would demand a high tax upon the shoe factory
that turns out shoes by machinery — and so it would go. Where should we draw the
line? I am in favor of measuring taxation according to the capacity to pay. That
is the great progressive principle which we have introduced into our system of tax-
ation. But to deviate radically from this principle in order to reach a certain social
result, and to surrender the principles of capability and equality before the law,
would be a policy to be followed only with extreme caution and self-restraint. It
is not the mere technical difficulties of such a tax, but grave considerations based
on general principles, which have prompted us to rather promote and encourage
local municipal taxation. The question is by no means closed to us with this
debate. I consider a heavier taxation of the great mercantile establishments to be
perfectly justified, and if this can not be successfully accomplished through the
local authorities, I shall not lose sight of the question, but may, if necessary, finally
return after all to state taxation for that purpose.

We owe to the small merchants and oppressed business men a frank statement
of the entire truth; we can raise no false hopes that can not be realized. The situ-
ation must be studied in all its aspects, and I can only say that so far as we can
help you we will gladly do so, as soon as the best method of procedure can be dis-
covered.

This, therefore, is the present status of this important question
in Germany. The Prussian and other state governments concede
that a special tax on department stores would not only be equitable,
but is urgently demanded by existing conditions. On the other
hand, they consider the French law a failure and see no satisfactory
means of adapting a state or imperial law to the complex require-
ments of the situation, and the whole subject is therefore thrown
back upon local administrations of cities and communes, which in
Saxony and Bavaria have made some tentative experiments in tax-
ing department stores, with but indifferent and indecisive results.

Some members of the Reichstag and Prussian Diet are in favor
of imperial legislation on this subect, but they are only a minority.
The question is complicated with party politics in a manner which
is difficult for a foreigner to comprehend, beyond the fact that Berlin,
which is socialistic in politics, is either indifferent to the proposed
legislation for the protection of the small merchants or is openly
opposed to it.

Frank H. Mason,

Berlin, April 21, 189Q, Consul- Gerural.



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PREPARxVTlON OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE. 599



PREPARATION OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE.

At the request of a Chicago correspondent, a Department in-
struction was sent, under date of January 28, 1899, to consular offi-
cers in France and Italy asking for information in regard to the
preparation of vermuth. The replies are given below.

FRANCE.

HAVRE.

The manufacture of vermuth in France is confined almost entirely
to the city of Marseilles, where all the important manufactories ex-
ist. The article is made from ordinary white wine, which is pro-
duced extensively in the region of which Marseilles is .the principal
center, and which, on account of its abundance, is very cheap. A
pure, wholesome white wine may be bought in the south of France
for about 14 cents per gallon.

While figures showing the production of wine in France are pub-
lished every year by the Government, no statistics are kept concern-
ing either the production, consumption, or exportation of vermuth.
In the returns of both the French and American custom-houses, ver-
muth is classified as wine, and for that reason it is impossible to
estimate the quantity shipped abroad.

The two principal points in Europe from which vermuth is ex-
ported to the United States are Marseilles, France, and Turin, Italy;
and from the declared exports sent to the Department of State by
our consuls at these places, an approximate idea can be formed of the
quantity of foreign vermuth consumed annually in the United States.
During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1898, the vermuth shipped
from Marseilles amounted in value to $51,586.91. The French ver-
muth is sold wholesale f. o. b. Marseilles at $3. 28 per case of i dozen
bottles, and it is accordingly apparent that about 15,728 cases were
shipped from that port to America during the year in question.

Vermuth is simply an infusion of certain plants and bitter aro-
matic herbs and roots in a quantity of wine whose degree has been
strengthened by the addition of about one-ninth of its bulk of alcohol,
in order to bring the wine, which is usually of not more than 10°
alcoholic strength, up to 15°. The alcohol used should be pure, clear,
and of about 85° in strength.



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600 PREPARATION OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE.

The following are the ingredients of ordinary French vermuth:



Articles.


Quantity.

18.48
5.28

2.2

2.2

0.5s.

0.55

0.55


Articles.


Quantity.


Dry white wine gallons...

Muscatel wine. do

Wormwood pounds...

Bitter-orange peel do

Camomile do

Water germander do

Florentine iris root do


Cenuury pounds...

Peruvian bark grains...

Aloes do

Cinnamon do

Nutmeg do

Alcohol, at 85*' gallons...

1 Raspberry juice fluid ounces...


a. a
385.7
77.15
15430

i54.y>

2.64
13.5a



These proportions are sometimes varied, while vermuth can be
made out of certain other ingredients, as, for example, those given
below :



Articles.



Wormwood pounds.

Red Peruvian bark* - do....

Florentine iris root do....

Veronica do....

Pulmonaria do....

Holy thistle do....

Elder flowers do....,

Rhubarb grains.,

Sweet-orange peel— pounds..




Articles.



Quantity.



Cura9ao bark pounds...

Peach pits do

Origan do

Semen contra. grains...

Little centaury pounds...

Water germander do

Brandy, at 40^ gallons...

White sugar. pounds...



o.aj
i.z
0.55
77»-4
0.275

0.275
4.22
132



I



The inventor of the last formula states that the herbs and other
vegetable ingredients should be allowed to remain in the wine for a
period of two months, the solution being stirred every fifteen days.
After the expiration of two months, the wine is drawn off into another
barrel and is allowed to remain therein for two weeks, after which
it is drawn off a second time. In the event of the vermuth being
cloudy, which is often the case, the manufacturer resorts to the
simple process known as ** collage," which consists of stirring in
some boiled milk, in the proportion of i pint to 26 gallons of ver-
muth. The white of a single Ggg^ well beaten, for each 26 gallons,
or about half a fluid ounce of fish glue, is also used for this pur-
pose. The vermuth should be allowed to remain in the barrel for
about five days after the collage, after which time it may be drawn
off and filtered.

If the vermuth thus made is not sufficiently sweet, a little sweet
wine or rock-candy sirup may be added. Its degree of sweetness,
however, should not exceed 5° to 7° on the Baum6 scale. Newly
made vermuth has a flavor of herbs, which is sometimes a trifle too
pronounced. Age alone causes the disappearance of this.

Certain manufacturers, instead of putting the herbs and other
ingredients directly into the barrel, first inclose them in a linen sack,



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PREPARATION OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE.



6oi



which is then suspended in the barrel of wine. The sack is with-
drawn every five or six days, the liquid expressed from it into the
wine, and the sack again suspended. It is left in the wine for a
month, at the end of which time it is taken out, all the liquid pressed
out of it, and the fluid thus expressed returned to the barrel.

Other manufacturers first make an alcoholic extract of the in-
gredients, which extract is afterwards mixed with the wine in the
proportions given below.

To obtain the alcoholic extract referred to, it is but necessary to
reduce the dry ingredients meritioned to powder and place the same
in about lo to 12 quarts, of alcohol of 85° strength. The solution is
allowed to remain standing for a week, after which 19 quarts of al-
cohol and 7.35 quarts of white wine are added, together with the
herbs cut into small pieces. The solution is then warmed in a water
bath, which should not be heated above 140° F. After half an hour's
warming, it is removed from the fire, allowed to cool and to remain
standing for eight or nine days, during which time it should be fre-
quently stirred, in order that the sediment may be brought as much
as possible in contact with the liquid. The solution, when perfectly
clear, is placed in a large glass vessel, and forms an extract of ver-
muth. To make the article of commerce, 1.58 quarts of the extract
are mixed with 2. 1 1 quarts of white wine.

If, in the simple process of infusion first described, the addition
of alcohol to the wine precipitates the tartar contained in the latter
and causes cloudiness, the solution should be allowed to stand a few
days until it clears, after which the solid ingredients may be added.

The quality of the vermuth manufactured in France depends in a
great measure upon the sort of wine used. The wines most em-
ployed are those of the valley of the Rhone, Pickardin, Picpoul, cer-
tain Spanish wines, and the wines of the extreme south of France.

There is a difference between the French and the Italian vermuth.
A number of French manufacturers make Italian vermuth, however;
not for the purpose of deceiving the consumer as to its origin, but
merely as a type of vermuth distinct in flavor from the article known
as French vermuth.

The following are the ingredients which enter into Italian vermuth :



Articles.


Quantity.


Articles.


Quantity.


Swcct white wine CPicpoul)..ga lions...

Wormwood pounds...

Hclenium .••■..•....■..■.■.f..t.r. do


25.08
0.275
0.275
0.275

0.275
0.275

0.275

1


Cinnamon pounds...

Angelica root.„ grains...

Gentian .- do

Nutmeg do

Fresh orange, sliced number...

Alcohol, at 85® quarts...


0.22

925.8
925.8


Calamus odoratus «xlo


CenUury do

Holy thistle .do

Water germander „.do


23* -45

z
5.28



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602 PREPARATION OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE.

When the process of infusion above described is completed, the
manufacturer, or an expert connoisseur identified with his manufac-
tory, samples the vermuth in order to find whether or not it pos-
sesses the desired taste. Should the beverage be too bitter, the fault
can be remedied by adding a small quantity of wine until, little by
little, the proper flavor is reached. If not sufficiently bitter, a small
quantity of the solid ingredients, in the proportions given, may be
again infused in the wine. Nor is it necessary that vermuth should
possess great alcoholic strength to be good. Some manufacturers
make vermuth which contains 17** of alcohol, while others keep their
product down to 12°. The average strength is from 14° to 15°.

While the formulas given in this report are the ones commonly in
use, it is quite possible — in fact, it is even probable — that anyone
attempting to make vermuth from them, without having some prac-
tical knowledge of the art, would fail to produce an exact or ap-
proximate imitation of the article now exported to America. The
successful manufacture of beverages requires, without doubt, more
technical knowledge of .the processes employed than mere refer-
ence to text-books and recipes can furnish ; and the same deduction
may be applied to any of the arts or sciences, from silver plating to
operative surgery.

It would accordingly be advisable for persons intending to make
vermuth in America to spend some weeks in Marseilles and Turin
and endeavor, in spite of the innumerable obstacles with which they
would meet, to obtain some practical experience in its manufacture.

John Preston Beecher,

Havre, February 28^ iSpp, Deputy Consul,



PARIS.



I have the honor to state, in reply to Department's unnumbered
dispatch of the 28th of January, 1899, that I have been unable to
secure any reliable information as to the manufacture of vermuth;
in fact, it is a foregone certainty that a request for the formula which
a manufacturer employs, the result of which, in all probability, has
been the secret of his success and means of accumulating a fortune,
would meet with a refusal couched in polite language.

There are three vermuths which are popular in Paris — vermuth
de Turin, vermuth quina, and vermuth sec. The origin of the first
is indicated by its name; the second is manufactured in Milan, by
Fernet* and the third, the most eminent French brand, by Noilly-
Prat, at Marseilles.

Of course, it is a well-known fact that the base of vermuth is a



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PREPARATION OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE.



603



distillation of herbs, combined with a certain white wine ; but details
of its manufacture, with the proportions of different ingredients, I
am, up to the present, unable to ascertain. The prices of the fore-
going are, per liter (1.05 quarts), respectively, 3 francs (77 cents),
3.75 francs (90 cents), and 2.50 francs (48 cents).

John K. Gowdy,
Paris, March /j, i8gg. Consul- GeneraL



ITALY.



MILAN.



The principal place of manufacture of vermuth in Italy is Turin,
and there is quite an extensive export to South America. Milan is
not noted for its vermuth. The exportation to the United States
is chiefly from Turin, the value amounting in 1898 to $184,786.01.
The only other point of export was Genoa, and only to the amount
of $836.67. Following is a translation of a letter received from
the Chamber of Commerce at Turin, in answer to a letter asking for
information:

In 1897, Italy exported of vermuth 1,250 hectoliters in kegs (i hectoliter=26.4i7
gallons) and 2,430,000 bottles (each bottle containing about i liter, on. 0567 quarts).
As to the total quantity produced in Italy and that consumed in the Kingdom, we
have no statistics.

The different manufacturers of vermuth use different formulas,
and, while most of them arrive at practically the same results, still
each one varies his ingredients so as to give, in his opinion, the best
quality of vermuth. One of the leading druggists in Milan obtained
for me the following formula:



Articles.



Correandri fructus....
Strong orange peel..

Absinth

Gentian....

Blossom of roses.

Elecampane ~



Quantity.

Grams.* I
240 I
56'
M .
56 '
20
40



Articles.



Quantity.



Cloves

Pepper

Cinnamon..

Mace

Calamo



Grams.*



14
14



*x gram= 15.432 grains.

. The above is put in 25 gallons of any kind of new, sweet, white
wine. All the ingredients are left in the wine until a complete fer-
mentation takes place and there is a simple infusion (usually in eight



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PREPARATION OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE.



or ten days), and the flavor is palatable. The clear part is then
filtered and bottled. If sweet wine is used, no other sweetening is
needed ; otherwise, burned sugar is employed.

Wm. Jarvis,
Milan, April 25, 189^, Consul.



TURIN.

The vermuth of Turin is the best known, most highly esteemed,
and extensively sold vermuth that is manufactured. Its popularity
in America is witnessed by the steady increase in the amount of ver-
muth annually exported from this consular district to the United
States. In the past seven years, the value of the vermuth thus ex-
ported has increased more than threefold. In 1891, the value of the
vermuth exported was $59,942, while in 1898 it reached $184,786.
This vermuth is manufactured in different towns and villages in this
neighborhood, but all the important establishments have their prin-
cipal offices in Turin. There are probably fifty establishments at
present engaged in the manufacture of vermuth in this district, em-
ploying from two to seventy-five hands each. In 1891, there were
but five firms who exported to the United States, and these same
firms still continue to control the American export business. The
exportation of vermuth from this district for three years to foreign
countries, including France, Switzerland, Germany, the United
States, and South America, was as follows :





Description.


1894.


1895.


1896.


In casks....


QuarU.
1,901,700


Quarts.

1,134,800

2,252,700


Quarts.
i,2o8,aoo


In bottles









The vermuth of Turin, which is a generic and commercial name
for all of the vermuth manufactured in the province of Piedmont,
should have for its basis good moscato wine, and it should exhibit:

{a) Alcohol not in excess, but say from 15 to 17 per cent.

{b) A slight and pleasant aroma.

[c) A slight but by no means excessive bitter taste.

{d) A small quantity of sugar.

{e) A good rich color; it should be perfectly clear.

For the purposes of this report, it will be necessary to examine
but three methods of preparation:

(i) Vermuth made from natural wine —

{a) With vegetable substances.

{b) With extracts.



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PREPARATION OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE. 605

(2) Vermuth made from alcoholized wine.

(3) Vermuth made from new (unfermented) wine.

The basis of all good vermuth is unquestionably a good white
wine of the first quality, very clear and bright, by no means acid,
but, on the contrary, rather sweet and smooth. The choice of the
wine used is of the greatest importance, and the vermuth of Turin
owes its popularity not only to special secret recipes employed for
mixing the ingredients which are employed in its manufacture, but
more especially to the quality of wine used, which is usually a good
moscato. Good wine is absolutely essential, for with bad wine only
a bad vermuth can be obtained. Moscato is by no means the only
wine that can be satisfactorily used to make vermuth; any sort of
white wine which has a delicate taste and is sufficiently sweet and
also aromatic and of an alcoholic grade between 12 and 14 or 15 per
cent at the most will serve the purpose quite as well. It is best to
use rather old wine, because, if wine is used that has only recently
been made, the vermuth is apt to turn out badly. It will not keep
well and will easily become cloudy.

It is proper to state that large quantities of vermuth are actually
manufactured without the use of any wine whatever as a basis.
These spurious imitations are made exclusively of water, alcohol, ex-
tracts of drugs, aromatic herbs, and tartaric acid. These prepara-
tions are not properly included in the category of vermuth wines,
and are condemned for many reasons.

VERMUTH MADE FROM NATURAL WINE WITH VEGETABLE SUBSTANCES.

The method of treatment is as follows: A quantity of good
white wine, as above descfribed, is put into a clean, white wine
barrel. Then the vegetable substances which are employed to give
taste, color, and aroma to the wine are added. The selection of
these vegetable substances and the proportion of each used is a
matter of individual taste and judgment. If desired, they may be
purchased already mixed from a seed or herb merchant. The de-
sirable quantity and proportion of vegetable substances having been
placed in a mortar, they are broken into small bits, but not reduced
to a powder; they are then put into a bag of loosely woven cotton
cloth which is sufficiently large to permit of the free expansion of
its contents. This bag is then placed in the barrel of wine and sus-
pended so that it will remain in the middlfc of the barrel. This
operation, by means of which several vegetable substances are mixed
with wine or spirits, is called ** digestion." After remaining in the
wine for four or five days, the bag is removed and the wine squeezed
out of it, and it is then immediately returned to its previous place



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6o6



PREPARATION OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE.



in the barrel, where it remains for another five or six days, when the
squeezing process is again repeated. This treatment is continued
for a month or even more, if it is desired to obtain a more aromatic
vermuth. Finally, the bag is removed from the wine and placed un-
der a press to extract any flavoring properties which may yet remain.
If now the vermuth does not appear to be sufficiently aromatic, a
new bag is filled with vegetable substances as above and is sus-
pended in the wine until the required result is obtained. If, on the
other hand, it appears to be too aromatic, a little pure white wine
is added. The wine is said to be saturated when these substances
cease to give out any further aroma or flavor to the wine, even
though there is yet remaining a residue which might be brought out
if exposed to a higher temperature. The vermuth having thus been
brought to a satisfactory aromatic condition, the next step is to filter
it. For this purpose, woolen or flannel filters and filter paper (*'Jo-
seph paper,'* without glue) are employed. These woolen or flannel
filters, when new, have a disagreeable taste, and must be carefully
washed in hot acidulated water and then in cold water till all trace
of this taste has disappeared. The filter, having been properly
prepared, is spread over the top of a big bucket, when the ver-
muth, which has been prepared as above explained, is slowly and
carefully poured through the filter. In many of the vermuth factories
in Piedmont, filters are used made of cellulose, **alback,'* **krauss,"
etc., which give entirely satisfactory results. The clear vermuth is
then put into bottles or barrels and is ready for use.

The following is a formula for the preparation of loo quarts of
the Turin vermuth:



Articles.



Quantity.



Red bitter wine

Wormwood:

Grana

Sharp

Mild

Dittany

Pulverized sweet flag

Pulverized coriander seed
Pulverized iris



Liters.

2

Grains.
20

30

20
as

25

25
100



Quarts.

3. II
Grains.

308

308

308

385

385

385
1.543



The above herbs are mixed in the red wine and warmed over
a fire for about two minutes; the wine is then put into a jar and
left for ten days, care being taken to thoroughly stir it each day.



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PREPARATION OF VERMUTH IN EUROPE.
At the same time, the following preparation is made:



607



Articles.



Quantity.



Toncha beans

Sweet marjoram.

Nutmeg..

Cloves

Semiangelica......

Yarrow

Saffron

Alcohol

Water



Grams.

25



Liters.



Grains.

38s

154

154

>54

154

154

154
Quarts.

2.XZ

1.06



The above substances, after having been pounded and mixed
together, are, with the alcohol and water, put into a basin and
placed over the fire for a couple of minutes, or till they are fairly
warmed. The liquid is then placed in a tightly closed receptacle,
where it is left for ten days. At the end of this time, both of these
liquids are drained off by pressure and are then mixed together.
Sixty quarts of sweet white wine are placed in a receptacle with two
pounds of white sugar and eight pounds of glucose, both of which
have first been thoroughly dissolved in water. Eight quarts of alco-
hol are added ; and, lastly, the liquid obtained from the two infu-
sions above described is poured in. The preparation is then placed
in a barrel, and, after remaining eight days, it is clarified by the use
of fish glue and well stirred. It is then allowed to rest for another
eight days, when the vermuth is passed' into another barrel, being
filtered carefully through a woolen filter prepared with powdered
filter paper. The vermuth is then put into casks or bottles and is
ready for use.

Another formula for the preparation of vermuth is as follows:



Articles.



Nutmeg

Peruvian bark

Mild wormwood..

Sweet flag



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 224-227 → online text (page 72 of 92)