Amateur Liquor Hour

I have always been fascinated by making liquor. At a very young age my parents used to let me make wine under the sink at home. I made it out of whatever was handy. I made it from dandelions, sugar, whatever I could get my hands on. I remember my grandfather, who had a particular appetite for intoxicating beverages once tasted my dandelion wine, and looked appreciatively at my father and said "This is good". It had the potency of rocket fuel. It unfortunately tasted like diesel waste, but everyone in my family drank for effect, and not for gourmet tastes.

So, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will remember when I made my coltsfoot liquor out of an emergent spring flower that is technically a weed, but not in the colloquial sense. Here is the graphic:

It was intended to compete with J├Ągermeister. I never did get production past the amount that you see in the above picture. I thought that the taste needed a bit of work until I came across amateur liquor in my friend Yve's collection. It is pictured below:
It is called Gentiane de Jura. Gentiane is French for gentian, a herb which is pictured on the bottle. Gentian is the basis of Angostura Bitters. It's that stuff that comes in a small bottle with an oversized label, and has more pucker power than Sour Babies dissolved in witch hazel and quinine laced tonic water. Jura is a region of the Alps in France and Switzerland.

The label on the bottle looks like it was printed on a home computer. It probably was. The concoction was made without the benefit of a formal distillery, inspection, annoying government interference in the production of alcohol and any sort of mechanization. It is truly amateur liquor.

If you translate the label, the statement is that there are 12 virtues of this stuff. It is an aperitif which stimulates your appetite. The next virtue is that it is a carminative. This is the scientific term for a medicinal fart suppressor. The third virtue is a depurative. This means that it removes impurities from your body fluids such as blood. Technically then, it should make itself disappear from your body.

Moving on, another virtue is that it is a digestive. After you eat a big meal, you take a shot of this and it aids digestion (and suppresses gas, and acts as Drano for your veins). This scientific wonder is also a febrifuge, which means that it combats fevers. Now we are definitely moving from the Pepto Bismol realm to the pharmaceutical realm.

Continuing on down the list, it says that the stuff is also a refresher. What it refreshes is not exactly clear, but presumably the liver is not part of the body parts that are refreshed. Related to the refresher, is the reconstituter. I think that this is like Geritol, a blood strengthener for old folks, except that it is 40 proof. You would think that Popeye the Sailor Man would switch from spinach to this stuff. Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

The next virtue and benefit of Gentiane du Jura is that it is a salivaire or saliva inducer. This is supposed to aid digestion because saliva has enzymes to break down food. Do not order this on the first date. The last thing that the putative, future love of your life wants to see, is saliva flowing and you drooling like a Golden Retriever being shown filet mignon.

The list continues. This amateur liquor is a stimulant, stomach quieter, tonic and vermifuge. Vermifuge is the technical term for something that kills worms inside you. (Make your own joke here).

So there you have it. This amateur liquor is a boon to mankind, and if there is no false advertising, it should win the Nobel Prize in Medicine. I tried a little taste of it. It gave me a hot flash, and I thought that I was having a heart attack.

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