Spiritus Frumenti, Whisky. Spiritus Vini Gallici, B.P., Brandy.


Related entries: Alcohol


Whisky is an alcoholic liquid obtained by distillation from fermented malt and occasionally, as in Ireland from other grain and containing about 44 to 45 per cent. by volume of ethyl hydroxide. It is official in the U.S.P., when it should contain from 44 to 35 per cent. by volume of absolute alcohol. It should be distilled preferably in a pot still, and be kept for at least five years before use. It occurs as an amber-coloured liquid, with a distinctive odour and taste, and a slightly acid reaction. Specific gravity, 0.924 to 0.947. It should be free from more than traces of fusel oil and tannin, and entirely free from added sugar, glycerin, or aromatic substances.

Uses.—Whisky is a favourite means of administering alcohol (see Alcohol), and is frequently preferred to brandy because it is more readily obtained unadulterated.


Related entry: Sherry

Brandy is obtained by distillation from the wine of grapes, and matured by age. It occurs as a pale amber-coloured liquid, having a characteristic odour and taste, and, as a rule, a slightly acid reaction. Specific gravity, about 0.957. It should contain not less than 36.5 per cent. by weight, or 43.5 per cent. by volume of ethyl hydroxide (U.S.P., from 39 to 47 per cent. by weight, or 46 to 53 per cent. by volume, of absolute alcohol, and specific gravity from 0'925 to 0.941). When exposed on clean, white filtering paper it should leave no unpleasant odour after evaporation (absence of fusel oil and allied impurities). It should be free from added sugar, glycerin, and aromatic substances, and should contain not more than traces of tannin.

Uses.—Brandy is employed in medicine chiefly as Mistura Spiritus Vini Gallici. The characteristic odour and flavour of brandy are. due chiefly to the presence of oenanthic ether and other volatile products derived from the wine. Some of the vascular effects are due to these substances. For its action see under Alcohol.


Aqua Vitae Hibernis Popularis, P.L., 1677.—USQUEBAGH.
Brandy, 24 pounds (Apoth.); liquorice root, 1 pound (Apoth); raisins, stoned, ½ pound (Apoth.); cloves, ½ ounce (Apoth.); ginger, 2 drachms; mace, 2 drachms. Macerate for fourteen days, and strain.
Mistura Spiritus Vini Gallici, B.P.—MIXTURE OF BRANDY.
Brandy, 4 fluid ounces; cinnamon water, 4 fluid ounces; refined sugar, ½ ounce; 2 yolks of eggs. Triturate the yolk of egg with the sugar; then mix with the cinnamon water and brandy. This is a stimulant to the heart and circulation, and a valuable food in certain acute diseases. Dose.—30 to 60 mils (1 to 2 fluid ounces).

The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.