Gin recipe, ca. 1925

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

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This prohibition-era recipe provides instruction to create one quart of gin. Using a small pill bottle to mix the flavor concoction, it is then added to one pint of water and one pint of “alky”- an abbreviation for alkalinity or alkaline. In this case, “alky” is likely lye or a similar compound intended to reduce acid and increase potency.

Lye is a corrosive and can be found in industrial cleaners. However, food-grade lye is used for curing foods and reducing bitterness. Considering the recipe is for an alcoholic beverage during the period of federal prohibition, it is assumed a more potent lye mixture is required.

This recipe is attributed to Capt. Sherwood Picking, U.S.N., of Falmouth, Maine. This recipe was among his alcohol making kit. Many recipes within the kit are stained from various ingredients.

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About This Item

  • Title: Gin recipe, ca. 1925
  • Creator: Sherwood Picking
  • Creation Date: circa 1925
  • Subject Date: circa 1925
  • Location: USA
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 13.5 cm x 20 cm
  • Local Code: 2013.140.009
  • Collection: Picking family papers
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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