Prohibition and Aromatherapy

Prohibition in the United States was a measure designed to reduce drinking by eliminating the businesses that manufactured, distributed, and sold alcoholic beverages. The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took away license to do business from the sellers of alcoholic beverages. Thisf incorrect hypothesis  was that this Ammendment would make Americans stop drinking alcohol.  

Sacramental wine was still permitted for religious purposes and drug stores were allowed to sell “medicinal whiskey” to treat everything from toothaches to the flu. With a physician’s prescription, “patients” could legally buy a pint of hard liquor every ten days. This “medicine” often came with doctor’s orders such as “Take three ounces every hour for stimulant until stimulated.”

Many speakeasies eventually operated under the mask of being pharmacies,; soon, these legitimate “drug stores” were created. According to Prohibition historian Daniel Okrent, windfalls from legal alcohol sales helped the drug store chain Walgreens grow from around 20 locations to more than 500 during the 1920s.

Busch refitted their breweries to make ice cream, while Coors produced pottery and ceramics. Others produced “near beer”—legal brew that contained less than 0.5 percent alcohol. The lion’s share of brewers kept in business by selling malt syrup.  Winemakers followed a similar route by selling chunks of grape concentrate called “wine after”. Franklin D. Roosevelt easily won the Presential Election in 1932 when he appealed Prohibition. It was dead a year later; in New Orleans, the decision was honored with 20 minutes of celebratory cannon fire. Roosevelt supposedly marked the occasion by downing a dirty martini.

The practice of allowing certain grains, fruits, and sugars to ferment so that they produce an intoxicating beverage has been around since ancient times. Fermentation is a chemical change brought about by the yeast, bacteria, and mold in an animal or vegetable organism. In the production of alcoholic beverages, yeast enzymes act on the sugars in the mash (usually dextrose and maltose) and convert them to ethyl alcohol.

It was in the tenth century writings of an Arabian alchemist named Albukassen that the first written account of distillation was found. Distillation was also said mentioned among the writings of the thirteenth century Majorcan mystic Ramon Llull. Distillation is a heating and condensing process that drives gas or vapor from liquids or solids to form a new substance. Distilled spirits are also known as ardent (Latin for burn) spirits.

Read more:

In the latter part of the twentieth century, flavored vodkas became popular. Thus, herbs, grasses, spices, and fruit essences may be added to the vodka after distillation. These are usually purchased from an outside supplier.

Read more:

 Historically, fruit has been absent from breweries in most major brewing centers. The use of fruit in beer was banned in Germany from 1516 to 1987 when the Reinheitsgebot (the German Beer Purity law) was in effect. English brewers use adjuncts in some of their beers, but there are no traditional British fruit beers. The use of fruit does, however, have a long history in Belgian brewing. Belgian brewers flavor their lambics with cherries and raspberries to make kriek and framboise, respectively. More recently, lambics have been flavored with peaches (Peche) and black currants (Cassis).

Production of whisky and bourbon is interesting.  According to most sources, although the initial processings are the same, the two quickly differentiate based on several facets. One of the most important details is the wooden oak barrel.  For more information, please see:

     Aromatherapy is the focus of Special Scents.  We were initially interested in how business survival during our 2020 COVID 19 Pandemic included a redefinition of many businesses initial function.  This is directly parallelled to Prohibition business repurposing.  Next, the evolution of libations including fruit and spices.  Were these additions for palateability or scent? Or both?

     We then began to experiment with oils, spices, fruit puree, etc. in our soaps.  We occasionally stock cucumber  puree and matcha green tea cucumber puree soaps, strawberry puree, and others while in season. Now, we have added candle and wickless wax melts based on "homebrewed" libations from the early 1900's.  We hope you guys enjoy our aromatic interpretations of  Prohibition Libations Candles.  

     These items contain NO alcohol, only flavorings, scents, and CocoSoy Organic Was with ecofriendly wooden wicks.  These are also nonconsumable and should not be ingested.





Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published