Raspberry, Strawberry, Currant or Orange Effervescing Draughts (1875) ★★

I decided to make the orange version of this drink, since oranges yield a fair amount of juice. I halved the recipe and 8 oranges gave me 2 cups of juice. I also substituted cream of tartar for the tartaric acid, which I wouldn't really advise, but it was difficult for me to find tartaric acid.

Original Recipe:
Raspberry, Strawberry, Currant or Orange Effervescing Draughts. - Take 1 quart of the juice of either of the above fruits filter it and boil it into a syrup with 1 lb of powdered loaf sugar. To this add 1 1/2 oz of tartaric acid. When cold put it into a bottle and keep it well corked. When required for use fill a half pint tumbler three parts full of water and add 2 table spoonfuls of the syrup. Then stir in briskly a small tea spoonful of carbonate of soda and a very delicious drink will be formed. The colour may be improved by adding a very small portion of cochineal to the syrup at the time of boiling.

The Verdict:
Making this as indicated made a super salty drink. As in, I immediately spat it out of my mouth because it was like drinking salt water. The cream of tartar I used made the orange syrup a little salty, but adding the baking soda really put it over the top. Also, this was not "effervescent" at all. The baking soda made a few bubbles, but it obviously needs more acid to react with. I tasted the syrup alone and it was okay. I mixed 4 tablespoons of syrup with about a cup of water and it was drinkable. Something about the flavour was off, though...possibly because of my tartaric acid substitution? Anyway, I'm not sure if I will finish this or not. I might just use it in a smoothie or something to hide the taste.

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from Things a Lady Would Like to Know)

1 1/2 ounces TARTARIC ACID

1. Juice the fruit of your choice so that you have 4 cups of fresh juice.
2. In a medium saucepan, boil the juice and sugar for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves. Add the tartaric acid.
3. When cool, mix the syrup with water to taste.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.


  1. Dread Pirate RogersAugust 22, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Did you double the amount of cream of tartar? Apparently when you substitute cream of tartar for tartaric acid, you're supposed to double the amount. And it looks like you might be able to find tartaric acid in home brewing stores.

    1. Yep, I did.
      I think it's just not a good substitute, unfortunately.