Cheap Substitute for Sugar

[ Cheap Substitute for Sugar ] Dr. William James Almon

Contributor Role
Contributor Name
Dr. William James Almon

Date: Late 18th century; exact date unknown.

Publication Format


white honey
spiritous liquor

Nova Scotia
St. Petersburg

Source: Manuscript Notebook of Dr. William James Almon
Institution: Nova Scotia Archives | Source Origin: Almon Family Fonds | Reference: MG 1 / Microfilm Reel 10,045


Instructions from Hamburg and Petersburgh explaining how to make a sugar substitute from honey and treacle, p. 238. The first part of the entry was published as "Means of lessening the Consumption of Sugar" in The Phoenix; Or, Weekly Miscellany Improved, Vol. 3, No. 53 (10 July 1793), pp.348-49.


A pastry-cook at Hamburgh named Holzen, amas-
-sed a considerable fortune by using white honey, in-
-stead of sugar, in syrups, cordials, stewed fruit
and confectionary. He procured his Honey from 
Hungary, Walachia, and Spain; and the method
he employed to purify it was as follows:
After having melted, scummed, and clarified it, he
dipped into it five or six times successively, a large
nail, made each time, red hot in the fire. He 
also mixed with every half pound of honey a spoon-
-ful of spirituous liquor, which destroyed its melleous
taste. Tarts, especially those composed of cherries or
gooseberries, stewed fruit, prunes &cc. made with
this Honey, were much finer, and wholesomer than
those made with Sugar, and cost only half the
expence, as the price of honey is much less, than
that of Sugar, and as twelve ounces of the former 
will go as far as sixteen ounces of the latter.

Cheap Substitute for Sugar

The celebrated Mr. Lowitz of Petersbourg has
invented the following process for obtaining a suc-
-cedaneum to sugar equally pleasant and salutary 
Viz. Take twelve pounds weight of treacle,
the same weight of water; then grossly bruising
three pounds of charcoal thoroughly burnt, mix
the whole in a caldron, and let the mixture
boil gently; for half an hour; on a clear wood
fire. - After pouring the liquor through a strain-
-ing bag, replace it on the fire, that the super-
-fluous water may evaporate, and the treacle 
attain its original consistence. 

The region of northern Romania between the Carpathian Mountains and the Danube.
German-born Johann Tobias Lowitz (1757-1804) was a celebrated chemist and member of the Imperial Academy at St. Petersburg, Russia. His discovery of the uses of charcoal, especially for purifying water, were well known. (See Almon's entry on the uses of charcoal.)