Pretty much most of us prefer 100 proof vodka as it's a nice balance of 50% water and 50% alcohol and it's relatively inexpensive ( I get Mr Boston hundred proof for $17 US for the big 1.75litre bottle. I think they keep it in stock just for me, not sure who really needs to DRINK hundred proof [xx(]) and also, vodka doesn't have much of a taste of its own.....I'm seeing more and more tinctures done in brandy these days, and I know Matthew Wood likes to use 100proof brandy! That's real hard to find and the only one I DID find is Slivovitz Plum Brandy that has a very DISTINCT taste....also, vodka can't be used for people who are truly gluten-sensitive (celiac disease) unless it's POTATO vodka....most vodka is made from GRAIN.
Gin??? now THAT might be interesting, motherwort tincture with a hit of JUNIPER berries ! [:p]....only 'special considerations' with using a lower proof is to know you're getting a bit less of the ALKALOIDS, the truly MEDICINAL properties.....so it might lead you to adjust dosages....might actually be an advantage for some of the ones we have to be VERY careful of, like Lobelia inflata, or Poke Root. Most large liquor stores can ORDER hundred proof, but might not be willing unless you were going to take a whole case.
I have a good friend Lisette whose daughter is named Arielle...when I saw your name I almost thought it might be THEM....(but they live right here in NY State, not Australia!)
And I second Amyd's note on the TASTE of brandy tinctures....really LOVELY....my next batch of Hawthorn Berry DEFINITELY goes into brandy. And there, getting us back to THE POINT, since Hawthorn Berry is one of the very FEW things I ever tincture DRIED, perhaps using 80 proof is a bit of an advantage, balance-wise. A bit more water to re-hydrate the dried berries....somethin' to THINK about.
Carry on, ladies, I'm off to gather more Motherwort right now!
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