Tap for Effervescing Liquids

Who didn’t love the mechanical milk/cocktail shaker? Or wasn’t captivated by Carbonating with an Agitating Head? I love a good archaic mechanical device.

I think I’m going to fabricate one of these:

Granted I suspect it was never made. You cannot put Champagne on tap because the pressure required to keep the gas dissolved is so high, even at fridge temp, that it would rocket the liquid through the tap creating a lot of turbulence and de-gassing it as it splattered into your glass.

But its wonderful to know what they were thinking about in 1881.


Extracted from Scientific American Supplement no. 275, April 9, 1881.

When a bottle of any liquor charged with carbonic acid under strong pressure, such as champagne, sparkling cider, seltzer water, etc., is uncorked, the contents often escape with considerable force, flow out, and are nearly all lost. Besides this, the noise made by the popping of the cork is not agreeable to most persons. To remedy these inconveniences there has been devised the simple apparatus which we represent in the accompanying cut, taken from La Nature. The device consists of a hollow, sharp-pointed tube, having one or two apertures in its upper extremity which are kept closed by a hollow piston fitting in the interior of the tube. This tube, or “tap,” as it may be called, is supported on a firm base to which is attached a draught tube, and a small lever for actuating the piston. After the tap has been thrust through the cork of the bottle of liquor the contents may be drawn in any quantity and as often as wanted by simply pressing down the lever with the finger; this operation raises the piston so that its apertures correspond with those in the sides of the top, and the liquid thus finds access to the draught tube through the interior of the piston. By removing the pressure the piston descends and thus closes the vents. By means of this apparatus, then, the contents of any bottle of effervescing liquids may be as easily drawn off as are those contained in the ordinary siphon bottles in use.

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