The vast majority of sugar houses, big or small, early or late, refined raw sugar in order to produce sugar for sale in the forms of loaves, lumps, ground, granulated, cubes, etc, as well as dark treacles and golden syrups, and of course molasses. There were just a few however, 1790s to 1890s, that concentrated on the production of capillaire and spirit colour, both light syrups, but for very different purposes. These refiners often styled themselves as "Liquid Refined Sugar Makers".
Capillaire was a water-clear syrup originally flavoured with dried maidenhair fern though
later with orange-flower water, much used by confectioners as a flavouring, and also as a
cordial. (1) In the theatre advertisements on the front of The Times the sale of capillaire as
a refreshment was often mentioned.
Spirit colour was developed as a colouring for rum ... a boiled dark muscovado sugar
with a small amount of rum added was produced, and about 3 pints would colour 100 gallons of
Those found to be involved in this trade ...
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1. 'Sugar - A Handbook for Planters & Refiners' by Lock & Newlands Bros, pub Spon 1888 - pp593.
2. 'Sugar - A Handbook for Planters & Refiners' by Lock & Newlands Bros, pub Spon 1888 - pp789.