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Hoffmann's Drops
by Erowid
v1.0 Oct 2000
Ether was sold in the late 1800s as a 'medicinal' for women. It was not considered proper for women to drink alcohol, especially during the temperance movement, and so they instead took extremely potent 'medicines' when the men did their drinking. One product was called "Hoffmannstropfen" or "Hoffmann's Drops", which was 3 parts alcohol to 1 part ether.

Ether, taken straight, will burn the mouth and be very unpleasant, but when mixed with alcohol it is possible to ingest orally. In the English translation of the book Phantastica by Louis Lewin (originally published in German in the 1924), the translator calls it "Liquor Hoffmanni" and says "A large number of 'abstainers', especially women, employ this spirit of ether as a remedy against states of depression from which they frequently suffer. They would protest at being called alcoholists or etheromaniacs. Nevertheless they are to a certain degree slaves to the habit, which often becomes a mania. I know a court case where a woman was said to have consumed within four years thirty thousand marks' worth of this liquid. Attention should be paid to drinkers of these drops."