Brandy is Freedom Flowers' preservative of choice in our flower essences. If you order a Custom Combo, you can request an alcohol-free version made with apple cider vinegar instead, but in an off-the-shelf product, it will be preserved with brandy.
It's natural, tastes good in the minute doses and most importantly, gives a very long shelf life. Flower essences, by design have so much life force within them that a hefty preservative is needed as well as the colored glass to inhibit light absorption. Brandy allows a properly stored flower essence to last indefinitely. If a flower essence goes bad, it's obvious. Slimy, funky, growing algae? Inferior or insufficient preservative.
In a glass of water with a standard 4 drop dosage, brandy wins. It makes water taste like really good water. Vinegar has a slight vinegar taste that cats and kids are not generally fans of. I doubt either preservative would be perceptible in any flavored drink.
"Wait wait wait! You're giving brandy to cats and kids?" Let's put this in perspective. In a 1 oz flower essence bottle, half the volume will be brandy. Brandy itself is 40% alcohol by volume. You need 2-4 drops for a dosage and it will be diluted in a glass of water or other choice beverage. How big a glass is up to you. I also doubt you're going to down all that at once. You will get more alcohol in your bloodstream through the natural process of digestion and fermentation of food. No one's getting drunk off flower essences.
Still, alcohol is a concern for some people, even at that small dose. In that case, you can still use a brandy-based essence externally by dotting on pulse points, or evaporating the alcohol off by adding it to a hot beverage. You also can special order any of our essences with a vinegar base instead.
I use Christian Brothers brandy because it goes from copper to oak to glass. I can buy it in quantity without the plastic jug. Yesssss! Don't buy booze in plastic, I don't care how cheap it is. Alcohol is a great solvent that will extract the chemicals in the plastic. I know you can use the dosage argument I just gave you, applied to the BPA parts-per-million, but I don't care! I don't have to like BPA's and you don't have to like brandy. FYI, I don't buy vinegar in plastic either.I hope that is a better clarification as to my choices, puts your mind at ease and gives you a work around solution.