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 a Bouquet Blend, we like to use brandy.
It's natural, tastes good in the low doses and gives the flower essence a very long shelf life. Flower essences, by design have so much life force within them that a powerful preservative is needed as well as the dark blue glass to inhibit light absorption. Brandy allows a properly stored flower essence to last indefinitely. We have a ten year expiration date on the bottles because the FDA requires one, and 10 years is the max they will allow. Flower essences that have gone bad are obvious. Slimy, funky, growing algae? Throw it out!
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. Neither preservative is perceptible in any flavored drink.
"Say what? Giving brandy to cats and kids?"
Let's put this in perspective. In a bottle of flower essences, 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.
Still, alcohol is a concern for some people, even at that level. 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.
I use Christian Brothers brandy because it goes from copper to oak to glass. I can buy it in quantity without the plastic jug. Alcohol is a great solvent that will extract the chemicals in the plastic. 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.