I am writing to request your advice or your assistance in directing me to someone who can help me in a rather personal quest. My family was in the liquor business from the late 1800's until the 1997 and because of this history I am in possession of 2 rather old bottles of bourbon. I have two old pint bottles of bottled in bond bourbon. The first is a bottle of Old Sunny Brook from the American Medicinal Spirits Company. Distillery #5. Per the green stamp it was made in the Fall of 1917 and bottled in the Spring of 1934. The second is a pint bottle of Benz Old Blue Ribbon a St. Paul, Mn company but the back label states the bourbon was produced by the Anderson Dist. Co. Distiller. Distillery No. 97. 5th District of KY. Again with a green strip stamp stating it was made in 1917 and bottled in 1934.
Both bottles have a number of stamps (Minnesota tax 12.5 cents, Certification of legislative session laws 33-34 chapter 46, one has an NRA eagle, etc.). I am confident they are the real thing.
Now to where I would like your help. Thirty years ago my father opened a similar bottle for my 21st birthday and I would like to do the same for my twins, Mike and Kate, on their 21st birthday. The Sunny Brook has lost about 1/3 of its volume and the Blue Ribbon has lost about 1/5. On May 28, 2007 I would like to open one of these bottles and share it with Mike and Kate, but I would like the liquor to be as close to the original as possible. If I were to find some grain alcohol and add it to the bottle after I open it would it be close to the original? or have both alcohol and water evaporated and require that I add both? or should I just serve it to them as it is?
Any advice or direction you could provide would be appreciated. I, and my best friend, will never forget the bottle we shared with my dad. I would really like to give Mike and Kate the same memory. I remember some loss of volume back in 1976, but I am worried that the evaporation over the last 30 years may be too extreme.