Friday, 15 January 2021

George, your glass is empty

Just in time for the holiday season, here are some Christmas drink tips. From 1949.

First is mulled beer.

WHEN the word goes round that the level is low in the glass of your guests, here are a few ideas for refilling them.

HOT MULLED ALE.— This is about the best "one for the road" for a cold Christmas night. We give you two ways in which to make it. One pretty strong, one not so strong. 

One measure of rum (or sherry for the weak version) to six of strong ale (or stout or mild ale for the weak version) but not bitter. 

Heat gently till it steams (a saucepan on the gas ring will do) and add a good pinch of nutmeg and powdered ginger. Cloves are a good idea. too. 

If you have an orange, stick it full of cloves and let the orange float in the liquid. You must keep mulled ale hot; place it in an outer saucepan of boiling water and serve with a ladle.
Sunday Mirror - Sunday 25 December 1949, page 7.

I love the phrase  "If you have an orange". It reveals so much about the times. There was still rationing and not everyone had access to oranges.

Pretty sure I'd go for the strong version.

Now for a cold drink:

COLD CIDER CUP.— This would be a good refresher just before lunch on Boxing Day. 

If you can get it, use still cider for this one, although it is stronger, and it might be a good idea to dilute it with a splash of soda water. If you can only get bubbly cider, stick to the recipe below: 

To each quart of cider, add one wineglass of gin and one of sherry. If you have it, add some sliced fruit — apples, pears, halved grapes, quartered oranges. Better still, soak this fruit in the cider the night before and add the gin and sherry on the following day. Serve as cold as possible.
Sunday Mirror - Sunday 25 December 1949, page 7. 

Gain, it's not assumed that you can get hold of fruit. At least there doesn't seem to have been trouble sourcing the booze. That would have made life more bearable.

Finally, two cocktails.

SHORT DRINK.—This is how to make a real 100 per cent dry martini—the way they do it in America: The important thing is to use French vermouth which is much drier than Italian. Ice is essential for this drink If you have no refrigerator try to get some from your "local" and keep it wrapped in sacking or felt in a draught. Wash the ice before you use it. 

You don't mix a dry martini in a cocktail shaker. Crack plenty of ice and place it in a jug. Pour in the gin and French in the following proportions - the proportions are important — one part of French to five of gin. Stir gently with a fork or hold the jug by the handle and rotate the whole thing gently for about a minute. Place a screw of lemon peel in each glass before serving. 

LONG DRlNK.— Although this is said to be a trick used by crafty bartenders to fool customers into thinking they are drinking champagne it's a perfectly good drink on its own. 

One glass of sherry topped up with one large bottle of tonic water (or one-and-a-half small bottles). Ice the tonic water first if possible.
Sunday Mirror - Sunday 25 December 1949, page 7. 

I don't think many people had a fridge in 1940. So off to the local with a sack it was. Usefully, most homes were so poorly insulated there would be no problem finding a draught.

Pretty sure I wouldn't be fooled into thinking a mix of sherry and tonic water was champagne. Not unless I was well pissed.

1 comment:

Rob Sterowski said...

Odd that they imagine people without a fridge might nonetheless have a cocktail shaker which they need to be warned not to use.