Thursday, 27 December 2012

Yet more Mild cocktails

I'm shocked, but pleased, at how many Mild Ale cocktails I'm finding. How come I've never seen one featured on the telly? There's enough for a whole programme.

this sound like a fun tradition. I wonder when it died out?

"Scotch Hot Pint.—Grate a nutmeg into two quarts of mild ale, and bring it to the point of boiling. Mix a little cold ale with a considerable quantity of sugar and three eggs well beaten. Gradually mix the hot ale with the eggs, taking care that they do not curdle. Put in a half-pint of whisky, and bring it once more nearly to boil, and then briskly pour it from one vessel into another till it become smooth and bright.

Obs.-—This beverage, carried round in a bright copper tea-kettle, is the celebrated new-year's-morning "Het Pint" of Edinburgh and Glasgow. In Aberdeen, half-boiled sowens is used on the same festive occasion. The above is the national beverage now. A more refined composition is made by substituting white wine for ale, and brandy for whisky."
"The Cook and Housewife's Manual" by Christian Isobel Johnstone, 1828, page 452.

It also explains Het Pint. It isn't Dutch, it's Scots.

"Wassail-Bowl, a Centre Supper-Dish.—Crumble down as for Trifle a nice fresh cake (or use maccaroom, or other small biscuit) into a china punch-bowl or deep glass dish. Over this pour some sweet rich wine, as Malmsey Madeira, if wanted very rich, but raisin-wine will do. Sweeten this, and pour a wellseasoned rich custard over it. Strew nutmeg and grated sugar over it, and stick it over with sliced blanched almonds.

Obs.—This is, in fact, just a rich eating posset. A very good wassail-bowl may be made of mild ale well spiced and sweetened, and a plain rice-custard with few eggs."
"The Cook and Housewife's Manual" by Christian Isobel Johnstone, 1828, page 420.

Wassail. People are always going on about that nowadays. I've always been dead dubious about much of what is written about it. This sound genuine enough, however.

1 comment:

Gary Gillman said...

Ron, these are very old preparations. They reflect a time when they were used as much for food and calories as intoxicants. There is little left of this tradition. First, in a diet-conscious age, these drinks, and eating dishes (when assuming that form), are horrors. Second, they often use raw eggs, and health concerns (salmonella especially) have pretty much written them off for this reason alone.

English trifle is a survival of the tradition in modified form, and there is no reason not to use a strong sweet ale in it, I am sure examples exist of ale trifle in fact. Junkets and possets too, but they are little eaten today.

Christmas cake is perhaps another example (fruit, eggs, flour, liquor of some kind) but more distant certainly from a semi-liquid beverage.