1/4 pint “mountain wine”
1/4 pint white wine
Grated peel of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
1 qt. rich cream
A quarter of a pint of mountain, the same of white wine, the grated peel of two, and juice of one lemon; sweeten, and add it to a quart of rich cream; whisk it for an hour, and put it into glasses. It will keep a week in cold weather.
From The Cook’s Own Book by “A Boston Housekeeper” (Mrs. N. K. M. Lee) Boston 1832
Comment: Syllabubs can be compared to milkshakes, in that they are both based on milk and they come in a vast range of varieties. The main difference between the two is that milkshakes must include ice cream (and only became popular after ice cream began to be made in commercial quantities rather than in small batches at home) while syllabubs almost invariably include alcohol in some form. Mrs. Lee does not describe what she means by “mountain wine” but other sources say that it refers to a variety of Malaga wine grown in, logically enough, the mountains.
Those contemplating making up a batch of this recipe should first brood long and hard upon the phrase “whisk for an hour” before getting underway. Attempts to cheat by using an electric mixer may result in a batch of wine-flavored butter, given that the base ingredient is “rich cream.” While this may be interesting in its own right, it cannot really be called a syllabub. As its name indicates this product is to be fairly thick, but downright chewy is right out.