Posts Tagged ‘alchohol’
1/2 pint currant juice
1/2 pint Port wine
peel of 1 lemon, thin yellow part only
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
Sugar, white or brown
3-4 pints milk
Half a pint of currant, the same of Port or white wine, half a grated nutmeg, and the peel of a lemon; sweeten well with pounded loaf or good brown sugar, and mix it together in a China bowl, and when the sugar dissolves, milk upon it three or four pints of milk. Serve it when cold.
From The Cook’s Own Book by “a Boston Housekeeper” (Mrs. N. K. M. Lee) Boston 1832
Comment: Syllabubs were wildly popular drinks as far back as the Middle Ages, which have inexplicably gone out of fashion. However, to say “a” syllabub is about as useful as saying “a” milkshake without specifying whether it be vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or some more exotic variety. Some syllabubs, probably the majority, contained alcohol but many others did not. Some were heavily spiced and others exceedingly bland.
The comparison to milkshakes above is intentional, because that is essentially what syllabubs evolved into. A special mixer was often used to produce them, known as a “syllabub churn” and in fact a miniature version of a butter churn. A circular piston with holes in it was attached to a rod, which was pulled up and pushed down rapidly in the glass to froth the milk and mix the other ingredients through it.
And note the interesting phrasing Mrs. Lee uses, that one should “milk upon” the other ingredients the three or four pints of milk called for. This sounds very much like one is expected to take one’s “China bow” of other ingredients out to the barn and tap the cow juice straight from the cow. We leave this possibility as an option for the cow owners among our readership while pointing out to the rest that this part is not mandatory.