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Posts Tagged ‘Wassail’

by Pink Lady

The ladies of LUPEC are still on the hot drinks – how could we not be when President Hanky Panky is introducing us to delicious concoctions like The Steaming Bishop mentioned in this week’s Dig column? This delicious, wine-based beverage also features prominently in the Boston Herald’s gallery about LUPEC Boston, which ran with a Herald story about our group today.

We uncovered many recipes for variations on the Bishop, both of the hot and cold variety. Again, we turn our sites to the one offered by Charles H. Baker in The Gentleman’s Companion, reprinted for this generation as Jigger, Beaker, Glass:

From the section titled” FOUR HOT ONES BASED on BRANDY”:

THE SO-CALLED “ENGLISH BISHOP” – Considered by the Author to be One of the Most Attractive Hot Cups ever Invented for the Aid & Comfort of Civilized Man, Discovered in the Summer of 1932 in Boxmoor, Hertfordshire

Take an orange, stud it thickly all over with whole cloves, dip it in cognac and dust with brown sugar. Now brown well until sugar caramels, either spitted upon a skewer or stick before the fire or under the broiler. Cut into quarters; now take a saucepan or other vessel, turn in 1 qt of red port wine, simmer tightly covered for 20 minutes, add 2 jiggers of cognac just before pouring. Can be served flambe with a little brandy floated on top.

PLEASE NOTE: Take utmost care and caution should you decide to go the flambe method. Hanky Panky suggests heating up the booze to get it to ignite it a little more quickly, and using a long match so you don’t burn your little fingers.

Cin cin!

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Here we come A-Wassailing

by Hanky Panky

Hopefully in the midst of the holiday hustle you were able to snag a copy of this week’s Dig in which the LUPEC ladies unraveled the mystery of wassailing.  Who knew that the phrase that has been confusing us for years could actually be pointing to a delicious libation that can warm us throughout this festive and hectic season.

Thankfully making Wassail is not complicated.  It can, however, be a bit time consuming.  For this reason we decided to feature a recipe for Wassail from one of our favorite books, Jigger, Beaker, & Glass: Drinking Around the World by Charles H. Baker Jr. Mr. Baker is best known for traveling the world over to write about all things related to food and drink.  Those who are fortunate to own this tome know that his prose is as remarkably delicious as the recipes featured therein.  So who better to walk us through the ancient ritual than Mr. Charles H. Baker Jr.  Enjoy!

THE ANCIENT WASSAIL BOWL FROM AN ANCIENT ELIZABETHAN FORMULA, CIRCA 1602, & TRULY NOTABLE FOR ITS EXCEEDING MILDNESS

In Saxon times this custom of the Wassail Bowl at feast days was an important ceremony, and later it became an accepted custom at Christmas Eve, when minstrels or choirs, or village singers went about singing carols where there was a candle lit in the window.

In the Feudal castles, and manor houses, the Wassail Bowl was borne into the banqueting Hall with songs and carols, and crowned with garlands.

Nutmeg, 1/2 grated; or 2 tsp powdered

Powdered or grated ginger, 1 tsp

Cloves, 6 whole

Cinnamon, 1 inch of stick

Sugar, 1 cup

Eggs, yolks 6; whites 3

Apples, 6 cored, but not pared

Mace, 1/4 tsp

Water

Sherry or Madeira, 2 qts

Take spices and cover with a cup of cold water.  Fetch to a boil; adding wine and sugar.  Let heat up…Meanwhile in the Wassail Bowl (Punchbowl) previously warmed:

Break in six yolks and three whites.  Beat up.  When wine is warm – not boiling – mix a teacupful with the egg.  When a little warmer, add another cupful, and repeat until five cups have been used…Now let the rest of the wine boil up well, and pour it into the bowl also, stirring well all the time, until it froths in attractive fashion…Fill cored apples with sugar, sprinkle on a little of the spice and roast until nearly done.  Time these to suit the end of the wine-pouring process.  Throw them into the bowl, and serve the whole thing very hot…Some stout hearts add a tumbler full of good cognac brandy to the whole – and we, after testing the business, heartily agree with them; since sherry of itself isn’t potent enough to make any Saxon defend his native land, much less a 20th Century wassailer, with all we have been through during one and a half decades that Saxons never even considered as drinkable fluid!

wassail_song_37b1

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