Beer Break Vol. 3, No. 11
Beer drinks for the season
Dec. 19, 2002
These are the sort of recipes that might come with the humorous suggestion
"do not try at home." But home is the best place to try them, before
unleashing such concoctions on friends or acquaintances. We thought you might
find them fun for holiday celebrations, so they are offered "as is" and
They come from the book Beer and Good Food by Myra Waldo, published in
In Dickens' times a posset was the drink to have when one felt tired or had a
cold. A posset, called a "poshote" during Chaucer's time, is any hot milk
drink curdled with beer. On Christmas Eve in the 19th century the custom was
to offer each caroling guest a posset cup and a piece of apple pie or tart.
4 cups milk
4 tablespoons sugar
4 slices toast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups of beer (preferably ale)
Heat the milk, sugar, and toast in a saucepan, but don't let it boil. Stir
the cinnamon and beer together in a punch bowl.
Discard the toast. Pour the hot milk over the ale and stir. Drink from mugs
while warm. Serves 8-10.
ONE YARD OF FLANNEL
The showy aspect of this one appeals to us. Make sure you have two large
pitchers on hand.
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cognac
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
2 cups ale
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Combine the sugar and cognac and stir together until fairly smooth. Beat the
egg yolks until light in color. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.
Place the ale in a saucepan and heat until it barely begins to boil, and then
add the sugar mixture. Remove from the heat.
Add the beaten egg yolks, egg whites, and nutmeg and stir together. Pour into
one of the pitchers. Pour from one pitcher to another carefully, but with
some speed, so as to induce the mixture to foam. The drink should be quite
Purl has dozens of different variations. This one is an English version
perfect for a cold winter's night.
1 cup ale
1 ounce gin
Heat the beer until it boils. In a mug, combine the gin and bitter. Pour the
beer over the two.
If you want, make this in the traditional way. Wash a poker well, then heat
until red-hot. Immerse it slowly into the mug containing the mixture, making
sure not to let it overflow.
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup ale
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Place the honey in the bottom of a stone mug. Heat the ale (unless you choose
to use the poker) in a saucepan, but do not allow it to boil. Pour over the
honey and sprinkle with nutmeg.
1 cup cognac
4 cups beer
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups water
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Chill for 2 hours before serving.
At this year's service to bless the release of Samichlaus beer, Michael
Jackson had the opportunity to taste four vintages of the famous strong
lager, the last produced by Hürlimann and the three that have been brewed by
Eggenberg. He writes:
"The last Hürlimann vintage, from 1997, seemed substantially darker in its
chestnut color, and more nutty. I believe those characteristics were part of
the house style, but they could have been heightened by very slight
oxidation. The first version from Eggenberg, released for Christmas 2000,
demonstrated at this tasting more malty, cereal grain, pancake-like, flavors.
The 2001 vintage seemed sweeter and creamier; this year's fruitier and
livelier, with the typical 'cherry brandy' character."