After a hard day grafting on a cold allotment, our thoughts often turn to a warming drink to defrost our frozen mitts.
A warming drink… preferably with booze in it.
You can forget your fancy mulled ciders or wines* though – have you ever considered the merits of a post medieval posset?
Grandfather of the egg flip (named presumably after the cry of “this drink has flippin’ egg in it”) and great great grandfather of the much mocked eggnog, the posset (or poshotte) can be traced back to the 16th century where it was used as a healing drink, often given to the sick. Whether this was thought to aid the healing process or was given to finish them off, it is not known.
The alcohol added to a posset depends on your preference… the gentrified folk of the time added sack, a fortified wine closely related to sherry, while the poorer classes used ale.
Shakespeare waxed lyrically about the addition of poison in one of his yarns.
We used ale.
Here’s our take on this historical eggy ‘treat’.
Pour 250ml of milk (or cream) into a saucepan and add a pinch of cinnamon. Warm the milk gently until hot, but don’t let it boil over.
In a separate saucepan, beat 2 eggs with 250ml of ale, then add 50g of sugar and 1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg and warm gently.
Finally, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture from a decent height to create a nice festive froth.
Serve in mugs with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar.
The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugg’d their possets
That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live or die
Act II scene ii
*If you don’t want to forget about fancy mulled wines or ciders, check our definitive guide to mulling… here.