Two Thirsty Gardeners: Posset – a post-medieval Winter drink...

Two Thirsty Gardeners Posset Rich Hood, one of our regular green-fingered and home-brewing bloggers, Two Thirsty Gardeners, looks back to the days of William Shakespeare for this Winter warmer, which should go down a treat on a frosty day. Why not fill a flask with posset to take on a Christmas walk? You could take a break halfway through, to take a sip, recite some Shakespeare – and contemplate the landscape...

Macbeth (Act II scene ii):

"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."

"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 though (but do check our definitive guide) – have you ever considered the merits of a post-medieval posset?"

"The 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 yawn-some yarns. We used ale."

"Here's our take on this historical eggy treat..."

Two Thirsty Gardeners' Posset

Serves 2

  • 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.

If you’ve any questions about this post, please leave a Comment below by logging in or signing up (it only takes a moment) and we’ll pass your queries on to Rich and Nick, and get a reply posted.

Look out for more from Two Thirsty Gardeners next Friday, and do explore their blog

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