Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Warm Thanks and Warm Drinks

Thank you so much for all your good wishes on the paperback release of Betraying Season and its recognition in the Heart of Denver Aspen Gold contest. As a small bit of further good news, I’m pleased to report that it is also now available as an e-book in multiple formats, including for the Kindle. Am I the only one struck by the delicious incongruity of reading about the 19th century on an e-reader?

Two commenters from last week are the winners of a copy of the paperback edition…so would Swallow-inthe-Cloud and Ettie be so kind as to e-mail me here so that we can arrange for you to receive your copies? And thank you, everyone, for entering!

Well, autumn certainly arrived with a vengeance this week in New England, with wind and rain and cooler temperatures and me once more wearing socks (aren't they pretty?) and ordering my coffee hot rather than iced from my favorite local coffee shop. Sniffing my Pumpkin Spice coffee yesterday sent me scurrying (once I got home) to my cookbook collection to find what kind of warm drinks a young lady might have enjoyed on a chilly October day two hundred years ago.

Coffee (though not Pumpkin Spice flavored), tea, and chocolate were all drinks enjoyed in the 19th century…but I found lots of others, enough to come to the conclusion that they knew a thing or two about warm drinks that maybe we don’t. Most of them seem to involve alcohol in one form or another, but I managed to find a few that don’t. These actually date to the 16th century...enjoy!

Spicy Pomegranate Drink

1 ½ cups water
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
4 whole cloves
½ unblemished lemon
1 quart pomegranate juice

In a large enamel pot combine the water, sugar, and all spices. Bring to boil and gently simmer for seven minutes. Remove the cloves.

Finely grate the peel from the lemon and set it aside. Squeeze the juice from the lemon.

Add the pomegranate and lemon juices to the hot water mixture. Bring to a slow boil, then simmer two minutes. Serve warm with a garnish of lemon peel in each glass. Can also be drunk cold.

Mulled Apple or Pear Cider

2 quarts fresh apple cider or pear juice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon ginger powder
7 sticks of cinnamon
1 tablespoon finely crushed basil (for garnish)

In a large enamel pot, gently simmer the juice with the spices for seven minutes. Break the cinnamon sticks and put a piece in each cup. Pour in warmed cider, and sprinkle the basil sparingly on each.

Do you have any (non-alcoholic) hot beverage recipes you'd like to share?


QNPoohBear said...

UGH today is awful. I feel like being served hot chocolate in bed like a 19th century lady!

To make 19th century hot chocolate look for American Heritage Chocolate

I picked some up at Colonial Williamsburg.

Chocolate didn't come in instant powder the way we know it today. It had to be ground and was usually ground with a mortar and pestal in the same pestal as spices and it picked up the flavor of the spices. You can't taste them when you mix it with milk and make a tasty beverage but as a chocolate bar, it tastes different from our chocolate today but not bad. It's similar to bittersweet chocolate.

Marissa Doyle said...

Yum! That sounds a lot like Mexican hot chocolate, which comes in cakes that are grated into milk and includes cinnamon and spices.

Anonymous said...

These recipes sound delicious!! I adore warm fruit drinks. I've bookmarked this page for the Christmas season.