It is January and cold weather is upon us. Hot drinks have always been associated with this time of year so I thought I would look back to see what hot drinks were drunk in the past. I decided to look at one of my newer additions to the library, The Flowing Bowl: What and When to Drink by William Schmidt, published in 1891. This book has a large collection of hot drinks to be enjoyed in cold weather and also a few to be enjoyed to ease a cold or flu.

These recipes could be made with Bourbon or Rye whiskeys in place of the rum or brandy. Schmidt does not have any recipe where he calls for the use of American whiskeys, but does have some recipes calling for Scotch and Irish whiskeys. The book does not state where Schmidt worked, but does say he spent more than thirty years working in hotels and bars. The book was first published in New York City, so it could be assumed that his career was in that city.  

I will start with recipes for the purpose of warming the body.

Hot Apple Toddy: A lump of sugar dissolved in half a glass of boiling water, a drink of apple whiskey [brandy?]. Add a piece of roasted apple, if you wish, and serve with a little nutmeg.

Hot Benefactor: A hot punch glass with 2 or 3 lumps of sugar, ½ glass of boiling water to dissolve, 2/3 Chianti, 1/3 Jamaica rum, 1 slice lemon, Grate a little nutmeg on top.

Hong Kong Punch: The juice of a lime, and 3 dashes of pineapple-juice in the bottom of a hot, thin glass, a spoonful of sugar, a cup of strong boiling tea, a drink of Jamaica rum, 2 dashes of brandy, a piece of sliced lemon. If not hot enough add a little hot water (You may add a dash of maraschino).

Hot Orange Lemonade, With Brandy: In a large wine glass squeeze the juice of a lime and the juice of an orange, A large spoonful of sugar; dissolve this well, 1 pony of brandy; mix well. While you stir with one hand, fill your glass with boiling milk slowly.

Hot Spiced Rum: A hot, thin glass half-filled with boiling water, 1 or 2 lumps of sugar; dissolve this well; a drink of Jamaica rum, a dash of claret, a small piece of butter, a roasted cracker, 2 or 3 cloves, and serve.

His recipes for the sick:

Lait de Poule: Break the yolks of 2 fresh eggs in a bottom of a glass, beat this up well with a spoonful of sugar, and 3 spoonfuls of orange-flower extract, until the eggs begin to look white; while you stir with one hand, add a glass of hot water, a pony of brandy, and stir well before serving.

A Sure Relief: A punch-glass half full of boiling water, 2 lumps of sugar; dissolve well; 1 pony of peppermint, 1 dash of Jamaica ginger, 1 pony of brandy, 1 dash of raspberry syrup, the peel of a little lemon, and serve.

Black Rose: A hot glass with 2 lumps of sugar, 3 or 4 cloves, a piece of cinnamon, ½ glass of boiling water; mix well. Fill your glass with Assmannhauser [a red wine], add a piece of orange.

I do hope that you find these recipes interesting and fun. They should help warm your body and soul on a cold winter’s day and if you do fall victim to a cold or flu, maybe these recipes will help ease your suffering for a while. 

Photos courtesy of Rosemary Miller