WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Brusher

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Brusher

It’s Christmas week, and that means the baking and candy-making frenzy is on in my house. I’m positively giddy that I have most of the week to pace myself and space out the kitchen to-do list, rather than frenetically cram it in to one or two days, per usual. I’ve added some new items to my menu this year: macarons, meringue cookies, and puff pastry.

My family may thank my eternal love of The Great British Bake-off. For better or for worse, depending on the outcome.

In the meantime, I’ve discovered a recipe to add some holiday cheer to those who drink as they bake, replacing the “add a little wine, swig a little wine” cooks usually practice, with this historically-based recipe from our northern neighbors. It’s not Regency, but it is from the Commonwealth.


A bumper, a full glass. See Bumper.

Back in World War Two, a unit in the Canadian military – don’t ask which one or from which branch; that way lies another war – invented a little toddy to keep the men warm and satiated during the long, cold nights. Moose Milk, as it came to be known, was as potent as it was filling.

Like most historical recipes, there are many variations, but most involve four main ingredients: a stiff liquor (or two or four), cream, egg yolks, and sugar. The variety of liquor was usually determined by whatever the military men making it had to hand, but recipes generally list whisky, rum, (and/)or vodka. Modern variations include Kahlua for the coffee lovers, and maple syrup for extra sweetness. So-called cheaters have been known to begin with everything from ready-made eggnog, to condensed milk, or even vanilla ice cream.

Moose Milk, courtesy Imbibe magazine.

Today, Moose Milk is still consumed at military gatherings, though it’s most closely associated with the navy. Moose Milk left the war behind; any military levy is a good reason to mix up the brew, and civilians have even embraced the drink, with alacrity, for their Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Both people groups raise a glass with a mixture of delicious delight and national pride.

To keep the blog civil (hopefully), here are some recipes for making your own Moose Milk. Please note you should remain home to consume this formidable drink, and also stay away from any open flames. Also, consider reducing the amounts, since large gatherings are out this year.

Royal Canadian Air Force Moose Milk

12 Egg yolks
40 Oz Canadian Whiskey
40 Oz Rum
5 Oz Kahlua
10 Oz Maple Syrup
40 Oz Milk (homogenized – don’t use skim!)
40 Oz Heavy Whipping Cream (not canned)
1 Cup Sugar

Beat yolks until fluffy and well mixed.
Add sugar and beat mixture until thick.
Stir in milk and liquors.
Chill at least 3 hours. Best if can sit overnight.
Then: Whip cream until good and thick (canned whip cream will go flat, so avoid canned cream).
Fold in whipped cream (it will appear as if it has totally thinned out, but don’t worry, that is normal).
Chill for another hour.
Sprinkle the top with nutmeg and cinnamon.
Should be kept chilled because of the raw eggs.
This should not be a problem as Moose Milk disappears quite quickly.

Should serve a crowd of fifty….or ten pilots.
Source: DailyKos

Royal Canadian Navy Moose Milk Recipe

1.14 litre dark rum
1.14 litre Kahlua
1.14 litre vodka
4 litres of vanilla soft scoop ice cream
4 litres of partly skimmed milk

Mix gently until frothy with still a few ice cream lumps. Liberally sprinkle nutmeg over top. Enjoy and give vehicle keys to a party staying sober.

Source: Liverpool Ships and Sailors blog

Moose Milk t-shirt graphic from Red Pumpkin Studio. Go order one!

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Cock Ale

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Cock Ale

This week’s term is quite possibly a little bit of everything that you think it is.

Cock Ale

A provocative drink.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Cock Ale was a 17th Century drink flavored with fruit, spices, and the boiled meat of a cockerel or rooster.

You read that correctly: the boiled meat of a cockerel or rooster.

Screaming Rooster for Chicken Lovers, by Tina Lavoie, 1899

What would lead one to add the humble rooster to the humble ale? Just as there is today, there has always been the drive to keep drinks relevant and competitive. A new drink in town – coffee – was taking coin from the public houses, and barkeeps and brewers were stumped. But it seems as the popularity of coffee grew, certain parts of the male anatomy, perhaps, did not.

In The Women’s Petition Against Coffee, 1674, the authors bemoaned the unhappy and unwholesome effect coffee was rendering on their homes.

The Women’s Petition Against Coffee, 1674

“For can any woman of sense or spirit endure with patience,” they wrote, “that when…she approaches the nuptial bed, expecting a man that … should answer the vigour of her flames, she on the contrary should only meet a bedful of bones, and hug a meager useless corpse?”

It’s theorized that brewers seized on the opportunity to create a drink with aphrodisiac properties, one that would rectify the deleterious effects of “that unhappy berry,” coffee.

Of course, this could all be a load of claptrap.

The so-called “Women’s Petition” was rumored to have been written purely as satire, or even by those loyal to the crown in an attempt to destroy coffeehouses, which were seen as sites that fomented unrest by promoting political discussion and free-thinking.

Regardless of who or what brought it about, Cock Ale was most definitely in existence, brewed, and consumed.

The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, by Kenelm Digby, 1669

Receipt for Cock Ale (its first printed recipe)

Take eight Gallons of Ale; take a Cock and boil him well; then take four pounds of Raisins of the Sun well stoned, two or three Nutmegs, three or four flakes of Mace, half a pound of Dates; beat these all in a Mortar, and put to them two quarts of the best Sack; and when the Ale hath done working, put these in, and stop it close six or seven days, and then bottle it, and a month after you may drink it. (From The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, by Kenelm Digby, 1669)