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Characteristically boilo has a standard recipe including oranges, lemons, nutmeg, cloves, caraway seed, honey, ginger ale, and anise seed. The traditional base ingredient in boilo is moonshine but most recipes have replaced home-brewed moonshine with blended whiskey; the most common being Four Queens 100 proof blended whiskey. Other recipes can be made more specific including Honeyberry Boilo, "Tomata'" Boilo, Blueberry Boilo, and Apple Pie Boilo.
Some believe it to have curative properties for the onset of fall/winter related ailments such as a cold or influenza.
There are many boilo taste test contests held annually in the Coal Region of Pennsylvania where home brewers compete over whose recipe is most authentic and whose Boilo is the most easy drinking. The Annual Pfeiffenberger Boilo Contest is among the most sought after and intense of such contests. Dozens of family boilo recipes are under heavy scrutiny and a series of crucial voting parameters and rounds of taste-testing decide the outright winner. Only one rule applies: No Roeder can win again.
As of December 2012 an "instant" version of the drink is available commercially. However the drink is a much sweeter boilo, so try using more whiskey.
- "CoalSpeak: Dictionary of the Coal Region". Retrieved 31 January 2012.
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