Caudle

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A caudle is a British thickened and sweetened alcoholic hot drink, somewhat like eggnog. It was popular in the Middle Ages for its supposed medicinal properties.

Origin[edit]

The OED cites the use of the word to 1297. The earliest surviving recipe, from 1300–1325, is simply a list of ingredients: wine, wheat starch, raisins, and sugar to "abate the strength of the wine".[1] In a description of an initiation ceremony at Merton College, Oxford in 1647, caudle is described as a "syrupy gruel with spices and wine or ale added".[2]

Recipes[edit]

Another recipe from the late 14th century has more ingredients and more details on the cooking procedure: mix breadcrumbs, wine, sugar or honey, and saffron, bring to a boil, then thicken with egg yolks, and sprinkle with salt, sugar, and ginger.[3][4] A 15th-century English cookbook includes three caudle recipes: ale or wine is heated and thickened with egg yolks and/or ground almonds, then optionally spiced with sugar, honey, saffron, and/or ginger (one recipe specifically says "no salt").[5] William Carew Hazlitt provides a number of recipes for caudles and possets in his book, Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine.[6]

A related recipe for skyr appears in the early 13th century.[7]

Etymology[edit]

The word caudle came into Middle English via the Old North French word caudel, ultimately derived from Latin caldus, "warm".[8]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]