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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Place of originBritain
Main ingredientsMilk or cream, sugar, wine
An 18th-century syllabub glass

Syllabub is a sweet dish made by curdling sweet cream or milk with an acid such as wine or cider. It was a popular British confection from the 16th to the 19th centuries.[1]

Early recipes for syllabub are for a drink of cider with milk. By the 17th century it had evolved into a type of dessert made with sweet white wine. More wine could be added to make a punch, but it could also be made to have a thicker consistency that could be eaten with a spoon, used as a topping for trifle, or to dip fingers of sponge cake into.[2] The holiday punch, sweet and frothy, was often considered a ladies' drink. The milk and cream used in those days would have been thicker and modern recipes may need to make some adjustments to achieve the same effect.[3]


Syllabub (or solybubbe, sullabub, sullibib, sullybub, sullibub; there is no certain etymology and considerable variation in spelling)[4][5] has been known in England at least since Nicholas Udall's Thersytes of 1537: "You and I... Muste walke to him and eate a solybubbe."[6] The word occurs repeatedly, including in Samuel Pepys's diary for 12 July 1663; "Then to Comissioner Petts and had a good Sullybub"[7] and in Thomas Hughes's Tom Brown at Oxford of 1861; "We retire to tea or syllabub beneath the shade of some great oak."[8]

Hannah Glasse, in the 18th century, published the recipe for whipt syllabubs in The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. The recipe's ingredients were:

a quart of thick cream, and half a pint of sack, the juice of two Seville oranges or lemons, grate in the peel of two lemons, half a pound of double refined sugar.[9]

These were whipped together and poured into glasses. The curdled cream separated and floated to the top.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Davidson, Alan (2014) [1999]. The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 800. ISBN 978-0-19-104072-6.
  2. ^ Hussain, Nadiya. Spiced biscotti with an orange syllabub dip.
  3. ^ Lehman, Eric D. (2012). A History of Connecticut Food: A Proud Tradition of Puddings, Clambakes & Steamed Cheeseburgers. Arcadia. ISBN 978-1-62584-079-0.
  4. ^ "Definition of syllabub". www.merriam-webster.com.
  5. ^ "Syllabubs". January 3, 2013.
  6. ^ Udall, Nicholas, (October 1537 [first performance]; 1550 [first printing]) A new Enterlude called Thersytes; reprinted in: Axton, Marie [ed.], (1982) "Thersites" in Three Tudor Classical Interludes: Thersites, Jacke Jugeler, Horestes, 240 Hills Road, Cambridge: D. S. Brewer--Rowman & Littlefield, line 656, page 56, ISBN 0859910962.
  7. ^ Pepys, Samuel Diary of Samuel Pepys, 12 July 1663
  8. ^ Hughes, Thomas (1861) Tom Brown at Oxford, cited in "syllabub". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  9. ^ Glasse, Hannah (1774). The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy: Which Far Exceeds Any Thing of the Kind Yet Published ... W. Strahan, J. and F. Rivington, J. Hinton. p. 284.

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