Hic Hoc, You're A Dronk
I’m reading a book entitled Complete Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl: An Anecdotal History of the Original Monarch of Mixed Drinks, with More than Forty Historic Recipes, Fully Annotated, and a Complete Course in the Lost Art of Compounding Punch by David Wondrich.
In quoting from Thomas Dekker’s 1623 tragicomedy “The Welsh Ambassador,” there is a scene where several characters drink to the King of England’s health, each in the preferred tipple of his people. Eldred, the king’s brother, is disguised as a stereotypical Welshman and therefore choses metheglin, a spiced honey wine especially prized in Wales while another brother, disguised as an Irishman, will pledge “in usquebagh” or nothing. But the Clown is an Englishman and, as he says, “I’ll pledge it to ale, in aligant, cider, perry, metheglin, usquebagh, mingham-manglum, purr, in hum, mum, aqua quadquam, claret or sacum, for an English man is a horse that drinks of all waters.”
For the record:
“Algiant” is a Spanish wine.
“Minglum-manglum” is an adulterated wine of any type.
“Purr” is a weak cider.
“Hum” is a fortified ale.
“Mum” is a strong beer.
“Aqua Quadquam” is strong water of any type.
“Sacum” is sherry.
“Metheglin” is a spiced honey wine favored in Wales.
“Usquebagh” is an Irish or Scottish whiskey.
I’ve been learning so much from this book, and I haven’t even hit my first punch recipe yet! The author reports he has listed only historically documented punches and not (he notes) “…Wassails, Eggnogs, Possets, Negus and Bishop, Sangaree, Flip, Whiskey Toddy, Claret Cup, and Maitrank.
…I think I’m going to be on the Red Eye for Drunkistan by the time I’m done reading this.
Labels: algiant, aqua quadquam, English history, history of liquor, Hogarth, hum, maitrank., metheglin, minglum manglum, mum, negus and bishop, punch, punch bowls, purr, sacum, sangaree, Thomas Dekker, usquebagh, wassail