Gingerbread Purl

An extra spicy twist on a winter warmer of a veritable vintage, our purl is warm ale served with a nip of gingerbread gin and seasonal spice.

Purl was by far the most popular of the hot ale drinks of the Victorian period, although its roots can be traced right back to the Middle Ages.  Samuel Pepys was known to consume it as a morning beverage or ‘matitudinal’ and Charles Dickens refers to it (somewhat disparagingly for a known fan ) in a number of stories, most notably Our Mutual Friend.

In any event, it is a tradition that bears some reviving, and let’s face it, this is pretty much the only time of year where we can recommend a matitudinal.  This recipe is heavily influenced by Tristan Stephenson’s recipe in the first of his Curious Bartender books, but Convivial Dickens also contains a number of variants to be explored in future posts.  It’s a convivial drink, so the recipe below makes six serves.

Makes 6 servings:

  1. Combine 1 litre of ale, 200ml of gingerbread gin, 150g caster sugar, 50g honey, three cloves, two cinnamon sticks and some citrus zest in a pan and heat, stirring to dissolve the solids.
  2. Ladle direct from the pan to a heatproof glass or mug.

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