You might not think Cranford, a classic about 1850s small-town English life, especially the life of single older ladies, would have a bunch of cocktail moments. And, it doesn’t, necessarily (by the way – read it if you haven’t. It’s a swell selection of stories that all intertwine around these ladies). But if there’s one thing 1850s ladies in small towns in the U.K. like, it is a little sherry-like sipper on special occasions. Or, very rarely, cherry brandy. Here is one of those times.
Miss Barker, in her former sphere, had, I dare say, been made acquainted with the beverage they call cherry-brandy. We none of us had ever seen such a thing, and rather shrunk back when she proffered it us – ‘just a little, leetle glass, ladies; after the oysters and lobsters, you know. Shellfish are sometimes thought not very wholesome.’
— Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford