April 26, 2013
If you didn’t read The Old Curiosity Shop, Part I, you might want to, or just check out all Charles Dickens Spiked Punch posts. Cause I don’t want to take a lot of pre-amble, as this post will have a quote from that classic book, as well as a recipe that relates to the quote (cause I like to have Friday Night Cocktail recipes on Fridays, and wanted to somehow tie it all together. Make sense?). So, here’s the Cocktail Talk, Dickens’ style.
Presently he returned, followed by the boy from the public house, who bore in one hand a plate of bread and beef, and in the other a great pot, filled with some very fragrant compound, which sent forth a grateful steam, and was indeed choice Purl, made after a particular recipes which Mr. Swiveller had imparted to the landlord at a period when he was deep in his books and desirous to conciliate his friendship. Relieving the boy of his burden at the door, and charging his little companion to fasten it to prevent surprise, Mr. Swiveller followed her into the kitchen.
Now, to follow that up, here’s a recipe for Purl from Good Spirits, so you can make your own to sip on while reading Dickens on a cold spring night. Or, to have with friends while you’re acting out scenes from your favorite Dickens’ books. This is something you do, right?
6 ounces porter
6 ounces ale (a pale ale works)
1 ounce gin
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1. Add the porter, ale, and ginger to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-heat, until warm but not boiling.
2. Carefully pour the porter-ale mixture into a pint glass that has been slightly warmed (by running it under warm water).
3. Add the gin. Stir once with a spoon. Sprinkle the freshly grated nutmeg over the top.
December 12, 2012
If I could, through the wonders of wondrous science (c’mon science, I’m buttering you up, make this happen) either go back in time to have a drink with Mr. Charles Dickens, or go miraculously into the universe of a Dickens’ book, well, I’d be tickled. Sure, sure, I wouldn’t want to go forever (I mean, Sookie and Rory wouldn’t be around, for one. And Dr. Strange wasn’t even a thought yet), but the pub and bar scenes he relates, and his evident adoration for certain drinks, call out to me in a slightly slurred voices. And if I had to choose which of the many watering holes from the many Dickens’ books? Well, I’m not sure, but the Six Jolly Fellowship Porters from the great book Our Mutual Friend would definitely be in the running, if not running away with my vote and me. Wonder why? Read the below quote why dontcha.
The bar of the Six Jolly Fellowship Porters was a bar to soften the human breast. The available space in it was not much larger than a hackney-coach; but no one could have wished the bar bigger, that space was so girt in by corpulent little casks, and by cordial-bottles radiant with fictitious grapes in bunches, and by lemons in nets, and by biscuits in baskets, and by the polite beer-pulls that made low bows when customers were served with beer, and by the cheese in a snug corner, and by the landlady’s own small table in a snugger corner near the fire, with the cloth everlastingly laid. This haven was divided from the rough world by a glass partition and a half-door, with a leaden sill upon it for the convenience of resting your liquor; but, over this half-door the bar’s snugness so gushed forth that, albeit customers drank there standing, in a dark and draughty passage where they were shouldered by other customers passing in and out, they always appeared to drink under an enchanting delusion that they were in the bar itself.
For the rest, both the tap and parlour of the Six Jolly Fellowship Porters gave upon the river, and had red curtains matching the noses of the regular customers, and were provided with comfortable fireside tin utensils, like models of sugar-loaf hats, made in that shape that they might, with their pointed ends, seek out for themselves glowing nooks in the depths of the red coals, when they mulled your ale, or heated for you those delectable drinks, Purl, Flip, and Dog’s Nose. The first of these humming compounds was a speciality of the Porters, which, through an inscription on its door-posts, gently appealed to your feelings as, ‘The Early Purl House’. For, it would seem that Purl must always be taken early; though whether for any more distinctly stomachic reason than that, as the early bird catches the worm, so the early purl catches the customer, cannot here be resolved. It only remains to add that in the handle of the flat iron, and opposite the bar, was a very little room like a three-cornered hat, into which no direct ray of sun, moon, or star, ever penetrated, but which was superstitiously regarded as a sanctuary replete with comfort and retirement by gaslight, and on the door of which was therefore painted its alluring name: Cosy.
—Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens