BISHOP (OR SPICED WINE).
Three cups of this a prudent man may take,
The first of these for constitution’s sake,
The second to the girl he loves the best,
The third and last to lull him to his rest. (Ancient Fragment).
Bishop seems to be one of the oldest winter beverages known, and to this day is preferred to every other, not only by the youthful votary of Bacchus at his evening’s revelry, but also by the grave Don by way of a night cap; and probably derives its name from the circumstance of ancient dignitaries of the Church, when they honoured the University with a visit, being regaled with spiced wine.
It appears from a work published some years since, and entitled, Oxoniana, or Anecdotes of the University of Oxford, that in the Rolls or Accounts of some Colleges of ancient foundation, a sum of money is frequently met with charged “pro speciebus,” that is, for spices used in their entertainments; for in those days as well as the present, spiced wine was a very fashionable beverage.
In the Computus of Maxtoke Priory, anno 1447, is the following curious entry; “Item pro vino cretico cum speciebus et confectis datis diversis generosis in die Sancti Dionysii quando Le fole domini Montfordes erat hie, et faceret jocositates suas in camera Orioli.” “Vinum creticum” is supposed to be raisin wine, or wine made of dried grapes; and the meaning of the whole seems to be this: Paid for raisin wine with comfits and spices, when Sir S. Montford’s fool was here, and exhibited his merriments in the Oriel chamber.
Make several incisions in the rind of a lemon, stick cloves in the incisions, and roast the lemon by a slow fire. Put small but equal quantities of cinnamon, cloves, mace, and all-spice, and a race of ginger, into a saucepan, with half a pint of water; let it boil until it is reduced one half. Boil one bottle of port wine; burn a portion of the spirit out of it, by applying a lighted paper to the saucepan. Put the roasted lemons and spice into the wine; stir it up well, and let it stand near the fire ten minutes. Rub a few knobs of sugar on the rind of a lemon, put the sugar into a bowl or jug, with the juice of half a lemon, (not roasted,) pour the wine upon it, grate some nutmeg into it, sweeten it to your taste, and serve it up with the lemon and spice floating in it.
Oranges, although not used in Bishop at Oxford, are, as will appear by the following lines, written by Swift, sometimes introduced into that beverage. “Fine oranges Well roasted, with sugar and wine in a cup, They’ll make a sweet Bishop when gentlefolks sup”.
LAWN SLEEVES, CARDINAL, AND POPE (VARIATIONS ON BISHOP)
Owe their origin to some Brasen-nose Bacchanalians, and differ only from Bishop, as the species from the genus.
Substitute madeira or sherry for port wine, and add three glasses of hot calvesfeet jelly.
Substitute claret for port wine; in other respects the same as Bishop.
Precisely the same as Bishop, with the exception of champagne being used instead of port wine.
Negus is a modern beverage, and, according to Malone, derives its name from its inventor, Colonel Negus. Dr. Willich, in his ” Lectures on Diet and Regimen,” says, that Negus is one of the most innocent and wholesome species of drink; especially if Seville oranges be added to red port wine, instead of lemons; and drunk moderately, it possesses considerable virtues in strengthening the stomach; but, on account of the volatile and heating oil in the orange peel, Negus, if taken in great quantities, is more stimulant and drying than pure wine.
WHITE WINE NEGUS.
Extract the juice from the peeling of one lemon, by rubbing loaf sugar on it; or cut the peeling of a lemon extremely thin, and pound it in a mortar. Cut two lemons into thin slices; four glasses of calves-feet jelly in a liquid state; small quantities of cinnamon, mace, cloves, and all-spice. Put the whole into a jug, pour one quart of boiling water upon it, cover the jug close, let it stand a quarter of an hour, and then add one bottle of boiling hot white wine. Grate half a nutmeg into it, stir it well together, sweeten it to your taste, and it is fit for use.
Seville oranges are not generally used at Oxford in making Negus; when they are, one orange is allowed to each bottle of wine.
COLD WHITE WINE NEGUS.
To make cold white wine Negus, let the mixture stand until it is quite cold, and then pour a bottle of white wine into it.
It is sometimes in the summer season placed in a tub of ice; when that is done it will be necessary to make the Negus somewhat sweeter, as extreme cold detracts from the sweetness of liquors.
PORT WINE NEGUS.
In making port wine Negus, merely omit the jelly; for when port wine comes in contact with calves-feet jelly, it immediately assumes a disagreeable muddy appearance.
Negus is not confined to any particular sorts of wine; if the jelly is omitted, it can be made with any, or several sorts mixed together.
OXFORD PUNCH (OR CLASSICAL SHERBET).
When e’en a bowl of punch we make,
Four striking opposites we take;
The strong, the small, the sharp, the sweet,
Together mix’d, most kindly meet;
And when they happily unite,
The bowl is pregnant with delight.
The liquor called Punch has become so truly English, it is often supposed to be indigenous to this country, though its name at least is oriental. The Persian punj, or Sanscrit pancha, i. e. five, is the etymon of its title, and denotes the number of ingredients of which it is composed. Addison’s foxhunter, who testified so much surprise when he found, that of the materials of which this “truly English” beverage was made, only the water belonged to England, would have been more astonished had his informant also told him, that it derived even its name from the East.
Various opinions are entertained respecting this compound drink. Some authors praise it as a cooling and refreshing beverage, when drank in moderation; others condemn the use of it, as prejudicial to the brain and nervous system.
Dr. Cheyne, a celebrated Scotch physician, author of ” An Essay on Long Life and Health,” and who by a system of diet and regimen reduced himself from the enormous weight of thirty-two stone to nearly one third, which enabled him to live to the age of seventy-two, insists, that there is but one wholesome ingredient in it, and that is the water.
Dr. Willich, on the contrary, asserts, that if a proper quantity of acid be used in making Punch, it is an excellent antiseptic, and well calculated to supply the place of wine in resisting putrefaction, especially if drank cold with plenty of sugar; it also promotes perspiration; but if drank hot and immoderately, it creates acidity in the stomach, weakens the nerves, and gives rise to complaints of the breast. He further states, that after a heavy meal it is improper, as it may check digestion, and injure the stomach”.
*Fielding mentions a Clergyman who preferred Punch to Wine for this orthodox reason, that the former was a liquor no where spoken against in Scripture.
Extract the juice from the rind of three lemons, by rubbing loaf sugar on it. The peeling of two Seville oranges and two lemons, cut extremely thin. The juice of four Seville oranges and ten lemons. Six glasses of calves-feet jelly in a liquid state. The above to be put into a jug, and stirred well together. Pour two quarts of boiling water on the mixture, cover the jug closely, and place it near the fire for a quarter of an hour. Then strain the liquid through a sieve into a punch bowl or jug, sweeten it with a bottle of capillaire, and add half a pint of white wine, a pint of French brandy, a pint of Jamaica rum, and a bottle of orange shrub; the mixture to be stirred as the spirits are poured in. If not sufficiently sweet, add loaf sugar gradually in small quantities, or a spoonful or two of capillaire. To be served up either hot or cold. The Oxford Punch, when made with half the quantity of spirituous liquors, and placed in an ice tub for a short time, is a pleasant summer beverage.
*In making this Punch, limes are sometimes used instead of lemons, but they are by no means so wholesome. Arburthnot, in his work on aliments, says, “the West India dry gripes are occasioned by lime juice in Punch.”
* Ignorant servants and waiters sometimes put oxalic acid into punch to give it a flavour; such a practice cannot be too severely censured.
Boil a small quantity of each sort of spice in half a pint of water, until it is reduced one half; add it to the ingredients which compose the Oxford Punch, and grate a whole nutmeg into it. Spiced Punch, if bottled off as soon as it is cold, with the spice in it, will keep good several days.
Green tea is the basis of this Punch; and although Tea Punch is seldom made in Oxford, it nevertheless has been much esteemed by those who have partaken of it. It is invariably drank hot. It is made precisely in the same way as the Oxford Punch, excepting that the jelly is omitted, and green tea supplies the place of water.
The same as Oxford Punch, only omit the rum, brandy, and shrub, and substitute two bottles of gin.
Substitute port wine for white, and red currant jelly for calves-feet jelly; in other respects the same as Oxford Punch. If drank in the summer, let it stand until it is cold, and then put it into a bucket of ice. Care must be taken that the ice water does not get into the jug which contains this Punch.
Extract the juice from the peeling of a lemon, by rubbing loaf sugar on it. Pour one pint of boiling water on it. Add the juice of six lemons, one pint of rum, and a pint of port wine. Sweeten it to your taste, and it is fit for use.