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caudles-art - 11/21/97


A medieval drink of warm, seasoned wine or beer thickened with eggs.


NOTE: See also the files: eggs-msg, beer-msg, wine-msg, caudls-posets-msg, small-beer-msg, spiced-wine-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: sca-cooks Re: Hot Drinks

To: sca-cooks at eden.com

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 11:05:48 -0400 (EDT)


  A basic caudle would be something like this:


I have a lovely caudle that I redacted a year or so ago.... let me post it

here.  A note: I commented that I disagreed with Ms. Renfrow in her

published caudle recipe.  She and I corresponded with each other, and cited

contradictory sources... and while I still disagree with her, I am no longer

prepared to say she was in error: just that we have come to different





Caudles are warm seasoned wine or beer, thickened with eggs.  Of course,

during the Lenten season (from Ash Wednesday until Easter), dairy, eggs

and meat animals were forbidden from consumption. Frequently, many

conventional receipts from the period have Lenten substitutions using

almond milk.  The Harleian Manuscripts have two beer caudle recipes that

use almonds.  While some of the other caudle receipts that use almonds

state they are for Lenten use, these two beer caudles do not.  I still

believe it is a safe assumption.  I chose to redact those, since I cannot

consume whole eggs.


Caudles were popular and receipts for caudles appear in the Harleian

Manuscripts (my source), manuscripts in the possession of the Royal Society,

Liber Cure Curcorum, Le Viandier, A Noble Boke of Cookery, and The Good

Husvvifes Iewell.  There may be other sources.  Hot alcoholic beverages such

as syllabubs and possets, as well as sack, toddies and others were also



I used a hopped beer for this receipt.  Those of you that are not also

brewers might not be aware that hopped beer was a relatively late period

invention.  However, with a bit of effort it can be documented to the time

and place of the original receipt.  For example, the German Beer Purity law,

the Rhineheitsgebot (which lists the four ingredients of beer: water, malt,

hops and yeast) was drafted in the early 14th century.  I think that hopped

beer would be acceptable, although an unhopped ale (much harder to find)

would probably be better.


In the period, ale was unhopped malt brew, and beer was hopped malt brew.

In the modern era, the terms mean something else altogether, describing

whether yeast settles to the bottom, or floats to the top, and just about

all of them are hopped.  The original of this recipe call for ale.


Caudle seems to have been a recipe for comforting: a caudle receipt in

"The Good Husvvifes Iewell" (Thomas Dawson, 1596) is one called "To Make a

Caudle to Comfort the Stomacke, Good For An Old Man" (of ale, Muscadine wine,

eggs and mace).  My dictionary (and a footnote in Renfrow, 1991, vol 2, page

320) imply that the term coddle (pamper) could be derived from the word



I would note that Renfrow's book "A Sip Through Time" has a redaction for

caudle: I believe she skipped a step.  The original calls for tempering the

almonds with the ale, and then straining them out.  I took this to mean

mixing the almonds with warm ale, and letting it sit for a while (or even a

light heating, which I did not do.)  She immediately has the almonds

strained out.  I suspect that gives you wet almonds, and no almond flavor

in the resulting caudle.


I had a bit too much of my home-brewed beer on hand, and so I made some

caudle for the Wassail at the Canton of the Towers meeting this AS XXX.

Although "warm beer" was not well received, those who drank the "caudle"

liked it quite a bit.  It was universally considered to be a bit

oversweetened, so I will include both the actual redaction used, and my

suggestion for a reduction.  I added almonds according to the usual ratio I

use for almond milk.


The caudle was very well received: I intend to bring a large amount to the

next event here locally, and try it out on more people. It has a nice almond

flavor, and not much of a beer taste.  People who generally dislike beer

found it pleasant, and of course my fellow beer drinkers liked it too.  I

would urge you to try it.



  Harleian MS 279 - Potage Dyvers (circa 1420)


  lj. Cawdelle de Almaunde. Take Raw Almaundys, & grynde hem, an temper

      hem up with gode ale, and a lytil Water, and a lytil Water, and draw

      it (th)row a straynoure in-to a fayre potte, and late it boyle a

      whyle: & caste (th)er-to Safroun, Sugre, and Salt, & then serue it

      forth al hotte in maner of potage.


  Harleian MS 4016 (circa 1450)


  129 Caudell de Almondes. Take rawe almondes, and grined hem, And temper

      hem with goode ale and a litul water; and drawe hem thorgh a

      streynour into a faire potte, and let hit boyle awhile; And cast

      there-to saffroun, Sugur and salt, and serue hit forth hote.





    2 quarts of Nut Brown Ale.  (Any darker beer or ale would do).

    2 cups of water.

    4 cups ground almonds.

    2 cups sugar (I'd reduce to 1.5 cups next time).

    pinch of saffron, and salt to grind it in.



    Food processor.        Cheesecloth

    Wooden spoon           Strainer

    Ladle                 Inert pot (stainless steel or enamel)

    Glass or plastic container. Mortar and pestle (saucer & back of a spoon.)


I ground the almonds coarsely in a food processor.  Leave them large enough

that they can be strained out.  I poured the warm beer into a container,

added the almonds, and let it sit for several hours.  The container must be

inert: plastic or glass, and not aluminum.  I used a Tupperware-style



I used a strainer and cheesecloth to remove the almonds from the liquid.

I added the liquid to a large (inert) pot, and let it heat slowly, adding

the sugar and spices.  When it produced a good head of foam, it was ready

to serve.  (If you use a heavy pot, note that it retains heat: keep an

eye on it, since the foam rises FAST.)


Judging from it's affect on people, I feel confident that most of the

alcohol was removed in the preparation.  Nevertheless, please use caution

when offering caudle to people: alcoholics and teetotalers may not be aware

of it's ingredients.


Brewers note: Alcoholic beverages can react with aluminum containers.  I urge

you use wood, plastic, glass or stainless steel.



  Possets, Caudles, Syllabubs and other drinks of the Medieval and

  Renaissance Period: Edited by Marian Walke, 1985. Boston MA, Private



  A Sip Through Time: Cindy Renfrow, 1995, Private Printing.


  Take A Thousand Eggs or More: Cindy Renfrow, 1991, Private Printing.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org