Port Wine Negus (1862)
I followed this recipe pretty closely, and it makes a LOT - I filled my teapot full - so be aware that either you need to save any leftovers for a soda negus (also in Jerry Thomas), share with friends, or cut the recipe down.
Here's the original:
151. Port Wine Negus
To every pint of port wine allow:
1 quart of boiling water.
1/4 lb. of loaf-sugar
Grated nutmeg to taste.
Put the wine in a jug, rub some lumps of sugar (equal to 1/4 lb.) on the lemon rind until the yellow part of the skin is absorbed, then squeeze the juice and strain it. Add the sugar and lemon-juice to the port wine, with the grated nutmeg; pour over it the boiling water, cover the jub, and when the beverage has cooled a little, it will be fit for use. Negus may also be made of sherry, or any other sweet wine, but it is more usually made of port. This beverage derives its name from Colonel Negus, who is said to have invented it.
4 cups water, brought to a boil
2 cups Ruby port
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
about 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
This makes one and a half quarts of hot Negus, which is delicious but was too sweet for my taste. I'm guessing the original recipe called for Tawny port, which is not as sweet as Ruby port. I also cheated and used bottled lemon juice instead and added cloves because another recipe for soda negus I saw called for them. It really is imperative to use fresh nutmeg for this recipe, as the ground kind doesn't hold a candle in flavor. One or two nutmegs will last you a long time, so you don't have to buy a ton.
It is fairly addictive, so just be forewarned. I may or may not have had four cups in the course of Food History Happy Hour and writing this blog...
- ‘Pumpkin Spice’ Has Been a Thing for 3,500 Years
- Can You Get High on Nutmeg? Why This Isn’t a Good Idea
A Brief History of Pumpkin Pie in America
Pumpkin Beer History: Colonial Necessity to Seasonal Treat
The next Food History Happy Hour won't be until Friday, October 30, 2020, but we'll be discussing Halloween! And making the Stone Fence cocktail. I hope you'll join us then.
AND! I have a special treat for Patreon members old and new - join or renew at the $5 level and above, and you'll get a special Halloween packet mailed to you! Chock full of all kinds of fun history, images, party ideas, recipes, and more.