Monthly Archives: March 2015

‘To make a cock ale’: Lady Ranelagh’s recipe for a frankly bizarre drink….

I am (once again) working my way through some more of the Wellcome Library’s fabulous digitised collection of eighteenth-century domestic medicine and receipt books.  Last time I did this, I felt compelled to bake some Jumbles (see my previous blog post on the subject).  Today, I have been drawn to this recipe for ‘Cock Ale’, initially for the purposes of a juvenile snigger but upon reading the recipe I feel vaguely ill.  What do you think? Is this a taste thing? A nutrition thing? Has anyone ever heard of it before?!  NB I will not be trying this one at home!

‘Brew ten gallons of Ale of what Strength you please, and when you have bund [?] it, take 3 cocks or more, parboiled, beaten and shred small, bones and all together, a quantity of Mace and Lemmon peel shred with it, put this minced stuff into a bag, and put it into the Vessel at the Bunghole, with a clean pebble stone in the bag to make it sink in the Vessel, and so let it work, after a week draw it into Bottles & within a week more it will be fitt to drink.’