Pass the Water…Umm…okay, Pass the Wine? — 27 Comments

    • I’m not certain how many of the punch recipes are still made, but I have tried port, mulled wine and mulled cider. I prefer mulled wine and cider to port. Thanks, Patty!

  1. I am so glad I didn’t live then because my usual drink is water. I do enjoy Earl Grey tea and coffee and I like white wine spritzer or elderflower cider occasionally but I don’t often drink anything stronger so I’m not sure how I would have surv

    • Sorry not sure what happened there. I was going to say I’m not sure how I would have survived if I had to drink gin which was 50% alcohol!!! Thanks for another great post Leslie.

    • It’s funny what comes up during tours. It was an “under the stairs” tour at Wimpole where they showed us the piping for the ale, discussed the brewmaster who would come in, and how the water was tainted. It was what piqued my curiosity. I hurt if I don’t drink enough water and tea and coffee don’t substitute. I would be in big trouble if I lived back then! Thanks, Glynis!

  2. I drink lots of tea in particular English Breakfast Tea and Redbush tea. I love sparkling white wine and i do like gin especially a Gin Royale!!

    • I love Moscato. That is my favourite, but not very popular in the UK yet. I do find a bottle from time to time here, but Prosecco is more popular. Thanks, Michelle!

  3. Very interesting, thanks! In France when you have a cold or a sore throat, you can make yourself a grog, mixture of rum, hot water and citrus juice. How interesting to learn it was drank by sailors!

  4. Thank you for the informative post. I do enjoy a glass of wine, port and a stout beer here and there. Water with lemon and coffee are my staple drinks.

  5. I drink mostly water and coffee too. I do enjoy a glass of wine or two on occasion though. Port was interesting to try, but not something I wanted to drink a lot of. Thanks, Deborah!

  6. This was a fascinating post! I recently saw a program on one of the educational channels about the Victorian homes and how ‘deadly’ they could be…ie…flocked wallpaper made with arsenic, lead in children’s toys, corsets squeezing the organs, and the worst for me were the milk bottles that had a tube to feed babies. No wonder mortality rates were so high!

    As for what we like to drink during the holidays, a glass of wine is about it. I do like mulled wine but have never made it myself. When I feel a sore throat or cold coming on, a hot cup of tea with a shot of rum in it seems to help ward off the worst of it. It’s probably all in my head though! LOL!

    Happy New Year to all!

    • There were the medicines and creams with arsenic and mercury as well. Have you ever looked up Gowland’s lotion? Yeesh! 🙂 Thanks, Carole!

  7. Ah, too bad John Snow wasn’t around earlier…dysentery and cholera are water born diseases spread by contaminated water…I’m thankful that we now have better hygiene! We drive coffee and tea daily, but around the holidays we enjoy eggnog with blackberry brandy, wine, and holiday beers…

  8. Gosh, and water is one of my favorite drinks. Well, I did read that in the day, everything was dumped into the Thames River. Can you imagine drinking that? Gag. As for booze … Me and the spirits don’t mix. I’m loopy as a normal state of blondness or something. Thanks.

    • We joked about what was in the Thames when my son spit in it from the bridge by the Parliament building (Big Ben). It is definitely not a clean river when you’re in London–that is for certain! Thanks, Jen!

    • I would imagine since tainted water caused a great deal of child death, many children drank water. I would imagine the wealthy ensured their children drank tea or milk as much as possible. Since adults mixed wine and water, they might have done so with the children as well. Just guesses, but I haven’t found anything to indicate what children drank other than what I’ve mentioned. Thanks, rae!

  9. I drink Earl Grey or English Breakfast in the morning, but at mealtime, it is mostly iced tea, but then I live in Texas where you are asked “sweet or un-sweet” when ordering at casual restaurants. Wine, I can take a sip but that is all. During Christmas, we will make a hot ‘cider’ drink of apple juice, cinnamon sticks and a candy called “red hots” and run it through a percolator (large coffee machine) or just cook it in a large stock pot and ladle it into cups. extra good when cold.

    • I’m very familiar with sweet tea! I’m a southern girl, so I grew up with the stuff. My sister-in-law makes a wassail from apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and a few other spices, but I’ve never heard of something similar with red hots. It’s interesting. We would put red hots on the Christmas cookies. 🙂 Thanks, Hollis!

  10. I drink a pot of hot tea every morning–about 24 ounces all together. I don’t like strong tea, so I use one bag of Irish Breakfast Tea from Trader Joe’s and one bag of fruit-flavored black tea, usually St. Dalfour’s Organic Strawberry Tea. When I run out of my stash of French tea from Amazon (as I am now), I use Trader Joe’s Ginger Pear Organic White Tea. I heat water in a kettle on the stove until just before boiling, and then pour into the pot with the two tea bags in it and steep for the rest of the morning while I drink the tea cup by cup. I use a tea cozy to keep the pot (clear glass) and its beloved contents warm.

    Other than my pot of tea, I drink water with several drops of grapefruit essential oil–both refreshing and detoxifying!

    Enjoy the Third Day of Christmastide!


    • Tea is usually more of an evening drink for me. I do enjoy some Yorkshire tea in the mornings sometimes. Yorkshire is a bit like a strong English Breakfast tea. Thanks, Susanne!

  11. I prefer mulled cider for the holidays myself. I do remember a story from the filming of the African Queen where Katherine Hepburn was ill from drinking the water and just kept drinking more of it, and Bogie and Houston were fine since they only drank whiskey!

    • Oh, the story about Katherine Hepburn is interesting. If the men weren’t drinking whiskey, they were probably drinking coffee, so the water would’ve been boiled. Thanks, Nicole!

  12. Port and Madeira are from Portugal (Porto is a port city and Madeira is an island under the control of Portugal), while Sherry is from Spain (named after the Anglicized version of the name of the town it was made in, Jerez de Frontera, also spelled Xeres de Frontera, which is in Andalusia. Xeres was pronounced like Sherez). Sherry is also called Sack. These are all fortified wines (have distilled spirits added to them to make them have a higher alcohol content) and became popular during the Napoleonic Wars when French wines were not imported to England because of trade restrictions by the Crown. Because of the increased distance to transport the Spanish and Portuguese wines, brandy was added to prevent spoilage of the wine during the journey by ship. The brandy would immediately stop fermentation and various degrees of sweetness and flavor was determined by when the brandy was added. If the brandy was added early in the fermentation process the wine would be sweet because all of the sugars were not broken down, while if they were added at the end of fermentation the wine would be drier.

    Madeira is the only wine which improves with heat exposure and they don’t really know why that is when wine made with the same type of grapes on the mainland would spoil. For this reason Madeira was one of the most popular wines in North America during the Colonial period- it was one of the few that would survive the long journey across the Atlantic. While most wines were fermented in cool basements, wineries in Madeira have the wine stored in attics. By the time the Napoleonic Wars were finally over these wines had been established in English culture and continued to be served. For some reason, Port was virtually never drunk by women, but a little Sherry or Madeira was acceptable for a lady as an aperitif before dinner. Ladies generally drank sweet sherry (it was more lady-like, I guess).

    Let us not forget another drink popular among the lower classes- Flesh and Blood! This was a mixture of Port and Gin, which gave you a lot of bang for your buck. Gin was the cheapest distilled spirit and so was most easily afforded by the poorer classes when they wanted to get drunk.

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