Summer drinks

As London wilts in the current heatwave, how about a refreshing Regency tipple to help you keep cool?

This recipe for lemonade in a minute creates a citrus concentrate, which can then be diluted with water to make a thirst-quenching drink. There are also suggestions for alcoholic versions – stirring the lemonade into brandy or rum to make a ‘shrub’.

Whip up a cooling lemonade 'in a minute' with this quick Regency recipe

Whip up a cooling lemonade ‘in a minute’ with this quick Regency recipe

Lemonade in a minute

Pound a quarter of an ounce avoirdupois of citric, i.e. crystallized lemon acid, with a few drop of quintessence of lemon peel and mix it, by degrees, with a pint of clarified syrup. If you have no quintessence, flavour your syrup with thin cut lemon peel. 

A tablespoonful of this in a pint of water will produce an agreeable sherbet. With the addition of any spirit you like, you have punch in a minute. Brandy or rum flavoured with the above will give you very good shrub.

Our Cookbook of Unknown Ladies also shares a recipe for this beer cup cocktail:

A beer-based cocktail from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

A beer-based cocktail from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

Cool tankard or beer cup

A quart of mild ale, a glass of white wine, one of brandy, one of capilliare, the juice of a lemon, a roll of the peel cut thin, nutmeg grated at the top, (a sprig of borrage, a balm) and a bit of toasted bread – cider cup is the same, substituting cider for beer.  

‘Cool tankard’ is in fact another name for the cordial herb borage. Like name, like nature, it lends a refreshing note to the cocktail, not unlike cucumber. In fact, cucumber would be quite a good substitute, if you fancy giving this drink a go.

Capillaire is also tricky to get hold of nowadays, but you can make up your own by mixing sugar syrup and curaçao – William Kitchiner recommends a pint of the syrup to a wine glass of the orange liqueur. Or if you think this recipe is already rather too boozy, a spoonful of orange flower water in sugar syrup should also do the trick.