Lecture and Recipes

Lecture and Recipes
Possets will be served at my lecture on Friday at the Andover Center of History and Culture. Photo by author.

Hey there,

I've been busy gearing up for a couple of lectures at the Andover Center for History and Culture, and I really wish you all could attend. This Friday, March 15th, from 6-7 pm, I'll be diving into the world of Taverns in 17th Century Andover: The Who, What, and Where of Colonial Life in the "Ordinaries."

In my previous blog entries, I delved into 17th-century life at William Chandler’s Horseshoe Tavern. The Horseshoe witnessed everything from murder and fights to citizen’s petitions, smallpox, and witch trials. It's a fascinating glimpse into the everyday life of a tavern owner. If you're interested in joining us, please register here:


Quick heads up: there's a limited number of tickets available. We'll be meeting at the Andover Center for History and Culture, 97 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810.

Oh, and did I mention? We'll be serving up two drinks straight from the 17th century - Syllabub and Posset. I understand not everyone can make it, but just in case you want to try them out, here are the recipes.

Posset: A Simple Pleasure

Posset is a delightful treat made from everyday ingredients, perfect for bringing warmth and comfort to any occasion. It starts with rich, dark beer infused with aromatic spices, topped off with a dollop of sweet, velvety whipped cream and a garnish like currents or a hint of mint. It's a beloved beverage, often seen at weddings.

Creating Your Own Posset:
Ingredients: 1 bottle of rich, dark beer, ½ cup of cream, a dash of sugar, nutmeg, and currents or mint to garnish.

Start by pouring a bottle of rich dark beer or ale into a generously sized glass. Whisk together half a cup of cream and a dash of sugar in a separate bowl. Carefully ladle the whipped cream over the beer's surface and finish it off with freshly grated nutmeg and a sprinkle of currents or your preferred garnish.

Above are two versions of a Syllabub from The London Art of Cookery. These were printed in 1807 and were popular for over 100 years. Photo by Author.

Syllabub: Posset's Playful Sibling

Ingredients: 2 cups dry cider, 1 bottle dark beer, ½ cup cream, dash of sugar, nutmeg, and garnish.

Syllabub shares a similar crown of cream with posset, but with a mix of cider and beer as its base. Sweetened whipped cream tops it off, with garnishes like currents or mint. If you're feeling adventurous, you can explore variations with wine, like Madeira or brandy.

Looking forward to seeing some of you there, and for those who can't make it, enjoy trying out the recipes!


Farley, John (Principal Cook at the London Tavern), The London Art of Cookery, Housekeeper's Complete Assistant, London, 1807.