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Het Pint

This was the aromatic drink which perfumed the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh at New Year a hundred years ago. It was made up very hot before the 'First Fits' left home and then poured into a gleaming copper kettle. A cup-bearer accompanied the kettle-carrier,
and all and sundry were offered a drink.

Accounts of what actually went into it vary though it is quite clear that Edinburgh people made one with a variety of ingredients including wine and brandy, while the less sophisticated Glasgow one contained mild ale and whisky. Whatever the combination, it must have been a cup that cheered many a frozen reveller as the night wore on.

'But in its most superior form the "het pint" was compounded of port, sherry, or madeira, mulled with cardamons, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and coriander, flavoured with sugar and frothy with whipped eggs, poured hot and steaming into the copper kettles in which it was carried. . .' (Old Edinburgh Taverns by Marie W. Smart).

1 pint mild ale or red wine (Half L)
Quarter whole nutmeg
Sugar to taste
1 egg, beaten
2 and a half fl oz whisky or brandy (Three quarters of a L)

Put the ale or red wine into a pan, grate in the nutmeg and add sugar to taste. Heat to almost boiling point.
Remove from the heat and pour over the egg, stirring all the time. Strain and add whisky or brandy. Heat through again but do not boil, or the egg will curdle. Pour from the pan to a heated jug or kettle briskly several times till it has a good head of froth. Drink hot.

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