A spiced drink of hot sweetened milk curdled with wine or ale.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English poshet, possot : perhaps Old French *posce (Latin posca, drink of vinegar and water, from potare, to drink; see potable + Latin esca, food, from edere, to eat; see edible) + Middle English hot, hot; see hot.
in Aqua Scripto • Link
"..What posies for our wedding rings;
What gloves we'll give, and ribbonings;
And smiling at our selves, decree
Who then the joining priest shall be;
What short sweet prayers shall be said,
And how the posset shall be made
With cream of lilies, not of kine,
And maiden's-blush for spiced wine.
Thus having talk'd, we'll next commend
A kiss to each, and so we'll end..."
Both pancake and fritter of milk have good store,
But a Devonshire white-pot must needs have much more;
Of no brew ... you can think,
Though you study and wink,
From the lusty sack posset to poor posset drink,
But milk's the ingredient, though wine's ... ne'er the worse,
For 'tis wine makes the man, though 'tis milk makes the nurse.
.....No doubt the original word in these places was SACK, as in Chappell's copy - but what would a peasant understand by SACK?
Dryden's receipt for a sack posset is as follows:-
'From fair Barbadoes, on the western main,
Fetch sugar half-a-pound: fetch sack, from Spain,
A pint: then fetch, from India's fertile coast,
Nutmeg, the glory of the British toast.'
MISCELLANY POEM, V. 138.
Next (Poem 68) ...
"quod posset zonam soluere uirgineam. ..
that could untie her girdle of virginity. "
Pedro • Link
Properly means a drink taken before going to bed; it was milk curdled with wine.
"In his morning draught...his concerves or cates...and when he goeth to bedde his posset smoking hot."
Man in the Moone (1609)
Australian Susan • Link
As a child in the '50s, I was given a posset if ill and unable to take solid food: it was milk, with an egg beaten up in it, sugar and sherry. Wonderful comfort food. It is used as such in the children's classic book, The Box of Delights.
in Aqua Scripto • Link
another Posset:To make a posset
PERIOD: England, 17th century | SOURCE: The Art of Cookery Refined and Augmented, 1654 | CLASS: Authentic
DESCRIPTION: A posset, a cream & wine custard
from:a interesting sauce. http://www.godecookery.com/engrec/engrec53.html
To make a posset.
Take a quart of new Cream, a quarter of an ounce of Cynamon, Nutmeg quartered, and boyl it till it taste of the spice, and keep it alwayes stirring, or it will burn to; then take the yolks of 7 Eggs beaten well together with a little cold Creame; then put that into the other Creame that is on the fire, and stir it till it begin to boyle; then take it off and sweeten it with Sugar, and stir on till it be indifferent coole; then take somewhat more than a quarter of a pinte of Sack (half a pinte will be too much) sweeten that also, and set it on the fire till it be ready to boyle; then put it in a convenient vessel, and pour your Creame into it, elevating your hand to make it froath, which is the grace of your Posset; and if you put it thorow a tunnell, it is held the more exquisite way.
Michael Quinion knows his possets, caudles, and cordials:
Adam • Link
I've just made a posset.
It is very nice but more than one cup may cause excessive vomiting due to the whole cream/sugar/sherry mixture. The top goes all lumpy and you can spoon that out, the middle is the nicest bit where the spicy cream mixes with the sherry and the bottom bit is mainly sherry.
Nice, but I couldn't get my housemates to have any.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.