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Lancashire, Yorkshire

(or Braggot, Braket, Bragot)

Honey and ale fermented together, or ale flavoured with honey and spices. Known at least since Chaucer's 'Miller's Tale' of c1386 "Hir mouth was sweete as bragot", there are receipts in Digby 1669.

Set of 17Cent Three Pewter Measures
Image: http://www.pewtersellers.com

The 'Illustrated Itinerary of the County of Lancaster' of 1842 says that, in Eccles, "Braggot is the favourite beverage, that is ale with eggs and spices. Midlent Sunday is there denominated 'Braggot Sunday'. (See: Eccles Cakes)

Original Receipt in 'The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight, Opened' (Digby 1669)

Five Bushels of Malt will make two Hogsheads. The first running makes one very good Hogshead, but not very strong; the second is very weak. To this proportion boil a quarter of a Pound of Hops in all the water that is to make the two Hogsheads; that is, two Ounces to each Hogshead. You put your water to the Malt in the Ordinary way. Boil it well, when you come to work it with yest, take very good Beer-yest, not Ale-yest.

To make Bragot, He takes the first running of such Ale, and boils a less proportion of Honey in it, then when He makes His ordinary Meath; but dubble or triple as much spice and herbs. As for Example to twenty Gallons of the Strong-wort, he puts eight or ten pound, (according as your taste liketh more or less honey) of honey; But at least triple as much herbs, and triple as much spice as would serve such a quantity of small Mead as He made Me (For to a stronger Mead you put a greater proportion of Herbs and Spice, then to a small; by reason that you must keep it a longer time before you drink it; and the length of time mellows and tames the taste of the herbs and spice). And when it is tunned in the vessel (after working with the barm) you hang in it a bag with bruised spices (rather more then you boiled in it) which is to hang in the barrel all the while you draw it.
He makes also Mead with the second weak running of the Ale; and to this He useth the same proportions of honey, herbs and spice, as for his small Mead of pure water; and useth the same manner of boiling, working with yest, and other Circumstances, as in making of that.

See also: Westhoughton Pasties

For other species of spicebeer, see:
Ale Gruel
Caudel or Caudle
Egg Flip
Egg Hot
Lamb's Wool, or Lamasool
Mulled Ale
Treacle Posset

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