Red wine with flavourings, served cold. In 1398 John de Trevisa of Cornwall said that "Claret is made of wyne and of hony and swete spycery" and in 1559 Peter Morwyng gives a receipt for Claret as "Ginger ij drams, Cinnamon half an unce, Cloves a dram, whyt wyne iij measures, that is xij pound, an unce of hony, whyte sugar half a pound; make claret thereof according to art". Mrs.B's receipt has red wine with soda water, Maraschino, sugar, nutmeg and borage.
It seems that the word 'claret' originally distinctly meant sweetened, spiced wine and only later came to mean red, or pale-red, wine in general. It is now a distinctly English term for red wine, most especially that from the Bordeaux region of France, just as 'Hock' is the English term for German white wines.
Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B)
1831. INGREDIENTS: 1 bottle of claret, 1 bottle of soda-water, about1/2 lb. of pounded ice, 4 tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoonful of grated nutmeg, 1 liqueur-glass of Maraschino, a sprig of green borage.
Mode: Put all the ingredients into a silver cup, regulating the proportion of ice by the state of the weather: if very warm, a larger quantity would be necessary. Hand the cup round with a clean napkin passed through one of the handles, that the edge of the cup may be wiped after each guest has partaken of the contents thereof.
Seasonable: in summer.
See: Badminton Cup
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