Ale mixed with the jelly or minced meat of a boiled cock, typically with fruits and spices.
Captain Grose's 1811 'Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue' simply defines Cock Ale as "A provocative drink."
(Digby 1669, Family Guide 1747, etc)
Original Receipt in 'The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight, Opened ' (Digby 1669)
To make Cock-Ale: Take eight gallons of Ale, take a Cock and boil him well; then take four pounds of Raisins of the Sun well stoned, two or three Nutmegs, three or four flakes of Mace, half a pound of Dates; beat these all in a Mortar, and put to them two quarts of the best Sack: and when the Ale hath done working, put these in, and stop it close six or seven days, and then bottle it, and a month after you may drink it
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