Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yuletide with CoG #2: Athollbrose "Brew of Atholl"


 "the brew of Atholl" 

Submitted by Lady Runach of Coven Trismegiston, Berkeley CA 

The legend goes the Laird of Atholl poisoned a well with this, which allowed him to overcome his enemies in battle, because they were so hung over.

I learned it from Sharon, one of COG's founding members and harpist extraordinaire of the Irish musical group Shiela-na-Gig.This is a traditional Scottish drink, excellent for the Pagan Mid-Winter holidays.  It fits well for Yule, Hogmanay, or Candlemas.  Anywhere where eggnog might fill the bill, Athollbrose will go very well.   And, no worries about Salmonella in the raw eggs, because there aren't any eggs in it.  It tastes like a liquid version of those white Italian honey-almond-nougat candies that come in tiny boxes at Yule.

The recipe is pretty much to taste, so the measurements are approximate.


Water, 3 to 4 quarts
4 cups of rolled oats
1 fifth of Scotch whisky
honey to taste, have at least a pound on hand
1 quart of whipping cream or half and half
nutmeg, star anise pods

Boil approximately 3 quarts to one gallon of water with 4 cups of rolled oats. The idea here is not to make breakfast cereal, but to allow the water to become silky, thick, and nutty with the oat-starch. When the oats are cooked, strain them out with a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Use the cooked oats for something else,and save the thick oatenmeal-water. Allow the oat-water to cool, then add either a quart of whipping cream (or half-and-half for a lighter version), and honey to taste--1 cup or more--and stir to combine. If you microwave the honey to warm it, it will dissolve more easily.

Lastly, add a fifth of Scotch (a blended whisky is fine for this--don't waste a precious single malt on poisoning a well.) If you are serving the drink hot, warm the other ingredients together and add the Scotch last.  You can
garnish the drink in a punch bowl with grated nutmeg and a few floating star anise pods.  Some folk like to add a little almond extract or amaretto, but such folk aren't Scottish. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature. 

Makes about 5 quarts.