Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lady Charlotte's Refreshments

"If I were as rich as Mr. Darcy,''
cried a young Lucas
who came with his sisters,
"I should not care how proud
I was.
I would keep a pack of foxhounds, and drink a bottle of wine every day

"Then you would drink a great deal more than you ought,'' said Mrs. Bennet;
"and if I were to see you at it, I should take away your bottle directly.''

The boy protested that she should not;
she continued to declare that she would,
and the argument ended only with the visit.

Pride and Prejudice (Chapter 5)


Ginger Beer
from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management

2–1/2 lbs. of loaf sugar
1–1/2 oz. of bruised ginger
1 oz. of cream of tartar
the rind and juice of 2 lemons
3 gallons of boiling water
2 large tablespoonfuls of thick and fresh brewer’s yeast

Peel the lemons, squeeze the juice, strain it, and put the peel and juice into a large earthen pan, with the bruised ginger, cream of tartar, and loaf sugar.

Pour over these ingredients 3 gallons of boiling water; let it stand until just warm, when add the yeast, which should be thick and perfectly fresh.

Stir the contents of the pan well, and let them remain near the fire all night, covering the pan over with a cloth.

The next day skim off the yeast, and pour the liquor carefully into another vessel, leaving the sediment; then bottle immediately, and tie the corks down, and in 3 days the ginger beer will be fit for use.

For some tastes, the above proportion of sugar may be found rather too large, when it may be diminished; but the beer will not keep so long good.


from Robert’s Guide for Butlers & other Household Staff

Into one quart of brandy pour half a pint of cherry juice, as much currant juice, as much of raspberry juice, add a few cloves, and some white pepper in grains, two grains of green coriander, and a stick or two of cinnamon, then pound the stones of cherries, and put them in wood and all.

Add about twenty five or thirty kernels of apricots.

Stop your demijohn close and let it infuse for one month in the shade, shaking it five or six times in that time at the end of which strain it through a flannel bag, then through a filtering paper, and then bottle it and cork close for use; you can make any quantity you chose, only by adding or increasing more brandy or other ingredients.


from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management

To every pint of port wine allow 1 quart of boiling water, 1/4 lb. of sugar, 1 lemon, grated nutmeg to taste.


For more regency recipes:

The Jane Austen Centre

Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management

Food and Drink in Regency England

Here is a great blog where you can find intriguing informations about the Regency Period:

Jane Austen’s World

And here are two cookbooks related to the regency period and Jane Austen:

Jane Austen and Food by Maggie Lane

The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black

*guest post and sketch created by Charlotte of The Book on the Hill
Thanks Charlotte!


  1. Lady Vee goes straight for the Ratafia. Such care in the makings. It must be a special drink, indeed!

  2. This Ratafia is among the best I have ever had. Though I must watch that my dear Marquis does not overindulge...

  3. Miss Elizabeth is enjoying her first taste of Negus and is delighted with the wonderful beverage options here at Pemberley!

  4. Oh dear, the Ratafia has made me a bit dizzy. I shall sit a spell. My Lord Vee is taking to the Ginger beer with gusto. He may not be a good influence on the Marquis.
    -Lady Vee

  5. Great refreshments, Lady Charlotte, you have outdone yourself again.

    My dear, is it getting warm in here (fanning self rapidly)

  6. Negus is a wonderful complement to the evening, I must make sure I do not imbibe too much and have a repeat of my tipsiness from last night (fanning and blushing).

    Lady Elizabeth

  7. Lady Eleanor, please take the seat next to me. Did the Ratafia get to you too? I could not resist the drink as I do so adore apricots.

  8. I am glad that the drinks pleased you, and do hope that the dizzyness shall fade and not spoil your social interactions. Oh dear, a bit of fun doesn't harm anyway. Cheers !

  9. *swirls in from the other room, where she had a bit to much cider*

    Oops, that negus here goes directly to my knees!
    I've to sit down for a while.

    *Ü* blushing


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