|Get your Smoking Bishop recipe right here.|
File under Quintessentially English: Spiced and warm alcoholic drinks known as "ecclesiastics."
However, lest we forget, the story of Port in this context isn't merely about finding other sources of wine to replace unavailable French Bordeaux.
It's what had to be done to stabilize the Portuguese wine. Distillate (aguardente) was added to wine to arrest fermentation, adding residual sweetness and potency, and creating a transportable alcoholic beverage with added shelf life -- and in certain instances, the ability to be aged.
This is a fine article nonetheless. Thanks to the missus for pitching it, and follow the link under the photo above for a recipe. It sounds perfect for a Feast of Fools libation.
Smoking Bishop: A Boozy Christmas Drink Brimming With English History, by Anne Bramley (NPR)
In Charles Dickens' famous tale A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge's spectral-induced transformation leaves him with a longing for an old-fashioned Christmas drink.
"I'll raise your salary and endeavor to assist your struggling family," Scrooge promises his much-abused employee, Bob Cratchit, "and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of Smoking Bishop, Bob!"
But there's a whole lot more than just goodwill toward men brimming from a cup of this rich holiday quaff of orange- and clove-spiked mulled port. It's a drink chock-full of English history and what it meant to be a patriotic, Protestant Victorian of the merchant class.