Lamb's Wool

Over the years, I've read many historical fiction novels that have their characters imbibing the popular medieval cocktail called hippocras. But today, whilst enjoying Time and Chance (Sharon Kay Penman), I ran across a reference to a beverage called Lamb's Wool. Never having heard of this one, I had to investigate further.

Turns out, Lamb's Wool was a apple and cider drink traditionally served in celebration of Twelfth Night, derived from the old custom of blessing apple trees by pouring cider on them. I've even managed to dig up a recipe for Lamb's Wool for anyone brave enough to try it:

6 Apples, cored and peeled
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (possibly up to 1/2 cup, depending on your taste buds)
2 Quarts of cider, or a mixture of cider and ale
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Boil the apples until they become soft and flaky. In a separate sauce pan, dissolve the brown sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, into the cider/ale until you reach a sweetness you like. Add the spices. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Place an apple in a large mug and pour the cider/ale mix over it.

(recipe courtesy of Flora)


  1. First time I've heard of these drinks. It would be nice to know what's in hippocras too-for those of us who don't know. Interesting post.

  2. One recipe for hippocras coming right up!


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