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Caudel or Caudle


A general term for thickened drinks. Typically wine, milk or ale thickened with flour, oatmeal or egg, sweetened and spiced.

Royal Worcester Caudle Cup, c1770
Victoria and Albert Museum

Caudle is known from around 1250, it is mentioned in Langland in the 1300's, through a huge variety of different versions, such as Almond Caudle of the 1600's up to Francatelli's recipe in Victorian times. Caudles are frequently recommended as nourishing or restorative drinks, as when the 1545 Byrth of Mankynde notes that; "It is a commune usage to geve often to women in there chylde-bed cawdels of ote-meele." Good old Sam. Pepys, in his Diary for 7 Apr 1660 says; "Went to bed and got a caudle made me, and sleep upon it very well."

Original Receipt in the 15th Century 'Austin Manuscripts' (Austin 1440)

Caudele: Nym eggs, & sweng wel to-gedere chauf ale & do therto lie it with amydon, do therto a porcion of sugur, or a perty of hony, & a perti of safron; boille it, & if it forth.

There are silverware or porcelain 'caudle cups', usual with two handles to help the infirm take a nourishing sip. Many have lids and are frequently highly decorated.

Original Receipt in 'The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin' 1594 by Thomas Dawson, (Huswife 1594)

To make a Caudle to comfort the stomacke, good for an old man. Take a pinte of good Muscadine, and as much of good stale ale, mingle them to-gether, then take the yolkes of twelue or thirteene Egges newe laide, beat well the Egges firste by themselves, with the wine and ale, and so boyle it together, and put thereto a quarterne of Suger, and a fewe whole Mace, and so stirre it well, til it seeth a good while, and when it is well sod, put therin a few slices of bread if you will, and so let it soke a while, and it will be right good and wholesome.

Original Receipt in 'The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy' by Hannah Glasse, 1747 (Glasse 1747);

To make white caudle.
YOU must take two quarts of water, mix in four spoonful of oatmeal, a blade or two of mace, a piece of lemon peel, let it boil, and keep stirring it often. Let it boil about a quarter of an hour and take care it does not boil over; then strain it through a coarse sieve. When you use it, sweeten it to your palate, grate in a little nutmeg, and what wine is proper and if it is not for a sick person, squeeze in the juice of a lemon.
To make brown caudle.
BOIL the gruel as above, with six spoonfuls of oatmeal, and strain it; then add a quart of good ale, not bitter; boil it, then sweeten it to your palate, and add half a pint of white wine . When you don't put in white wine, let it be half ale.

Original Receipt from 'A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes' by Charles Elmé Francatelli (Francatelli 1846)

No. 186. How to make Caudle.
Mix four ounces of prepared groats or oatmeal with half a pint of cold ale in a basin, pour this into a saucepan containing a quart of boiling ale, or beer, add a few whole allspice, and a little cinnamon, stir the caudle on the fire for about half an hour, and then strain it into a basin or jug; add a glass of any kind of spirits, and sugar to taste.

Caudles also commonly appear as a sauce to be poured into a pie, as with Chicken Caudle Pie

See also:
Almond Caudle
Caudel or Caudle
Caudle Chicken Pie
Flummery Caudle

For other species of spicebeer, see:
Ale Gruel
Caudel or Caudle
Egg Flip
Egg Hot
Lamb's Wool, or Lamasool
Mulled Ale
Treacle Posset

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