drinking lambs-wool

Did you know that LAMBS-WOOL is the name of a traditional English beverage? This tasty brew is made by mixing hot ale with sugar, spices and roasted apples – either whole crab-apples, or pulped cooking apples – and its woolly name derives from the ‘fleecy’ appearance of the apples floating on the surface of the ale. It was traditionally drunk on Twelfth Night, as part of the Wassail feast, but was also commonly imbibed throughout the Autumn and Winter months from the Middle Ages down to the early decades of the Nineteenth Century. Lambs-wool appears in several traditional ballads as well as Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck describes himself sneakily hiding in a bowl of lambs-wool among the crab-apples). Samuel Pepys often enjoyed a hot mug of lambs-wool in Winter, and you can find a Mark Hix recipe to make your own seasonal brew here.