I had my doubts about this one, but once again, our culinary ancestors were onto something. There are countless recipes for syllabubs throughout historical cookbooks, at least back into the 16th century. They also seem to come in two basic versions- in the first, a cow was milked directly into a jug of cider or wine, and the mixture was whipped together. The layers would gradually separate as the cream rose to the top. I’m not nearly enough of a science type to be able to explain what that effect was, but it involved various acidic reactions. In the other version, the cream was whipped separately, then placed on top of the drink.
Bizarrely enough, I don’t have a cow handy, so I opted for the second version. I gingerly place a dollop of slightly sweetened cream over a lightly sweetened and spiced white wine. With a wince of trepidation, I spooned up a bit of the oddball delicacy.
And was delightfully surprised. The combined spoonful of wine and cream produces a sort of sherbet-effect, both sweet and silky. Because the white wine is really quite sweet, it’s great as a dessert in small quantities. The flavors all compliment one another, spice and herb and citrus nicely balanced. All in all, a unique and interesting historical recipe!
Ingredients for Wine:
- 3 quarts white wine, such as pinot grigio or a light chard
- 1 lb. sugar
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 peppercorns, cracked
- 2-3 lemon slices
- 2-3 sprigs fresh marjoram or rosemary
- 1 pint of Heavy Cream
- 1/4 cup fine sugar
- dash of vanilla