While working on a recent issue of our magazine, we ran across the word “syllabub.” No, not like, “Hey bully boy bubba, how many syllabulls do you think this word has?” but more like “My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the traditional syllabub.”



From the Oxford English Dictionary:
A drink or dish made of milk (freq. as drawn from the cow) or cream, curdled by the admixture of wine, cider, or other acid, and often sweetened and flavoured.

A later variation, known as an Everlasting Syllabub, adds a stabilizer such as gelatin or corn starch.


detail, “The Sense of Taste” by Philip Mercier (circa 1689-1760)

“Lemon Syllabub”
from The Experienced English Housekeeper, by Elizabeth Raffald, London 1784

Put a pint of cream to a pint of white wine, then rub a quarter of a pound of loaf sugar upon the out rind of two lemons, till you have got out all the essence, then put the sugar to the cream, and squeeze in the juice of both lemons, let it stand for two hours, then mill them with a chocolate mill, to raise the froth, and take it off with a spoon as it rises, or it will make it heavy, lay it upon a hair sieve to drain, then fill your glasses with the remainder, and lay on the froth as high as you can, let them stand all night and they will be clear at the bottom.~

Wine pudding? Not so sure about that. And I’ve mislaid my hair sieve …

But leave it to my favorite British cook, Nigella Lawson, to provide us with a very yummy-sounding modern adaptation, Turkish Delight Syllabub, that uses orange liqueur instead, topped with pistachios. That’s something I could wrap my spoon around! Now, if only I can get Sally O’Malley to draw me a picture and figure out what an admixture is!


Nigella Lawson, Turkish Delight Syllabub

  1. At the two 18th century living history museums I have worked for , we always served various Syllabubs, as part of the immersion into foodstuffs from that century. The favorite was the Cherry Syllabub served at the Spring Cherry Festival. Alcohol was served in many ingenious ways in those days, liberally and often.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I have heard this term before too but only in reference to a wine concoction that was often enjoyed here in colonial America. That photo for Turkish delight looks very tempting!

  3. CJ Armstrong says:

    Hmmmmmm . . . . that’s a new one for me!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *