Winter time, especially around the holiday season, is a time for merriment and hot drinks. The season is also a time for spiced drinks like Eggnog and Glühbier (mulled beer). The Posset is a historic holiday drink that, while not nearly as famous as mulled beer or Eggnog, shares some similarities with them. Although the full recipe takes a couple of hours, this classic drink is accomplished in a slow cooker, so it’s best as a set-it-and-forget-it type of recipe. Get a batch started before friends arrive, then spoon into coffee mugs.
Even relying on a slow cooker for much of the work, the recipe is in an intensive one, with an array of ingredients and implements. The base of it is beer, the kind of which is generally up to the person making it. “We use an IPA as the beer base,” says Mike Bohn of Brooklyn’s Olmsted of this, the restaurant’s in-house recipe. “[It] gives the drink a contrasting freshness from the hops and citrus, plus a little porter thrown in adds some coffee richness.”
For the wintery spices, this Posset is infused with mace, allspice berries, cloves and cinnamon. Strega—an Italian liqueur with notes of mint and fennel—plus allspice dram and velvet falernum add even more rich spices and botanicals while raising the proof. All of those beers, liqueurs and spices get a rich, creamy element from heavy cream and eggs and sweetness from plain old sugar. The end result is a combination of a mulled beer and Eggnog, but with its own identity.
- 1/4 cup mace
- 15 allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh cinnamon
- 16 ounces heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- 6 ounces sugar
- 24 ounces India pale ale
- 8 ounces porter
- 3 ounces Strega liqueur
- 1 ounces allspice dram
- 1 ounces Velvet Falernum
- Garnish: grated nutmeg
Place the mace, allspice berries, cloves and cinnamon on top of a square of cheesecloth, and use kitchen twine to tie tightly into a spice sachet.
Turn a slow cooker on high. Add the cream and eggs, and whisk until homogenized. Once warm, whisk in the sugar until dissolved, then add the pale ale, porter, Strega, allspice dram, Velvet Falernum and the spice sachet. Continue to cook on high for 2 hours, until the mixture forms what is essentially a cooked layer of egg and curd on top. Turn temperature down to warm until you’re ready to serve.
To serve, whisk into fine curds, then spoon into coffee mugs. Grate fresh nutmeg on top to garnish.