hist-brewing: Question on scrumpy

J C Ronsen caleb at buffnet.net
Wed Nov 5 19:58:40 PST 2003

On Wed, 5 Nov 2003 08:55:22 -0800 (PST), Sandy Hatfield wrote:
>Hi all.
>I have a question that I've not yet been able to find the answer to
>on web searches.  Maybe one of you can answer this for me??  Why is
>raw meat put in scrumpy?
>I wanted to try my hand at making this but was deterred when I saw
>raw meat in the recipe.

The following is from the Discworld Annotations file: See point four.

Scumble is the Discworld equivalent of scrumpy, a drink probably 
unknown to most non-UK readers. It's a (very) strong cider, 
originating from the West country, Somerset farmhouses in particular. 

       On the subject of scrumpy, Terry Pratchett writes: 

       "I can speak with authority, having lived a short walking -- 
to get there, at least, although it seemed to take longer coming back 
-- distance from a real cider house. 

       1) You are unlikely to buy scrumpy anywhere but from a farm or 
a pub in a cider area. 

       2) It won't fizz. It slumps in the glass, and is a grey-orange 

       3) The very best scrumpy is (or at least, was) made on farms 
where a lot of the metalwork around the press was lead; the acid 
apple juice on the lead gave the resultant drink a kick which lasted 
for the rest of your life. 

       4) While a lot of the stories about stuff being put in 'to 
give it body' are probably apocryphal, apparently it wasn't uncommon  
to put a piece of beef in the stuff to give it 'strength'. 

       5) I certainly recall a case of a female tourist having to 
have an ambulance called out after two pints of scrumpy. 

       6) We used to drink almost a pint, topped off with half an 
inch of lemonade; this was known as 'cider and gas' and was popular 
in our part of the Mendips. Two pints was the max. I recall that as 
we went back across the fields someone who is now a professor of 
medieval history fell down a disused mineshaft and still carried on 

ska: THL Caleb Reynolds
mka: Caleb Ronsen
aka: Bubba th' Barbarian
Known to millions as "Who's that?"

"My favourite opera composer is that Italian-American, Gian Carlo", 
said Tom monotonously.

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