Cocktail of the Week: Scottish Het Pint

Start the new year as you mean to go on
By Beatrix Swanson
Photo credit: Sheila Brown
Photo credit: Sheila Brown
An old Scottish recipe traditionally served on New Year’s morning or the night before a wedding, this fortifying, frothy mixture is the perfect ‘cocktail’ to have up your sleeve for this year’s first-footing rounds.

First footing is the tradition, common in various cultures but observed particularly elaborately during Scotland's Hogmanay, that the ‘first foot’ in the house on New Year’s Day must be a lucky person bearing auspicious gifts.

For extra authenticity, carry your het pint (het is Scots for ‘hot’) in a copper kettle.

Scottish Hot Pint

from Dorothy Hartley’s Food in England (1954)

Grate ½ nutmeg into 1 quart of mild ale and set it to heat [you can add more spices here to ‘mull’ the pint, if desired]. Mix sugar enough to sweeten the whole with 2 well-beaten eggs, and a little cold ale, whip well, and stir into the hot ale, very slowly, lest it curdle.

Add a half a pint of whisky, and pour rapidly from one jug to another till the hot pint is smooth, and the patient ready for it.

It can be made in the time it takes to get a man’s boots off [or on!] on a cold night.