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While earlier versions of syllabub, notably one from The Carolina Housewife (1847), contained more alcohol, this recipe has been tamed to suit modern tastes. It can be doubled to serve a crowd, but make it in batches if you need 12 or more servings.

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(Serves 6)

1 lemon

1/2 cup cream sherry, late harvest riesling, or Sercial Madeira

Sugar, to taste

Freshly grated nutmeg, optional

1 pt. heavy cream

Old-Fashioned Syllabub (Serves 12)

1 cup sugar

1 cup chilled cream sherry, late harvest riesling, or Sercial Madeira

1/4 cup chilled brandy or bourbon

2 pts. chilled whipping cream

1 cup chilled whole milk or half-and-half


Remove the zest from the lemon in one or two pieces using a vegetable peeler. Cut the lemon in half and juice it through a strainer into a large bowl. Add the wine and zest, then the sugar and nutmeg (if desired). Let steep at least half an hour. Remove the zest, stir in the cream, and whip with a whisk or electric mixer until it holds firm peaks. Spoon into parfait, sherbet, or martini glasses. Serve cool or cold.

Old-Fashioned Syllabub:

Stir together the sugar, wine, and liquor until sugar is dissolved. Add the cream and milk or half-and-half and beat with an electric mixer or whisk until a thick froth has formed. Serve immediately, beating again as necessary to renew the froth.

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