At the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, I inhabited a world peopled (in part) by a cast-off group of fannish folk who sometimes chant together after consuming a quasi-alchemic formula during their quasi-religious rituals. “Trolle Sweate!” they chant, in inebriated consequence of quant suff. “Trolle Sweate!”
The mythical discovery of this potent potable is detailed in the tale of Will Thrustwell, Senior Pilot of the Cardiff Rose. Some scholars of the Attinson Period likely know that I first cooked it up in 1986, on hearing of the Faire sub-tradition of sharing with quaint friends mysterious and powerful homemade beverages with quaint names. Others, more familiar with the ritualistic cult surrounding its consumption(1), may be shocked to discover its recipe here, in public, possibly under the light of day. But quite honestly, I don’t really drink these days — it reacts badly with some of my medications — and I’m only listing, for the curious, ingredients and method, not the eldritch incantations, forbidden brand names, weird music and wild gestures necessary to its True Manifestation(2). (After all, I have to leave something for the Oral Tradition.)
You’ll need a big pot, a wooden spoon, a variable heat source, and:
- Equal parts CHEAP port and 151-proof rum (usually a fifth of each)
- Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves (quant suff)
- Two lemons (one per fifth)
- Anise extract
Pour together liquids, stir. Set heat on medium-to-high. Mix spices into a fragrant handful, add by pinches, stir. Halve lemons, squeeze into pot, discard peels, stir. Add a few drops anise extract, stir. Incantate, stir. Leave be until steam kisses the surface, taste. Adjust flavorings as and if directed. Remove from heat, bottle. Serve in a wooden egg-cup (1 oz; some sip, most toss). If one cold quaff
burns warms your throat in three successive waves, you’ve got a good batch.
It’s estimated it at 93.5 proof, so be careful. I have seen this stuff knock seasoned alcoholics off of barstools. But what it’s for is celebrating great occasions of laughter and fellowship, or to refresh your throat from shouting “Fencing Lessons!” at people atll day in the hot dry dusty English countryside. (Or cooking up at Faire-related parties.) Also good for indigestion, cramp, fleas, hodads, whirling whumpi, snipe hunts, pogonip nips, hidebehind bites, dyspepsia, disillusionment, and disinterring old graves by the pale moonlight, me hearties. Clink. Quant SUFF.
(1) You think I’m joking, don’t you?
(2) Detailed, albeit in cipher, in “Will’s Big Book of Navigation ‘n’ Stuff,” last seen at Greg’s house.