Dog's nose

A few weeks ago on Twitter (you can follow me here) there was a discussion on whether or not you can mull . This is a silly question, because I can mull anything and at the end of some Christmas parties, I’ve tried to. The conversation sparked a memory of the Supersizer’s Go Victorian, when they drank Dog’s Nose – a mix of gin, cold and warm .

That sounded like a start for gin but mixing cold and warm beers is a bad idea. Unless your beer has been heated until it’s a seething mass of volcanic lava (losing precious booze), adding cold beer to it is going to result in a lukewarm drink. More research threw up a load of cocktail websites that  suggest adding a shot of gin to a pint; a great start to a Saturday night but not very mully. Fortunately Cedric Dickens – the great-grandson of Charles – wrote Drinking With Dickens, a useful guide to getting drunk just like one of Dickens’ cor blimey characters.

The Dog’s Nose appears in The Pickwick Papers, alongside a warning: “Mr Walker, a convert to the Brick Lane branch of the United Grand Junction Ebenezer Temperance Association, thought that tasting Dog’s Nose twice a week for 20 years had lost him the use of his right hand.”

Sounds like my kind of drink. The notes on the book came with a recipe for Dog’s Nose, which I’ve adapted a little. The base is porter, a type of dark beer that’s still made by Fullers, Curious Brew and St Peter’s Brewery. If you can’t find porter, use Irish stout, like Guinness, instead.

Dog’s Nose
Serves 1

330ml porter
60ml gin
3 tsp soft light brown sugar
Nutmeg, to taste

1  Pour the porter and gin into a small pan and add the sugar. Grate in about 1/8 of a nutmeg. Gently heat until it is steaming hot. Taste and add more sugar and nutmeg if needed. Serve in a heatproof glass.

It’s a warming, spicy mix of sweet and bitter that conjures up roaring fires, candle-lit pubs, plush cushions, thick coats and vomit. Not that it tastes of vomit per se, but there is a definite future echo of it. Every mouthful is a warning of what will happen on later that evening if you insist on sticking to the Dog’s Noses. It’s a warning you can listen to, or you can demand more gin in your beer. I know what I’d do.

Tagged with: BeerEnglishGinMulling

8 Responses to Dog’s nose – a Dickensian mull

  1. Lizzie says:

    Brilliant. I am really enjoying your mulling posts.

    I had a variation of this on Saturday night – mulled wine (with plenty of brandy, natch) followed by lots of gin and tonics. There was no beer involved, but there was vomit.

    I’m not sure mulling gin is a good idea.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Whereas on Sunday I had mulled cider followed by lots of gin, beer and red wine. Clearly the key to a good mull is to follow it up with a load more booze until you’re sick.

  2. shayma says:

    a discussion on twitter? no, *she cries* how could i have missed tweets about two of my fave things- gin and mulling. yes yes yes to it. sorry, Lizzie.

  3. Tom says:

    I shall try this one out tonight. Just for the record (and because I’m a boorish pedant), “stout” is an abbreviation of “stout porter” anyway…
    Great blog, by the way – the gin reviews in particular are making the cold nights just that bit more bearable…

  4. curlywurlyfi says:

    I like the thought of anyone ‘sticking to a dog’s nose’.

  5. Peter Lyon says:

    Interesting… of course you should never warm the gin!
    1 pint of Porter, Warmed(not stout, as this will affect the taste, and they ARE different)- you can give a it a minute only in the trusty microwave!
    A single measure of Gin – I prefer Old Tom ‘cos it is THE best!
    1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
    Nutmeg to taste, and drink warm!

    All good wishes, and have a happy ‘Hogarthian’ Christmas and New Year……

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