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November 18, 2015 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Park 1933 recipe for mulled claret from the last butler

Tom J Gray, Blues & Royals

Tom J Gray, Blues & Royals in Istanbul

Thomas Gray's Claret recipe

Thomas Gray’s Claret recipe

As part of my ongoing Apley Archives project, I recently met again with the 3 children of Mr Gray, the last butler at Apley Park [Hall] to Major A W Foster (they first met when both serving in the Blues & Royals [regiment]). They shared with me not only more invaluable memories, but also one of his original Christmas recipes, transcribed here:

Apley Park Mulled Claret recipe, by Thomas J Gray, 16 Dec 1933

Put into 2 pints of cold water (in perfectly clean large copper saucepan)

  • 1 oz Root ginger
  • 6 sticks cinnamon sticks
  • 1 grated nutmeg
  • 20 cloves
  • 3 strips of thin lemon peel

Allow this to boil for three quarters of an hour, then strain through fine muslin, put back into saucepan with 1/2 lb sugar, add four bottles of claret& warm up to drinking temperature.

We served this to our customers during our Christmas Launch last Saturday, along with Julie’s incredibly delicious mince pies. Lora in the farm shop is preparing kits containing all these ingredients, so you can recreate this very authentic Apley recipe for your own Christmas celebrations at home. We’re not yet selling butler fancy dress kits, to make it really complete !

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