Wholesome, healthy cold drink recipes were very popular in the 1800s. People made them in the summer and fall with seasonal fruits and other all-natural flavor ingredients, and if blocks of ice were available under the sawdust in the old log ice-house, the drinks were served chilled or icy cold.
You can easily prepare the same refreshing beverages that your ancestors once enjoyed. After trying them, I think you will agree that there's nothing more refreshing than relaxing with a thirst-quenching ice-cold drink on a hot day.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
Note: one gill measures 1/2 cup. This beverage recipe is from an unidentified newspaper clipping published in 1912.
Put into a tumbler about two tablespoonfuls of broken ice, two tablespoonfuls of chocolate syrup, three tablespoonfuls of whipped cream, one gill of milk, and half a gill of soda water from a siphon bottle or Apollinaris water.
Stir well before drinking. A tablespoonful of vanilla ice cream is a desirable addition.
It is a delicious drink, even if the soda or Apollinaris water and ice cream be omitted. A plainer drink is made by combining the chocolate syrup, a gill and a half of milk, and the ice, and shaking well. —Mrs. F. H. Coman
1-1/2 tablespoonfuls chocolate fountain syrup, 1/2 cup milk, 4 tablespoonfuls ice cream, soda water. Combine syrup, milk, and ice cream. Stir well. Add soda water to fill glass.
Pearl barley, 2 ounces; cold water, 1-1/2 pints; l lemon; sugar, 2 tablespoonfuls. Peel off 2 or 3 pieces of lemon rind, a bit larger than a quarter. Put barley into saucepan; add water and lemon peel. Simmer for an hour; strain liquid into jug. Extract juice from lemon, and add, with sugar, to barley water. Cool.
Before serving, dilute to taste, add sugar if desired, and ice. A great favorite with children of great-grandmother's day, this beverage should not be stored more than a few days.
Squeeze half a lemon into a 12-ounce glass, add a little cracked ice, and two ounces of simple syrup. Arrange green mint leaves in the glass, in the good old Southern style, and then fill the glass with cider. Sprinkle a little grated nutmeg on the surface. Freshly made cider is preferable as an ingredient in this feature. A good fall beverage.
Second Edition of the Neighborhood Cook Book (1914)
Make as much coffee as you need, but instead of using water, use milk and cream, then sweeten it and put it on the ice for a few hours, serve with whipped cream. Prepare in the morning if you wish to serve it about 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
Fill glasses one-half full of chopped ice. Pour over them thin hot chocolate, add sugar to taste and thick whipped cream.
Lee's Priceless Recipes (1895)
A good orange, a few drops of essence of cloves, ditto peppermint, 3 or 4 lumps of sugar, a tumblerful of ice.
Put in a tumbler a tablespoonful of current jelly, and a tablespoonful of wine; mix them well together, then fill the glass with ice water.
Aunt Babette's Cook Book (1889)
A delicious summer drink is prepared in the following manner: Crush a quart of ripe strawberries, pour a quart of water over them, and add the juice of two lemons. Let this stand about two hours, then strain over a pound of sugar, stir until the sugar is dissolved, and then set upon ice. You may add one tablespoonful of rose water. Serve with chopped ice.
Take slices of brown toast (be careful not to have them burned), pour boiling water over them, cover closely and steep until cold. Strain and sweeten and add ice.
Steep three hours in a covered, porcelain-lined vessel five tablespoonfuls of whole flaxseed, one quart of boiling water and juice of three lemons (extract the seeds). Sweeten to taste. If too thick, add more water, and then strain. Add ice for drinking. (Also an excellent remedy for coughs.)
Take four large, juicy oranges and six tablespoonfuls of sugar. Squeeze the oranges upon the sugar, add a very little water, and let them stand for fifteen minutes; strain and add pounded ice and water.
Wash two tablespoonfuls of rice, put on to boil with two cups of water and a pinch of salt; strain and set on ice.
Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping (1877)
Wash ripe fruit (strawberries, currants, pineapples, cherries, or raspberries), and pass first through a coarse sieve and then through a cloth; to every quart juice add a quart water, sweeten to taste by mixing thoroughly with powdered sugar, bottle, and surround with ice, serve in wineglasses.
Pineapples must be grated before straining. Grapes, especially the Catawba and Scuppernong, are excellent for this purpose, and even the wild fox grape may be used. They must be mashed, and the juice washed out with water.
Miss Beecher's Housekeeper and Healthkeeper (1873)
Pour boiling water on mashed cranberries, or grated apples, or tamarinds, or mashed currants, or raspberries; pour off the water, sweeten to taste, and in summer cool with ice.
Since ancient times, people of every race and culture have enjoyed cold,
refreshing soft drinks.
History records that cooling thirst quenchers of sweetened fruit juices called sherbets were enjoyed by the Arabs long before the time of the Crusades and that chilled, honey-sweetened lemonade was sold by licensed sellers on the streets of Paris as early as the summer of 1676.
Thanks to these old time cold drink recipes, you can re-create the nostalgic summer drinks of the past.
Taste the actual beverages your great-great-grandparents once enjoyed in their youth. Healthy, refreshing, and good.