Extracts from 1749-1949: The Seven Ages Of Justerini’s by Dennis Wheatley, (Riddle Books, London, 1949)

Selection of Giacomo Justerini’s recipes from 1749 for making Home-made Liqueurs and Wines (pp.14-18)
Hot and Cold Punches, Possets, etc. from a Justerini’s pamphlet printed in the late 1700’s (pp.32-35)
Particulars from HINTS FOR MAKING CUPS issued by Justerini’s mid to late 1800’s (pp.44-49)
Some favourite Cocktails (pp.76-80)

Selection of Giacomo Justerini’s recipes from 1749
for making Home-made Liqueurs and Wines (pp.14-18)

apricot wine

Having boiled six pounds of loaf sugar in six quarts of water, and skimmed it well, pare and stone twelve pounds of apricots, add their flesh to the liquor and boil them till they are tender. Then strain the liquor from the pulp, put it into a stone crock, leave for forty-eight hours till fine and bottle it up. Cork well and keep in a cool cellar. The residue of apricot flesh will make good marmalade.


Take twenty gallons of water and break into it, in small pieces, one hundred pounds of loaf sugar. Boil it till the sugar be melted, skim it well and put it in a tub to cool. When cold put it in a cask, with thirty gallons of good Jamaica Rum, and fifteen gallons of orange juice; but mind to strain all the seeds out of the juice. Mix them well together, then beat up the whites of six eggs very well, stir them well in, let it stand a week to fine, and then draw it off for use.

sloe gin

Prick the sloes with a darning-needle, and half fill clean, dry bottles with them. Add to each bottle three drops of essence of Almonds and one ounce of crushed barley-sugar. Fill the bottles with Unsweetened Gin, cork them and allow them to remain in a moderately warm place for three months. Then strain the liquor through fine muslin, rebottle it and store in a cool cellar.


Use sound Black Cherries. Remove the stalks and stones, then crush half the quantity of fruit with a fork and pound the remaining half in a mortar. Put all into a crock and let it stand for twenty-four hours. Then pour through a sieve into another vessel. To each quart of juice add three-quarters of a pound of sugar and one quart of Gin. Take sufficient of the juice to dissolve the sugar by heating on a slow fire, and when cooled return it to the vessel. Add the Gin and one stick of Cinnamon for each two quarts of the liquor. Allow to stand for one week, strain through a jelly-bag and bottle.

orange brandy

Put into twelve quarts of Brandy; the peel, cut very thin so that as little as possible of the white is used, of six dozen oranges, and let it steep a fortnight in a stone vessel closely stopped. Then boil two quarts of spring water with six pounds of the finest sugar, near an hour very gently. Clarify the water and sugar with the white of an egg, then boil it near half away. When it is cold, strain the brandy with the syrup and bottle it off.

blackberry wine

Let your berries be full ripe when you gather them. Put them into a large vessel with a turn-cock in it, and put upon them as much boiling water as will cover the fruit. As soon as the heat will permit put your hand in the vessel and bruise them well till all are broken. Let them stand covered till the berries begin to rise towards the top, which they will do in three or four days. Then draw off the clear into another crock and add to every quart of this liquor one pound of sugar. Stir it well and let it stand to work for ten days. Then draw it off at the cock through a jelly-bag into another vessel. Take four ounces of isinglass, and lay it to steep twelve hours in a pint of white wine. Next morning boil it on a slow fire till the isinglass is dissolved. Then take a gallon of your blackberry juice, put in the dissolved isinglass, give them a boil together, and pour all into the main vessel. Let it stand a few days to purge and settle, then bottle it off and keep it in a cool place.


To eight gallons of pure water, the softer the better, add one gallon of clarified Honey. Mix well together and pour the liquor into a copper. Allow to boil gently until the total quantity is reduced by half through evaporation. Draw off into crocks and allow to stand until it is only as warm as new milk, then turn into a clean cask, which should be in a warm place to encourage the mixture to work. When it has done fermenting transfer it to a cask which will only just hold it, in a cool cellar, and bung the cask very tight so that the air cannot get at it. Do not bottle it before half a year, see that it is well corked and keep it in a cool cellar.

nectarine gin

Prick your Nectarines all over with a fork and put them in an open vessel. Pour upon them as much Gin as will cover the fruit, and add a quarter-of-a-pound of soft white sugar with each quart of Gin. Cover the vessel with a cheese cloth and leave to stand. Give the contents a stir twice or thrice in the next forty-eight hours, then strain off the liquor and bottle it.

cherry brandy

Stone eight pounds of Morello Cherries and put them in a stone jar, then pour in one gallon of Brandy. Add two wine-glasses of Cr?e de Noyau or a teaspoonful of Essence of Almonds, and two pounds of Demerara Sugar. Stopper the jar tight and put it in a cool place. Shake it well once a week for three months, then strain off the liquor and bottle it.

raspberry wine

Bruise some fine Raspberries with the back of a spoon, then strain them through a jelly-bag into a stone jar. To each quart of juice add a pound of double-refined sugar, stir well together and cover it close. Let it stand three days then pour it off clear. To each quart of liquor put one quart of white wine, then bottle it off. In the course of a week it will be fit to drink.

While no guarantee can be given that, the amateur will succeed in producing the perfect article on his first attempt to follow the above recipes, they have been selected for quotation, because – given a little sugar and a sympathetic wine-merchant – there seems no reason why they should not be made in moderate quantities by anyone interested to-day. However the Spirits used would have been of high strength. Most of Justerini’s brews were ‘Strong Waters’ requiring a still – the possession of which without a licence is now illegal – and were of an incredible complexity; as will be seen from the much abbreviated example given below.

aqua mirabilis

Take four drams each of cinnamon, galega, cloves, cucumis, mace, nutmegs and cardamines . . . Put to them two pints of the juice of celandine, one pint of the juice of spearmint; six drams each of the juice of balm, flowers of cowslip, melilot, borage, rosemary, marigolds and bugloss; four drams each of seeds of carraway, fennel and coriander . . . Add four quarts of the best sack, two quarts of white wine and one quart each of rose-water, angelica water and strong brandy. Bruise the spices and seeds small and steep them with the herbs and flowers . . . in the liquors all night. In the morning, distil the mixture in a common still pasted up. From this quantity you may draw off two gallons. Sweeten it with sugar-candy . . . bottle it up and keep it in a cool place.

A great variety of these ‘Strong Waters’ were made, many of them approximating to the Curacao, Cr?e de Menthe, Peach Brandy, Anisette, Crème de Cacoa, Kümmel and Absinthe of our own day; and many more that rejoiced in such intriguing names as Walnut Water, Piedmont Water, Fever Water, Rose Water, Penny-Royal Water, Surfit Water, Cordial Poppy Water, Treacle Water and Stag’s Heart Water. But, naturally, Justerini and Johnson having gone into the liquor business, regarded these cordials only as their specialities, and also laid in stocks of all the most popular wines of their era.

Hot and Cold Punches, Possets, etc. from a Justerini’s pamphlet
printed in the late 1700’s (pp.32-35)

sack posset

Beat up the yolks and whites of fifteen eggs, and strain them; then put three-quarters of a pound of white sugar into a pint of Canary wine and mix it with your eggs in a basin. Set the mixture over a chafing dish of coals, and keep continually stirring it till it is scalding hot. Grate some nutmeg into a quart of milk and boil it, then pour it into your eggs and wine. As you pour it, hold your hand very high, and let another person keep stirring it all the time. Then take it off, set it before the fire half an hour, then serve it up.

mulled claret

Pour a quart of Claret into a saucepan and put with it a sliced orange, twelve lumps of sugar and six cloves; bring these nearly to the boil. Boil a pint of water and add it to the mixture. Add one wine-glass of Curacoa and one of Brandy; then pour .into glasses and grate nutmeg on top.

hot punch

Remove the rind of a lemon by rubbing it off with a quarter of a pound of lump sugar. Put the sugar, with a pinch of grated nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon and six cloves, into a saucepan. Add half-a-pint of Brandy and half-a-pint of Rum. Boil a pint of water and pour it onto the other ingredients. Then heat the whole gently by the side of the fire but do not let it reach boiling point. Strain the juice of the lemon into the punch-bowl, add the hot liquor and serve in small cups or glasses.

orange posset

Take the crumb of a penny loaf grated fine and put it into a pint of water, with half the peel of a Sevile Orange grated, or sugar that has been rubbed upon it to take out its essence. Put these on to boil. Then take a pint of Mountain Wine, the juice of half a Sevile Orange, three ounces of Sweet Almonds and one of Bitter; beat fine with a little French Brandy, and sugar to your taste. Mix all well together, put it into your Posset, and serve it up. Lemon Posset must be made in the same manner.


Grate half a nutmeg into a pint of Port. Set it over the fire, and when it boils, take it off to cool. Take the yolks of four eggs well beaten, add to them a glass of the same wine cold, mix these together and pour the mixture a little at a time into your hot wine. Now pour the whole from one vessel to another back and forth several times till it looks fine and bright. Then set it on the fire and beat it at intervals several times till it is quite hot and pretty thick, and pour it backwards and forwards frequently. Then put it into chocolate cups and serve it with long fingers of bread toasted a nice light brown.

brown caudle

Take two quarts of water, and mix it with four spoonfuls of oatmeal, a blade or two of mace and a piece of lemon peel. Let it boil a quarter-of-an-hour, stirring it often and being careful not to let it boil over, then strain it through a coarse sieve. Add a quart of brown ale, bring it to the boil again, then on taking it off add half-a-pint of white wine or Brandy.

a bishop

Stick a lemon with cloves and roast it. Put a quart of port into a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Boil a pint of water in which there is a good pinch of spice and add it, with the roasted lemon to the hot wine. Then rub two ounces of lump-sugar on the rind of another lemon, put it into a bowl, adding half the juice of the lemon and pour in the wine. Serve as hot as possible.

In the same pamphlet recipes for a number of Syllabubs, Cold Punchs, etc., were given, and we reprint a few of them below.

an everlasting syllabub

Put three pints of good thick cream into an earthen pan, with half-a-pint of Rhenish wine, half-a-pint of Sack, the juice of two large Sevile oranges, the rind of three lemons grated and a pound of sifted sugar. Beat all together well with a whisk for half-an-hour, then with a spoon take off the froth and lay it gently on a sieve. Fill your glasses with the mixture and top them up as high as possible with the froth.

cold punch

Peel a lemon and put its rind, with half-a-pound of powdered sugar and half-a-pint of water, in a bowl. When the sugar has dissolved, add one bottle of Rum, one bottle of White Wine, a wine-glass full of Curacoa and the juice of the lemon. Ice well before serving.

a syllabub under the cow

Pour a bottle of Red or White wine into a bowl, sweeten it with sugar and grate in some nutmeg. Then hold it under the cow, and milk into it till it has a fine froth on top. Strew a handful of currants and chopped almonds over it before serving.

There seems something to be said for ‘the bad old days’!

Particulars from HINTS FOR MAKING CUPS
issued by Justerini’s mid to late 1800’s (pp.44-49)

It should be remembered that a quantity of ice placed in a cup will always result in reducing the strength and flavour of its ingredients; so if ice is inserted at all a proportionate decrease should be allowed in the amount of mineral water added to the wine. It is generally preferable to ice the liquid ingredients first, and if ice is added it should be only one medium sized lump on serving, solely for the sake of that tinkle, so refreshing to the ear, that it makes against the sides of the glass jug.

Fruit in season may be added to any cup, but its principal value is its decorative effect, for its delicate flavour will be overcome by that of herbs and liqueurs; unless the object is to make a fruit cup, in which case only one fruit should be used and neither herbs nor liqueurs added.

Judgment must be exercised in the amount of liqueurs used, as this should vary in accordance with the quality of the wine. As a general rule only sound but inferior wines are used as the basis of cups, so it is no matter for concern if their bouquet is lost in a mixed aroma. Wines of distinction should never be used; but some connoisseurs will go so far as to select a good quality Hock or Moselle for the purpose, and if liqueurs and herbs are used sparingly the quality of the wine will still be perceptible.

When using wines of the poorest quality it is no bad thing to put in a good dash of as many of the liqueurs mentioned below as are available, fruits of any kind that are to hand, and mint, borage, cucumber and lemon rind. This will result in a concoction of no distinctive flavour but one that is highly aromatic, and generally found particularly pleasing to the ladies. It should, however, be borne in mind that mint, borage and cucumber kill one another when used together, while each will impart their individual and refreshing virtue to a cup if used alone.

Brandy (except in the case of King Cup) should always be used sparingly; as its function is to draw out the flavour of the chosen herb, and a moderate quantity is sufficient for this. If more than a wine-glass of Brandy is added to a bottle of wine and two pints of mineral water, it will tend to make the cup heavy, so that it loses its refreshing qualities and is apt to induce somnolence.

Liqueurs make their full contribution to a cup immediately upon being added to it, so a preliminary tasting will inform the maker if he has put in sufficient of each to please his individual taste. Herbs, on the contrary, take a little time before the alcohol begins to extract their virtues but continue to impart them with increasing potency as long as they are left soaking in the wine. It is therefore advisable to add the herbs about a quarter of an hour before serving, and afterwards remove them if any of the mixture is left in the jug; otherwise, on refilling the glasses the flavour of the herb will be found to be too strong. This particularly applies to cucumber rind which, if used in moderation, is the best of all ingredients for imparting a refreshing tang to a cup, but if its removal in due course is neglected will inevitably turn the mixture bitter.

With regard to Liqueurs. Where the choice is limited Maraschino offers the best all round value. If Kirsch is used as a substitute slightly more sugar should be added. Curacao is the next best for general use; Cointreau or Grand Marnier make a good substitute for it; while Apricot or Peach Brandy may be used with almost equally good effect. For Cr?e de Noyeau the only, somewhat dubious, substitute is Almond essence, and if this is used it should be limited to a couple of drops, as more is apt to give the cup a bitter flavour. Chartreuse, Benedictine, Cherry Brandy, Van der Hum, Vielle Cure, Strega, Raspail and Cordial Medoc may all be used if variety and a distinctive flavour is required. But Cr?e de Menthe, K?mel and Anisette should never be put in a cup.

Concerning Mineral waters. While it is the general practice to use soda-water, such aerated spring waters as Perrier and Apollinaris are preferable; since their higher degree of sparkle better animates still wines and provides that creaming effervescence which is such a pleasant feature of most cups.

With all cups containing herbs it is of the first importance to replace the mixture on the ice for about a quarter-of-an-hour after the final ingredients are added; in order to give the wine time to extract the virtues of the herbs before serving.

claret cup

Put one bottle of Claret, the rind of a lemon peeled as thin as possible and one to two tablespoonfuls of caster sugar, according to taste, into a jug; cover it and let it remain embedded in ice for an hour. Then add a wine-glass of Sherry and a liqueur glass each of Brandy, Maraschino and Noyeau, with a few sprigs of borage, balm or lemon-verbena, and one pint bottle of mineral water.

moselle cup

Place a bottle of Moselle and a pint bottle of mineral water on the ice for an hour. Then pour them into a jug and add two wine-glasses of Curacao, one or two tablespoonfuls of caster sugar and three strips of cucumber rind about six inches long cut very thin. hock cup is made in the same manner.

burgundy cup

Put a bottle of Burgundy, a half bottle of Port and two pint bottles of mineral water on the ice for an hour. Then pour them into a jug and add a wine-glass of Chartreuse, the juice of two oranges, the juice of one lemon, a tablespoonful of caster sugar and several sprigs of lemon thyme or a good spray of borage.

white wine cup

Put a bottle of Graves, Sauternes or White Lisbon wine and two pint bottles of mineral water on the ice for an hour. Then pour them into a jug and add a wine-glass each of Brandy and Curacao, a half wine-glass each of Maraschino and Cherry Brandy, one to two table-spoonfuls of caster sugar and half-a-dozen sprigs of mint each about six inches long.

champagne cup

Put a bottle of Champagne or Saumur and a pint bottle of mineral water on the ice for an hour. Then pour them into a jug very slowly, so as to conserve their effervescence, and add a wine-glass of Madeira, half a wine-glass of Brandy, a liqueur glass of Maraschino and a few strips of lemon peel, which have been cut very thin and twisted slightly so that the essential oil will easily penetrate the wine. The addition of sugar is redundant, and if added care should be taken that the wine does not fizz up and overflow.

cider cup

For school-treats and similar occasions where a light beverage is required the attraction of Cider may be much enhanced by its conversion into a cup by the addition only of fruit and herbs. In this case no mineral water should be added; a good spray of borage will then lead to the supposition that it is a stronger drink than it is in fact without actually adding to its alcoholic strength. Mint or cucumber rind, as a substitute for borage, also produce a very palatable drink; but sparkling cider should always be used, never the still variety.

If a more potent mixture is desired proceed as with White Wine cup. In this case Gin may be substituted for Brandy.

bacchus cup

Put a bottle of Champagne, half a bottle of Sherry and two pint bottles of mineral water on the ice for an hour. Then pour them slowly into a jug and add a wine-glass of Brandy, a liqueur-glass of Noyeau, a few sprigs of balm or lemon thyme and one or two table-spoonfuls of caster sugar. The last should be added carefully, a sprinkle at a time.

peach bola

Take four to six ripe peaches, according to size, prick them well all over with a fork and put them in a jug with one or two table-spoonfuls of caster sugar. Add one bottle of sparkling Hock and one bottle of still Hock, then cover the jug and leave it embedded in ice for half-an-hour. Before serving add two pint bottles of mineral water that have also been well iced. No liqueurs, herbs or other ingredients should be used for this mixture.

strawberry cup and pineapple cup are made in a similar manner, Moselle or other White Wine being used as a basis if preferred.

loving cup

Put one bottle of Madeira and a pint of still water on the ice for an hour. Then pour them into a jug and add a wine-glass of Brandy, a quarter of a pound of loaf-sugar which has been rubbed hard on the rind of two lemons; peel the lemons, removing as much of the pith as possible, cut them in slices and add them together with some sprigs of borage, balm and lemon thyme. Allow to stand for half an hour in a cool place, then serve.

king cup

To one bottle of well-iced Champagne add a quarter of a bottle of Brandy. No water or other ingredients should be added. This potent mixture is suitable for drinking only late at night to round off a Champagne supper.

black velvet

To one bottle of Champagne add two pint bottles of Stout, all of which have been well iced. This admirable concoction is much to be preferred to hot-soup as a stirrup-cup on which to send ones guests home in the early hours of the morning, after a late entertainment.

Some favourite Cocktails (pp.76-80)

Cocktails should never be made in advance of a party and allowed to stand. An added r?lame goes to the host who performs the mystery himself, where the numbers of the party are sufficiently restricted to permit of this, and if all the ingredients are to hand it is quite time enough to start on the arrival of the first guest.

The quantity of a mix should not exceed immediate requirements; otherwise the amount left over in the shaker or jug will become weakened from the melting of the ice, and additions to it will not produce a drink as well-balanced as that of the first blend.

The perfect article can only be produced by making a fresh mix for each round.

Medium sized pieces of ice should be used, since small ones melt too quickly and are apt to over-dilute the mixture, causing it to lose its bite. Generally speaking the aim should be to dilute the other ingredients to a point at which when poured out the cocktail will contain one third water, but the mixer should add more or less ice in accordance with his estimate of the company’s capacity.

Modern opinion inclines to the belief that certain cocktails are better if simply stirred with ice in a jug and strained, rather than shaken in a container. The former process may be adopted for clear cocktails, the main constituents of which are Spirits and Vermouth, but cocktails containing liqueurs, fruit juices or eggs should always be shaken.


One half Italian Vermouth to one half Gin; add two drops of Angostura Bitters per person, and serve with a Maraschino Cherry in each glass. The dry martini has become somewhat of a misnomer, as it is now almost always made with Noilly Prat or some other French Vermouth. It consists of one-third French Vermouth to two-thirds Gin, served with an olive in each glass or a piece of twisted lemon peel. Some mixers prefer to use only one fourth part Vermouth. A medium martini can be made by substituting Sherry for Vermouth; its relative dryness will then depend upon the type of Sherry selected.


One half Italian Vermouth to one half Whisky – Rye is preferable but Scotch can be used – add a dash of Curacao and two drops of Angostura Bitters per person. Serve with a piece of twisted lemon peel on top of each glass.


One part each Italian and French Vermouths and Orange Juice to two parts Gin. Note: Owing to the great shortage of Gin during a long period of the late war this cocktail was often made with a jamaica rum basis, and the substitution proved most popular.


Two parts Bacardi Rum to one part Lime juice – or if obtainable the juice of fresh limes. Add two teaspoonfuls of caster sugar and shake well.


Put a lump of sugar into each glass, shake two drops of Angostura Bitters onto each lump, add a teaspoonful of Brandy and pour in well-iced Champagne.


Add to ice two-thirds of a glass of Brandy for each person, two dashes each of Curacao and Angostura Bitters, and a teaspoonful of sugar. Shake well and serve with a half-slice of orange on the top of each glass.

white lady

One part each Cointreau and Lemon juice to two parts Gin. A blue lady can be made by simply substituting Blue Curacao for the Cointreau; but a pink lady entails adding the white of an egg and four dashes of Grenadine to one part Brandy and two parts Gin.

old fashioned

Put into each glass a lump of sugar which has first had two dashes of Angostura Bitters sprinkled on it and then been crushed. Fill up with iced Rye Whisky, and serve with a half-slice of orange on top. Some people prefer a twist of lemon peel to the orange; while others find it excellent if served as a long drink with the addition of soda.


One part White Cr?e de Menthe – Green can be used just as effectively but gives the cocktail a somewhat unpleasant colour – to three parts Brandy.

clover club

One part Italian Vermouth to two parts Gin, a teaspoonful each of Grenadine and lemon juice, and the white of an egg. Shake well to obtain froth.


One-third lemon juice to two-thirds Swedish Punch.


One half French Vermouth to one half Italian Vermouth and a teaspoonful of Absinthe per person. Serve with a twist of lemon peel on top.

For full measure we give below two new receipts of distinctive flavour which did not appear in the original list. The first was invented by film-director Alfred Hitchcock, the second was stumbled upon by Dennis Wheatley during the war-time shortage of many cocktail ingredients.

spanish main

Ice a large tin of Pineapple – straight tinned Pineapple juice is never quite as good. Strain off the juice and to two parts of it add three parts of Jamaica Rum.

nelson’s blood

To three parts Jamaica Rum add two parts Lime juice and one part Law’s Peach Bitters. Note: The powerful Peach Bitters sometimes used as an alternative to Angostura Bitters when making Pink Gins is an entirely different product and will not serve for this purpose.


This page last updated      Copyright © 2002-2006 Bob Rothwell. 2007-2021 Charles Beck.