[ John Pringle, Physician to King George III, gives a recipe for brewing 'real London Porter' (beer). ] Autograph Letter Signed to 'Mr. Milligan', beginning with a recipe for 'six Barrels Porter', followed by a discussion of the ingredients.

Author: 
Sir John Pringle (1707-1782), Scottish medical practitioner, Physician to King George III, 'the father of military medicine' [ Brewing; Beer; London Porter ]
Publication details: 
'Without place or date. [ London, eighteenth century. ]
£800.00
SKU: 20643

Porter is a dark brown beer made with roasted malts. It was developed in London in the early eighteenth century, and was the first beer that could be made on any large scale, making the fortunes of such brewers as Whitbread, Truman, Parsons and Thrale. 3pp., 8vo. Bifolium. On laid paper with Britannia watermark. In fair condition, lightly aged, with a few closed tears along crease lines. The first page is headed 'Porter Receipe [sic] | For six Barrels Porter.' The recipe which follows gives the quantities for fourteen ingredients, including 'Treacle', 'Essentia-bina', 'Liquorice-root', 'Capsicum' and 'Cocculus-Indicus', and ending with '4. Oz. Slacked Lime, the water of which after having been sufficiently saturated must be put in the making either the Colour or the Essentia-bina'. Following the recipe is a lengthy discussion dealing with each ingredient of the beverage, with the 'three first articles' (malt, hops and treacle) described as 'the soul and substance of the beverage'. There are paragraphs on how essentia bina is made, and how porter acquires 'the colour generally approved of'. Heading is 'made of Alum & Copperas in equal moities [sic] ground together', and 'gives a head to the Porter and an appearance of age'. Both ingredients are said to be 'dangerous, therefore, both ought to be avoided if possible'. Pringle concludes: 'If the Brewer finds the expense too high he can reduced accordingly, and may vary in several articles as he sees cause, but pernicious as several are, they are in general use and it is said (what is called real) London Porter can't be made without them – | Mr. Milligan I have only to add the old axiom - “If you brew good Ale you'l [sic] drink the better” - John Pringle'.