Bichof (1867) ★★★★★

A quick search for "bichof" turned up a definition in a French dictionary, translated as "a maceration of orange or lemon in wine." Another definition expands upon the first, specifying the inclusion of spices and use of either white or red wine. Also spelled Bishop, bishof, bichof, or bischof. Some form of bichof appears in several European countries, including France, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. What defines bichof from other mulled wines is the use of citrus.
Because it is a form of mulled wine, bichof is perfect to serve around Christmastime, and indeed this has been a traditional use for the recipe for some time.In fact, a similar version of this recipe, known as Smoking Bishop, appeared in the end of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. This sort of wine with spices and citrus had many variations, and was often simply called "Bishop." Here is a recipe from Modern Cookery (1845) by Eliza Acton:

Eliza directly quoted this recipe from Apician Morsels; or, Tales of the Table, Kitchen, and Larder (1829):
According to Mrs. Beeton, port and claret were most often used for mulled wine, so this recipe calling for white wine is a bit of an odd one out. She also specifies no particular ingredients, but gives a ratio of 1 cup of water (with dissolved sugar and spices) per pint of wine. 

Original Recipe:

The Verdict:

Because I'm impatient, I used the second method. I used 26 ounces of sparkling white grape juice, since I don't like alcohol. I figured it was a similar enough substitution. I also halved the amount of sugar and water. The end result was really tasty! It was very sweet, though, which I figured it would be. The sugar is really unnecessary with grape juice. With wine it might be different. It really did only take a few minutes to make, too. I would make this again, and I'll give this recipe five stars. Oh, and I only tried this cold, but I think it would be delicious warm as well. I may try that later.

Modernized Recipe:

(Adapted from Hand-book of Practical Cookery, for Ladies and Professional Cooks)

1/2 pound SUGAR*
1/2 pint WATER*
A pinch of CINNAMON
Juice of 1 LEMON
Juice of 1 ORANGE

* Omit if using juice.

1. Mix all together very well and serve hot or cold.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.

1 comment:

  1. why would you make this if you don't like wine?