Cheers to you if you’ve ever said the words, “Fancy a syllabub?” But more likely than not the English concoction is new to you. For Garden & Gun’s December 2023/January 2024 holiday cover story, the Virginia floral artist and entertaining specialist Mary Spotswood Underwood opened up Brooke’s Bank, her family’s Georgian estate, to readers, along with her trove of inspired seasonal decor and menu ideas. That included the recipe for her syllabub, which by the time Brooke’s Bank was built in 1751 had evolved from a rustic drink into a spoonable dessert; Underwood, in turn, has reimagined it into a holiday-party sipper.
Underwood advises doubling or tripling the recipe below when entertaining. “I chill what mulled wine I need for syllabubs,” she explains, “and then keep the remaining mulled wine in a saucepan ready to bring back to a simmer as needed as a beverage option. Leftover mulled wine and syllabubs keep well and are handy for drop-by holiday visitors, too.”
As for the syllabubs, pre-party, “I put them in the fridge and go get dressed,” she says. “They take an hour or so to set up and are ready when the guests arrive. They taste like Christmas in a glass.”