Monday, May 14, 2012


Horse-Milktinis and More

"Kumiss, which is an alcoholic drink made from fermented mare's milk, was popular in the Middle East, but was only drunk in European countries when recommended by a physician."
Drink like a medieval person.

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Still popular all over Central Asia. Hard to find in the US, but there are imitations.


This post was beautiful.@l


One of my college professors, who looked exactly like Dumbledore, used to brew his own mead and then bring it to Medieval Lit class. I had like two cups of it and then fell asleep in the backseat of my car.


@applestoapples thaaaaat is aweeeesome. More people would have gone to my Elizabethan novels class if there was booze.


@applestoapples Aaaaaaand this is the the best thing I've read on the internet today.


@applestoapples in college, the medieval history department would have an annual Medieval Banquet, where you had to dress up in period attire (which they would hand out in the coat closet if you didn't bring your own), and there was always mulled wine* and mead.

*mostly because everyone wanted to say they were drinking Hippocras.


@Ophelia ALSO AWESOME. I went to a Japanese night at my University once, but only one person was wearing kimono. I had medieval feast in the 5th grade, where technically we had costumes but they were bad. I did make this like bread, onions and wine dish for it though, and it was super good. I was probably the only kid who cooked it themself.


@Ophelia I would've totally been all over that.
We had the option of dressing as one of the Canterbury Tales pilgrims (no one did). Prof. Ersatz Dumbledore dressed up as The Wife of Bath, which is the best thing to see while you're getting tipsy on some bootleg liquor.


The Mongolian sort is called airag and it's incredibly popular in both the countryside and the city. Think milk + vinegar + vodka.


I've tried it when taking a vacation in Kazakhstan once. Not the tastiest drink. I prefer kefir.

Unaccompanied Lady

Tastes like cider mixed with sour milk.

Reginal T. Squirge

Good luck convincing me it's not horse spunk.


@Reginal T. Squirge Not to be confused with "horse punk," a genre featuring raucous guitar-driven songs about dressage.


Pretty sure they still drink Kumiss in Mongolia (though it has a different name).


Ahh, I love learning about stuff like this, especially (is it terrible?) as inspiration for non-traditional-European-setting fantasy stories. It is interesting and refreshing to read stories that take a wider view of things and incorporate that into the worldbuilding. (Such as Book of a Thousand Days re: Mongolia/steppes, or The Thief re: Greece.) This was going to be more on topic but I just went haring off in my own direction, as usual.


@stuffisthings Ahh, that looks cool! I took a bunch of Russian lit classes in college, so this twings my heart. BRB reading forever


Did anyone else immediately think of A Song of Ice and Fire and the Dothraki?

Gracefully and Grandly

@cosmia YES! I thought, "Oh, so it's the Dothraki's drink of choice then?"


@cosmia Hah! I was just about to say exactly this to @frigwiggin's comment above.


@cosmia Yeah, that is what they drink, but they are heavily based on Mongolian tribes. Also the one about birds in napkins reminded me of GoT, because there is at least one feast where they have the birds fly out of a dish (because that was super popular in medieval Europe).


@Megano! I feel like that series is setting up a generation of Medieval History professors to want to kill themselves every time they hear "Oh! Like on Game of Thrones!"


@stuffisthings Martin has actually researched a lot of this stuff, so it's not like it's not accurate?


@Megano! Well, I mean in the same way that social science professors are probably sick of hearing "Oh! Like on The Wire!"


@Megano! Yeah, I listen to this podcast where one of the hosts is Mongolian, and she brings up the fermented mare's milk thing, and also how dumb it is that in the show the Dothraki are a hodge-podge of vaguely "ethnic" actors instead of ones that look Mongolian/East Asian.


@cosmia Yeah that annoyed me too. Because that's definitely what I pictured. But then, it is a fantasy world, so they can kind of get away with it? Jason Momoa is a little bit of everything.


@cosmia Which podcast is that? I'd love to hear her perspective on it.

Barry Grant

@Megano! "because there is at least one feast where they have the birds fly out of a dish"

As in "Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie"?


With concoctions like this, it's positively SHOCKING that no one lived past 40.

"Oh you're not feeling well? Here, drink some rotten milk-vinegar out of this dirty clay cup."


@tessamae I believe "put some dirt on it" was a qualified medical response to wounds for a very long time.


@Megano! "laudable pus," etc.




This is a very popular drink in The Road to Wellville!


Ooh, this is popular in my husband's country, where they also have shubat (sparkling fermented camel milk)! I like the camel milk even better, even though my system can't really handle it.

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