Lamb’s Wool

The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog | Manhattan

The Lamb’s Wool finds its beginnings as a wassail—a hot, mulled cider thought to have originated in England’s West Country—and takes its name from the Celtic pagan festival, La Mas Ubal, the Day of the Apple. Traditionally a spiced drink made with porter, New York’s Dead Rabbit updates the classic just slightly with the addition of Irish whiskey for a spiritous, not-so-sweet riff on the Whiskey Toddy.


Serving: 1

  • 4 ounces porter, preferably Founders
  • 2 ounces whiskey, preferably Powers
  • 3 ounces spiced apple purée (see Editor's Note)
  • 1/2 ounce spiced sugar syrup (see Editor's Note)

Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Combine all ingredients in a briki and heat to a boil.
  2. When bubbling hot, pour into a porcelain mug and garnish with fresh nutmeg.
Editor's Note

Spiced Apple Purée:
1/2 ounce Everclear
4 ounces applesauce, store-bought or homemade
1/4 ginger syrup

Add all ingredients to a jar and mix. The purée should last two weeks in the refrigerator.

Spiced Sugar Syrup:
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground star anise
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinammon

Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, but do not boil. Add the spices and slowly stir to dissolve the sugar. When the syrup has thickened, remove from the heat. Strain through a chinois into bottles. The syrup, yielding about 16 ounces, will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Ginger Syrup:
12 ounces ginger root
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar

Chop the ginger into small pieces and feed them into an automatic juicer. Strain the ginger juice through a chinois to remove the pulp. Add the ginger juice, sugar and water to a large saucepan over medium heat, but do not boil. Slowly stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat. Use a funnel to pour into bottles. The syrup, which yields about 750 milliliters, will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.