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The generalised name for a type of hot "buttered ale" drink popular in Britain from medieval times well into the late 18th century. It was based on mild, lightly-hopped ale, which was boiled with butter, milk, sugar or honey and a spice (such as nutmeg) before being thickened with beaten eggs. The ale would make the mixture curdle, and it had to be poured back and forth between pan and bowl many times, in order to achieve the right consistency. There were regional variations, such as aleberry (in Scotland) and lambswool. Outside Scotland, drinks of this type began to take on the role of invalid food. See 'Aleberry'; 'Crowdie'; 'Gruel'; 'Lambswool'; 'Pottage'

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