To make Mum, with some Remarks upon that Liquor


In the first Place, I will give some Instructions how to make Mum, as it is recorded in the House of Brunswick, and was sent from thence to General Monk, afterwards Duke of Alemarle.

To make a Vessel of sixty three Gallons, the Water must be first boil’d to the Consumption of a third Part. Let it then be brew’d according to Art, with seven Bushels of Wheat-malt, one Bushel of Oat-malt, and one Bushel of grinded Beans; and when it is tun’d, let not the Hogshead be too much fill’d at first. When it begins to work, put to it of the inner Rind of the Fir three Pounds, of the Tops of Fir and Birch of each one Pound, of Carduus Benedictus dried, three Handfuls, Flowers of Rosa-Solis, two Handfuls, of Burnet, Betony, Marjoram, Avens, Penny-royal, Flowers of Elder, Wild Thyme, of each one Handful and a Half, Seeds of Cardamum bruis’d three Ounces, Bay-berries bruis’d one Ounce. Put the Seeds into the Vessel. When the Liquor hath work’d a while with the Herbs, and after they are added, let the Liquor work over the Vessel as little as may be. Fill it up at last, and when it is stop’d, put into the Hogshead ten new-laid Eggs, the Shells not crack’d or broken. Stop all close, and drink it at two Years old. If carried by Water it is better.

Dr. AEgidius Hoffman added Water-Cresses, Brook-lime, and Wild-Parsley, of each six Handfuls, with six Handfuls of Horse-Radish rasp’d, in every Hogshead. It was observ’d, that the Horse Radish made the Mum drink more quick than that which had none.

By the Composition of Mum we may guess at its Qualities and Properties. You find great Quantities of the Rind and Tops of Fir in it; therefore if the Mum Makers at London are so careful and honest as to prepare this Liquor after the Brunswick Fashion, which is the genuine and original Way, it cannot but be very powerful against the Breeding of Stones, and against all Scorbutic Distempers. When the Swedes carried on a War against the Russians, the Scurvy did so domineer among them, that their Army languish’d and moulder’d away to nothing, till, once encamping near a great Number of Fir-trees, they began to boil the Tops of them in their Drink, which recover’d the Army even to a Miracle. From whence the Swedes call the Fir the Scorbutic Tree to this very Day.

Our most renowned Dr. Walter Needham has observ’d the great Success of these Fir Tops in the Scurvy, as Mr. Ray informs us; which is no great Wonder, if we consider the Balsam, or Turpentine, wherewith this Tree abounds, and proves so effectual in preserving even dead Bodies from Putrefaction and Corruption. I have heard it reported, that the great Mr. Boyle (the Ornament and Glory of our English Nation) affirm’d, that the Oil of Turpentine preserves Bodies from Putrefaction much better than Spirits of Wine. The Fir being a principal Ingredient of this Liquor, is so celebrated by some modern Writers, that it alone may be sufficient to advance the Mum Trade among us. Simon Pauli (a learned Dane) tells us the great Exploits of the Tops of this Tree in freeing a great Man of Germany from a most inveterate Scurvy. Every Physician will inform you how proper they are against the Breeding of Gravel and Stones: But then we must be so exact as to pull these Tops in their proper Season, when they abound most with Turpentine, and Balsamic Parts; and then they may make the Mum a proper Liquor in Gonorhea’s; besides the Eggs may improve its Faculty, that Way: Yet I will not conceal that the learned Dr. Merret affirms, in his Observations upon Wines, that those Liquors into which the Shavings of Fir are put, may be apt to create Pains in the Head: But still it is to be confess’d, that the Fir cannot but contribute much to the Vigor and Preservation of the Drink.

By the Variety of its Malt, and by the grinded Beans, we may conclude, that Mum is a very hearty and strengthening Liquor. Some drink it much, because it has no Hops, which they fancy do spoil our English Ales and Beers, ushering in Infections; nay, Plagues among us. Thomas Bartholine exclaims so fiercely against Hops, that he advises us to mix any Thing with our Drink rather than them. He recommends Sage, Tamarisk, Tops of Pine or Fir instead of Hops, the daily Use of which in our English Liquors is said to have been one Cause why the Stone is grown such a common Disease among us English: Yet Captain Grant, in his curious Observations upon the Bills of Mortality, observes, that fewer are afflicted with the Stone in this present Age, than there were in the Age before, tho‘ far more Hops have been us’d in this City of late than ever.

As for Eggs in the Composition of Mum, they may contribute much to prevent its growing sower, their Shells sweetning Vinegar, and destroying Acids; for which Reason they may be proper in restoring some decay’d Liquors, if put whole into the Vessel. Dr. Stubbs, in some curious Observations made in his Voyage to Jamaica, assures us, that Eggs put whole into the Vessel will preserve many Drinks even to Admiration in long Voyages. The Shells and Whites will be devour’d and lost, but the Yolks left untouch’d.

Dr. Willis prescribes Mum in several chronical Distempers, as Scurvies, Dropsies, and some Sort of Consumptions. The Germans, especially the Inhabitants of Saxony, have so great a Veneration for this Liquor, that they fancy their Bodies can never decay, or pine away, so long as they are lin’d and embalm’d with so powerful a Preserver; and indeed if we consider the Frame and Complexions of the Germans in general, they may appear to be living Mummies. But to conclude all in few Words, if this Drink, call’d Mum, be exactly made according to the goregoing Instructions, it must needs be a most exquisite alterative Medicine, the Ingredients of it being very excellent and choice Simples; there being scarce any one Disease in Nature against which some of them are not prevalent, as Betony, Marjoram and Thyme, in Diseases of the Head; birch, Burnet, Water-Cresses, Brooklime, and Horse Raddish, in the most inveterate Scurvies, Gravels, Coughs, Consumptions, and all Obstructions; Avens and Cardamom Seeds, for cold weak Stomachs; Carduus Benedictus, and Elder-Flowers in intermittent Fevers; Bay-berries and Penny-royal, in Distempers attributed to the Womb. But it is to be fear’d, that several of our Londoners are not so honest and curious as to prepare their Mum faithfully and truly; if they do, they are so happy as to furnish and stock their Country with one of the most useful Liquors under the Sun: it being extremely proper and effectual in several lingering Distempers, where there is a Depravation and Weakness of the Blood and Bowels.


Mumme (Braunschweiger Mumme)


Marlene Ernst

Marlene Ernst (Transkription): "To make Mum, with some Remarks upon that Liquor", in: Mrs. Eales Compleat Confectioner (1718-1742), Teil 2, S. 087,
online unter: (09.08.2022).

Datenbankeintrag erstellt von Marlene Ernst.