Caudle is a thick beverage served as a warm drink. It is now out of fashion.
It was made with ale or wine thickened with bread or some kind of grain, sweetened with honey or sugar, simmered, and spiced. At one point, special two-handled cups called “caudle cups” were made to drink Caudle from. The cups came with covers.
Caudle could also be served as an evening drink for a light appetite in lieu of a meal, especially for invalids.
Later over time, eggs were added, possibly to both increase its nutritional value, and to make it more appealing.
Caudle went out of fashion by the start of the 1800s, except for use with invalids.
Literature & Lore
“A fine Caudle: Take a Pint of Milk, turn it with Sack; then strain it, and when ’tis cold, put it in a Skillet, with Mac, Nutmeg, and some white Bread sliced; let all these boil, then beat the Yolks of four or five Eggs, the Whites of two, and thicken your Caudle, stirring it all one Way for fear it curdle; let it warm together, then take it off, and sweeten it to your Taste.” — Eliza Smith. Compleat Housewife. 1742.
The word “Caudle” comes from the Latin word “calidus”, meaning “warm.” It was being used as early as the 1300s to describe the drink above.