Day 5 The tale of a tipple.

Today, Day 5 of the Advent Blog and it’s my turn. Here is my tale of a tipple.



Over the holiday period, one of the delights for some people is to enjoy a tipple of their favourite dram, and my post today is relative to that. I recall with great pleasure the entertainment provided in the run up to Christmas by my father’s homemade beer.

The fun would begin with preparations even before the brew was made. This seemed more like chemistry to me than anything else, but perhaps alchemy might be a better description.

220px-JosephWright-Alchemist-Cropped   All the scrubbing of buckets and sterilizing of equipment, the kitchen steamy from lots of boiled water and once the brew was in the bucket the pungent scent obliterated the smell of anything else.

Yes, stirring the brew was great fun, and checking it as it fermented was a daily ritual.

Most years my father made batches of both mild and bitter beers. For those of you who don’t know those beers, they are the brown beers available in the UK. Usually the process followed a satisfactory pattern, and at the end, we would watch Dad carefully pouring his brew into bottles. These were all then set in the cupboard under the stairs, ready for the holiday period. However, the year I remember best was the one where something went wrong with the process.

The first any of us knew about it was the explosive sound of a cork ejected like bullet from one of the bottles in the cupboard under the stairs. As we children had strict instructions not to touch the bottles, the first thing we did was call for help. Yes, we were very well behaved.

Dad arrived and opened the cupboard door. The smell wafted out in a cloud of yeasty ripeness, and that was the year I heard my Dad swear.

The next fifteen minutes or so has to be one of my treasured memories, because I smile whenever I think of it. My dad, working as carefully as I ever say him, gingerly-ferried bottle after bottle from the cupboard and took them out into the kitchen. Some bottles made it all the way before the cork popped, others didn’t.

Each exploding top caused gales of laughter from us children and deepened my mother’s frown, until finally she saw the funny side and laughed with us. As the process went on, we gave marks out of ten to the corks that hit the kitchen ceiling and formed craters in the plaster.

Even today, so many years later, when I visit my parents home I can still see some of those craters.


And for those of you who enjoy a tipple, may your brew be bright.


My giveaway today is a copy of my Werewolf story, Timeless. Leave me a comment about one of your favourite childhood memories of Christmas and your comments number might come up in the draw. By participating in this giveaway you acknowledge you are over 18.



15 thoughts on “Day 5 The tale of a tipple.

  1. Hi Daisy. What an awesome post. My father never tried beer, but he did try root beer and wine one year. I don’t remember that turning out so well. My mother made mulled wine one year, and even though I wasn’t of legal age at the time, I did sample that. She also made her own Kahlua, which was awesome. I still have her recipe for that, but I’ve only made it once. This was a great trip down memory lane. Thanks

    • Thanks for commenting, Gemma. I’ve not ever tried Kahlua, you’ll have to tell me more about it.
      I’m glad the post brought back some happy memories for you.

    • Daisy, Kahlua is a yummy coffee flavored liqueur. Great in coffee, over ice cream or mixed with vodka and amaretto. If you like coffee, this might be something you’d enjoy.

  2. So many great memories. My parents carried on traditions from their childhoods. I carry them on to my children. One tradition my Mother grew up with was a bundle of nuts in the shell stuffed into the toe of the stocking. Not sure of the significance. Goes back generations in the family.


    • Thanks for commenting, Mary. Yes, we had that tradition too. Along with other gifts we always had a Christmas stocking. Usually one of my Dad’s work socks, filled with a brand new penny, an apple, an orange and some nuts.

  3. Ah Daisy, I faintly remember my mum having a similar disaster with ginger beer one year! Then there was the year that the timer on the oven failed, and instead of switching itself off, it continued baking the christmas cake right through to morning… by which time it resembled a small, dried, blackened cannon ball 😦

    • Thanks so much for commenting, Sofia. Wow, cannon ball cake, oh my, the smell must have been incredible and what a disappointment.
      I hope this year your cake is just perfect and the way you want it.

    • Hi Shiloh, many thanks for commenting. I’ve don’t think I’ve ever tried egg nog, I’ll have to find a recipe.
      Check out the My Books page it shows you my stories.

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