I decided to try another of these egg based drinks tonight. I have a summer cold so the lemon and extra liquid might be helpful.
I buy the tartaric acid in small pouches at a make your own wine store. One packet is 1.75 ounces so I used just under half the packet. I also weighed the sugar to get 1 pound (about 2 1/4 cups). I mixed these two things in a large measuring cup and added 1 lemon cut up. I chose to cut it in slices but you could make the pieces smaller. Next I separated 4 eggs and added the whites to the rest. Finally I added 1 quart (4 cups) of boiling water. I stirred everything together and prepared to make a glass to sample.
Mrs. W. B. Wood of St. George is probably Ellen Elizabeth Malcolmson. She married William Bruce Wood in 1872 when she was about 19 and he was 24. Elizabeth had been born in Niagara while W.B. was from Scotland. The couple had three or four children (depends if Nellie and Ellen are the same person). Mr. Wood had quite the career as a miller and politician. He was mayor of Brantford and eventually the president of Dominion Mills in Montreal. It was there that both William and Ellen died when they were around 80 years old. Their two daughters were living with them well into their 40s. Their youngest child a son married and must have had an interesting life as he died in Singapore in his 70s.
This drink is so simple and quick and surprisingly good. I truly didn’t expect it to work based on the instructions and yet the sugar melted and the lemon flavour seeped out into the rest of the ingredients. I added 4 tablespoons to a large glass and added some cold water. Then I stirred in some baking soda. It foamed up and almost overflowed but it looked amazing. I took my first sip and realized I’d added a bit too much soda because at first it tasted like a baking soda and water antacid mixture. But then I got the tart lemon and tartaric acid and it was refreshing but the creamy foam makes it different from lemonade. Drinking this sort of foamy old-fashioned drink makes me feel like I’m in an old movie at a drugstore soda fountain with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. I can’t imagine this drink being bottled today. Not only would you miss the exciting moment when it starts to foam but I suspect the raw egg whites would be a problem. If you’d like to step back in time and don’t mind the risk of consuming a bit of raw egg white then give this a try. In the modern world you don’t even have to turn on the stove. Just boil the electric kettle and make yourself a Lemon Cream!
Mrs. W. B. Wood, St. George
One ounce of tartaric acid, one pound white sugar, whites of four eggs, cut up one lemon. Stir all together and add one quart boiling water. Put three or four tablespoonfuls of this mixture in a glass, fill up with cold water, add a little soda before drinking. This makes a nice summer drink. But do not make it in a tin vessel.