Puneet Varma (Editor)

Smoking Bishop

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Smoking Bishop toriaveycomimages201212ScroogeandBobCratch

Similar  Conditum, Wassail, Hippocras

Dickensian cheese and smoking bishop

Smoking Bishop is a type of mulled wine, punch or wassail. It was especially popular in Victorian England at Christmas time and it appears in Dickens' story A Christmas Carol.


“A Merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. “A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon over a bowl of smoking bishop, Bob!”

Smoking Bishop was made from port, red wine, lemons or Seville oranges, sugar and spices such as cloves. The citrus fruit was roasted to caramelise it and the ingredients then warmed together. There is a persistent myth that the name comes from the shape of the traditional bowl, shaped like a bishop's mitre, and that in this form, it was served in medieval guildhalls and universities. Other variations of drinks known collectively as "ecclesiastics" included:

  • Smoking Archbishop made with claret
  • Smoking Beadle made with ginger wine and raisins
  • Smoking Cardinal made with Champagne or Rhine wine
  • Smoking Pope made with burgundy
  • Recipe

    Eliza Acton published a recipe in her Modern Cookery in 1845:


    Smoking Bishop Wikipedia