Tonic № oo4: Milk Punch for Circulatory Complaints

r. Hurley frequently treated patients from all of Europe at his spa in Ireland.  Its proximity to Northern Europe and relatively mild climate made it a favorite among German health-seekers.  Many of them complained of a disturbance of the circulatory system – Kreislaufstörung – which was something of a catch-all diagnosis for headaches, heart palpitations, anxiety, and general malaise.

Dr. Hurley’s treatment for this complaint was, we believe, a tonic similar to the milk punch celebrated by Benjamin Franklin in the early days of the United States, pink in color, and mild in taste.  It seems in keeping with the doctor’s sense of humor and distaste for excess earnestness that his concoction featured an infusion of blood oranges to help cure this alleged circulatory disorder.  This particular tonic is said to bring a flush to the cheeks and a warmth to the stomach, signaling the restoration of proper circulation.  A mild infusion of spices is also said to have been used to reinvigorate the patient as well as bring to mind pleasant memories.

While we have not yet uncovered the Doctor’s own recipe for this tonic, we believe it is similar to a modern preparation of milk punch, and probably most closely resembles this recipe published by one Darby O’Shea.  Perhaps she is descended from a former patient of the Doctor’s?

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