Shoppers said “cheers” to the return of an 18th century drink that originated in Sussex.

On Saturday visitors to Harveys brewery shop in Lewes were treated to a taste of Huckle My Buff - a hot drink consisting of brandy, eggs, beer, sugar and nutmeg that is thought to have been the world's first ever cocktail.

The tasty drink was originally made with smuggled French brandy and Harveys porter beer in the 1700s, however it fell into obscurity as years passed.

Now Harveys, with the help of Huckle-My-Buff advocates Jamie Oliver and friend Jimmy Doherty, are hoping the old treat regains popularity after the TV duo featured it in an episode of their 'Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast' show on Channel 4.

In the show they enlisted the help of Harveys head brewer Miles Jenner to research the history of the drink - and to see whether the firm would consider making it again for the 21st century.

And according to shoppers in Lewes who tasted the timely tipple, its return would be welcomed with open arms.

Martin Garrad, of Lewes, said: “It's typical Harveys that they're reviving something like this that is so old. It's in their ethos. I hadn't heard of it before but it is lovely. I think Jamie Oliver's quote, where he said 'Huckle-My-Buff is not a Dodo, but a Phoenix', is absolutely spot on.”

Chris Crook, also of Lewes, added: “It would be great to see it back. It's very warming and would be great at Christmas.”

History books suggest Huckle My Buff was often used to wash down Sussex 'picksomes' like crackling, Lardy Johns or coager cakes.

In the shop on Saturday, one lady shunned the complimentary tasting cups for a full-sized wine glass of Huckle My Buff - suggesting the famous old drink's return to Sussex is imminent.

Robin Thrope, of Harveys, said: “Jamie Oliver sparked the idea to bring it back, recreating the lost recipe to bring it back to life. Miles gave them insight into the history of the drink and they loved it.

“Jamie and Jimmy took it to a cocktail festival where it was highly commended. “ And Edmund Jenner and I have been working to improve it and we're going to be developing it further and bringing in new ideas, like sets to buy in the shop, for people to enjoy.”

What's in Huckle-My-Buff?

  • Fresh Egg Yolk
  • 150ml Harveys Porter
  • 35ml Cognac
  • 20g Muscovado sugar
  • 30ml ginger juice/Liqueur
  • Nutmeg


Gently blend all ingredients on a slow speed then warm in a saucepan, gently stirring with a whisk (or microwave for 30 seconds at a time and stir). Then pour into a warmed glass and finish with freshly grated nutmeg.