Lambswool (or Lamb’s Wool) is a traditional yuletide tipple drunk on Christmas Eve. It’s usually made with strong ale in Yorkshire but cider is often used in different parts of the country. Recipes vary and some contain wine, sherry or spirits as well as ale.

Why is it called lambswool?

This is because you whisk the soft fluffy Bramley apple puree into the hot ale or cider before drinking and try to get as foaming and fluffy a head as possible. Then you sip through the fluffiness, like drinking through the softest lamb’s wool.

1½ litres of strong ale or cider

4 large Bramley apples

6 tablespoons clear honey (or use 6 tablespoons of brown sugar)

1 cinnamon stick

Plenty of freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste

Preheat oven to 180C (fan ovens) or equivalent

Core the apples and score round the circumference halfway down.

Bake them on a tray (lined with greaseproof paper for best results) for 20-30 minutes until the apple begins to split apart at the halfway mark and the flesh has cooked to a soft fluff.

Meanwhile, melt the honey gently in a large saucepan with enough ale to cover stirring continuously.

Once the honey has dissolved completely, add the spices and pour in the rest of the ale or cider slowly.

Bring to a gentle simmer.

Remove the apple pulp from the skins, mash thoroughly (you may also like to pass it through a sieve) and stir and then whisk into the hot ale.

Whisk vigorously and continue to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes.

Whisk again before serving so the head is as foaming and fluffy as possible.