Two pints boiling water
Quantum Sufficient loaf sugar
Lime or lemon juice
Pint of Ale or Porter
Pint of Rum
Half a Pint of Brandy
Dissolve 165g (3/4 cup) of brown cane sugar into a litre of boiling water in a large bowl to dissolve. Then add the juice of six limes (about 18 cl), and 50 cl each of porter and navy-style rum (57% alcohol content) and 25 cl of strong brandy, stir and refrigerate until chilled. Serve in half pint glasses.
The English and Australian Cookery Book is considered to be the very first Australian cookbook. Originally published in London in 1864, the full title of the first edition reads The English and Australian Cookery Book: Cookery for the Many, as well as the Upper Ten Thousand - by an Australian Aristologist. The unnamed author was, in fact, a Tasmanian named Edward Abbott.
Blow my Skull, excerpt from The English and Australian Cookery Book (1864):
This was a colonial beverage in use in the earlier days of Tasmania and was named and drank by an eccentric governor, who had a stronger head than most of his subordinates. A wattle hut used to be improvised within a few miles of the capital, and temporary chairs and a strong table being fixed, the governor would take the seat of honor, having in front of him a barbecued pig, and on his honour’s right hand, a cask of “blow my skull” – sufficient for all comers – no special invitation being necessary. A challenge to liquor from the representative of majesty in a roomy pannikin, could not well be declined, although the ceremonial observed in the bush was not over strict. “No heeltaps!” called out the governor in a voice of authority, and the unfortunate stranger was at once ‘hors de combat’; while the governor having an impenetrable cranium, and an iron frame, could take several goblets of the alcoholic fluid, and walk away as lithe and happy as possible, attended by an orderly who could scarcely preserve his equilibrium. Now for the component parts “Blow my skull”, as its name imports, was a remarkably powerful drink, and it was made in the following proportions: Two pints of boiling water, with quantum sufficit of loaf sugar, and lime or lemon juice, one pint of ale or porter, one pint of rum, and half a pint of brandy.
How few of the ‘old hands’ there are in Hobart Town, who recollect the flavor of this celebrated liquor, or the days of Colonel Davey; and we believe that there are none living at Sydney who remember the time when an invitation “at dinner”, to Government House, was accompanied by the polite request to bring your own bread, owing to its scarcity.
The English and Australian Cookery Book, Thomas Abbott (1864)