Fritz Lynagh, a retired Pottsville police officer, remembers his parents administering small doses of hot boilo as a cold and flu remedy. Sometime in the 1980s, he began makinghis own, basing his technique around a recipe he received from a coworker at the county courthouse.
"His boilo begins with two liters of raspberry ginger ale emptied into a sturdy stock pot, along with staples like honey, raisins, oranges, lemons, cinnamon and cloves, plus some of his own touches: dried mint, pink peppercorns, caraway seed and concentrated OJ. This base simmers for a good half-hour before Lynagh pulls it from the heat, strains out the solids and stirs in his own reserve of Four Queens, plus a glug of Everclear for good measure. He does not boil the alcohol, but some do. He doesn’t add peaches or apples or blueberries or schnapps, either. Newfangled variations are fine, but he likes “the traditional stuff.”
4 cups water
4 1/2 pounds clover honey
4 oranges, quartered
3 lemons, quartered
1 cup raisins
6 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 gallon 190 proof grain alcohol
In a large pot over medium heat, mix the water with honey, and stir to combine. Stir in the orange and lemon quarters, raisins, cinnamon sticks, caraway seeds, allspice berries, and cloves, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and strain the liquid into a large pot. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Slowly pour the grain alcohol into the honey mixture, and stir to combine. Pour into bottles, and cap; refrigerate until use. Serve gently warmed in shot glasses.