Food and Drink for Shakespeare's Birthday

Celebrate Shakespeare's birthday at home on Friday, April 23, with a special menu inspired by the Folger's collections and programs. Pick a recipe from each of the courses below to make a special Shakespearean dinner, then share your meal on social media with #ShareYourShakespeare.

Looking for more recipes from the Folger collection? Find more on our Shakespeare and Beyond blog.

Appetizer

"Pears" in Broth
Faux pears, made from ground veal or pork, offer chefs an opportunity to show off their culinary sense of humor.

Turducken Pies
Before 'Farm to Table' fellow Michael Walkden has adapted this early modern recipe into the perfect passed hors-d'œuvre.

"Cogs" Biscuits
We aren't sure what a "cog" is, but these biscuits are delightful served warm with butter. 

Main

Robert May's Braised Brisket
Scholar Marissa Nicosia adapted this 1660 recipe for brisket braised in red wine for our 2017 exhibition First Chefs.

Roast Joint of Mutton
A line from Henry IV, Part 2 inspired actor and cook John Tufts to create this recipe for his cookbook, Fat Rascals.

Sweet Potato Pudding
Half a cup of dark sherry lends a unique flavor to this late 17th-century sweet potato pie. (Vegetarian.)

Dessert

Citrus Tarts
Vinegar and pepper make surprise appearances in these tarts adapted by food writer Francine Segan from a 1587 recipe book.

Seed Cake à la Thomas Tusser
A cake inspired by early modern agriculturalist Thomas Tusser is flavored with two ingredients frequently found in 17th-century sweets: rosewater and caraway seeds. 

Knotts
A clever baker can twist these cookies into knots or shape them into letters. 

Beverages

Pirate's Hot Chocolate
William Hughes picked up this hot chocolate recipe while sailing the Caribbean aboard a privateering vessel. 

Cocktails from Caroline Bicks and Michelle Ephraim's Shakespeare, Not Stirred:

Juliet's Emoji-to
A mojito inspired by Shakespeare's lovesick teenagers.

Caliban's Wrong Island Iced Tea
A tropical take on the Long Island Iced Tea.


Learn more about the food of Shakespeare's world

Before 'Farm to Table'
Learn about the Folger Institute's groundbreaking, cross-disciplinary examination of foodways in the early modern world.

Shakespeare Unlimited: Shakespeare's Kitchen
Francine Segan, noted food historian and James Beard-nominated author of six books, invites us into her kitchen to learn what people in Shakespeare’s time ate, how they prepared it, and how they served it.

Shakespeare Unlimited: The Food of Shakespeare's World
Scholar Wendy Wall, author of Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen, explores kitchens, food preparation, and the meaning of food in Shakespeare's time, all of which are often reflected directly or indirectly in his plays.