This special Yuletide drink has been enjoyed by natives of the Pennsylvania coal region for over a century! Use raisins or dried currants; use 1/2 gallon of your choice of high-proof whiskey if you prefer.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
30 mins
additional:
15 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
18
Yield:
18 servings
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Ingredients

18
Original recipe yields 18 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

687 calories; protein 0.9g 2% DV; carbohydrates 103.4g 33% DV; fat 0.1g; cholesterolmg; sodium 9mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (10)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/24/2011
WoweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeH! Thanks so much for the recipe. Read More
(18)
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
09/24/2011
WoweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeH! Thanks so much for the recipe. Read More
(18)
Rating: 5 stars
12/10/2012
I first had Boilo just yesterday at a Lithuanian friend's house, made from his Grandmother's recipe. As I didn't have his, I made this recipe pretty much as written except to adjust the proportions as I had a fifth of grain alcohol and not half a gallon. I also squeezed the citrus fruits and really mashed them into the mixture to release their full flavor. From some other sources, I let the honey mixture simmer for an hour to fully bring out the flavors from all of the ingredients. It is delicious! Read More
(12)
Rating: 4 stars
01/31/2014
I used 1 lb honey and only a pint of 150 proof Grain Alcohol. Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2014
Good coal cracker drink it warms the heart! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
11/24/2019
Coal miners are tough as coffin nails. that was good. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/08/2019
Yep this is pretty much the stuff I remember from my Lithuanian Grandmother's Christmas parties 30 years ago in Mahanoy City PA. Recipe is amazing as is; no need to tweak. In my family the tradition was to shoot Boilo warm straight-up or mix with ginger ale (delicious both ways). One note of caution; be sure to add grain alcohol AFTER the honey mixture has cooled a bit and is off the stove (no need to loose your eyebrows). Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
01/02/2020
I had it for the first time and loved it! I like it cold better than warm. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/23/2018
I'm from PA coal region and this was awesome! Didn't change anything. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2015
I made this exactly as the recipe calls but with whiskey (bourbon) as suggested in the recipe details and it is fantastic! It's very sweet so I like it with a twist of lemon. Bottled it as part of a homemade Christmas gift. Read More