Several years ago, I went to a holiday party and syllabub was dessert. I was wowed and interested the hosts were using a unique contraption to achieve the frothy consistency. I finally got around to asking the details and my friend gladly shared her simple recipe and her antique syllabub pump. It's so easy and delicious, I can't imagine why it isn't as popular as ice cream. I noted culinary authors, the Lee Brothers, share the same sentiment in their Charleston Kitchen cookbook. That version is similar to James Beard's, which is a hand whipped item. I guess they couldn't get their hands on one of these pumps. They are only available as antiques and quite rare. My friend's pump had been passed down through her family.
Now the bigger problem is the tin pump. They just don't exist anymore and I feel privileged to have been able to make Syllabub with a family heirloom. It makes the dessert much more etherial. Small pin size holes in the bottom of the pump express air through the mixture. Using a whisk is fine if that's all that's available but the results will be more whipped cream like, still a delightful creation. I'm looking for a crafty person to make one. See the picture and let me know if you have a source.
It's just 4 ingredients :
1 quart heavy cream
1 pint whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
Mix until sugar dissolves then chill overnight. Mixture must be very cold. Stir before you begin to pump to insure the ingredients haven't settled. Submerge pump and pump like mad (or whisk by hand). Skim off the foam and serve in a compote with a spoon. Serves a lot.