Rosewater and orange-flower water were used to flavour creams, sweet cakes and biscuits in the more prosperous households. They are still obtainable today from the chemist and give a subtlety to many sweet dishes.
Robust meat, poultry and game dishes were flavoured with cider, wine or beer. Home-made cider was prepared and used on small farms and in cottages, and home-made wines were also widely used, the sweeter flower wines being particularly popular in sauces. Larger houses had their own brew-houses and ale or richer stout were both drunk and used for cooking. These alcoholic liquids not only flavoured dishes, but also helped to break up tough fibres and give succulence to slow-cooked meats.