CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

December 30, 2012

Boilo: A Pennsylvanian/Lithuanian Yule Beverage

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

BOILO:

A PENNSYLVANIAN/LITHUANIAN YULE BEVERAGE

 New Word: Boilo
Pronounciation: BOY-low
Definition: alcoholic yule-tide cocktail; coal country cocktail, …1
(Not just any coal country. Pennsylvania coal country.)
…a name unique to a handful of Pennsylvania counties.
And not just any Pennsylvania coal county.

My sources speak of counties that, more than one hundred years ago, were BRISKAY, ALBERT PIX 005epopulated with Lithuanian immigrants who mined anthracite coal. This includes the Schuylkill County community of Minersville, town where my the family of my maternal grandfather—Adam Borinsky, a. k. a. Albert Charles Briskay—emigrated from Europe to America in 1894 when my grandfather was two years old.
Thus it can be concluded that boilo is a part of my heritage, probably consumed, and perhaps made by, my ancestors, who lived in boilo’s epicenter: Brewing up a batch of wassail-like boilo is a time-honored traditional event, with roots in the early mining communities and cultures of northeast Pennsylvania, especially in the Schuylkill county area.2
The invention of (more…)

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