Friday, October 17, 2008

Hip, Hip, Hypocras!

To let my mind rest from thoughts of Nano, I've decided to start making Hypocras for the Christmas season.

Hypocras is a spiced wine that can be consumed hot or cold and is good for you. Attributed to Hippocrates, it's first mentioned in texts in the 12th century. Romans also drank spiced wines. King Henry VIII also had some after his two hour breakfasts because it was reputed to aid digestion, though his had gold flakes in it.

A few years ago I was at a Medieval banquet where it was served. I could not stop drinking the stuff! And determined I would make my own. As with most recipes, it takes a little practice to get the ingredients and the timing right; it depends on who's recipe you're using.

It's definitely a love/hate thing - I think because cloves smell medicinal. Anyway, I've found a recipe using white wine that I'm eager to try. It's reproduced as it was written in 1596 so it will need some thought to translate. Who knew reading Geoffrey Chaucer would have any benefit at all?

1 comment:

Jason said...

Ah, Christmas season beverages. I can't wait to try a few cups of warm apple cider.