Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Virgin Hippocras

Forme of Cury [1390]

Hippocras is wine that has been spiced with "warm" spices, sweetened with honey or sugar, and strained.  It's medicinal, since all the spices correspond to warm, dry, choleric qualities.  So if you are feeling sanguine, melancholic, or phlegmatic, this will cure what ails you.  Since I am a teetotaler and have small children, I used the traditional teetotaler's substitute: Welch's grape juice.  Not the most authentic substitute, but one must work with what one has.  Don't judge me on this one, I bought long pepper, didn't I?  

These spices take some amount of work to find.  Luckily, I have a relative who lives near Savory Spice, This is my mix.  The only change is no spikenard or cinnamon flowers, but I did add cubebs. It smelled magnificent.  I warmed it overnight in my crockpot, then strained and chilled.

For more information on hippocras, please visit Ivan Day and OldCook.  Ivan Day even has a full list of all the spices you can use, so you make make your very own personal blend.

UR FAIT YPOCRAS Treys Unces de canett. & iii unces de gyngeuer. spykenard de Spayn le pays dun denerer, garyngale. clowes, gylofre. poeurer long, noiez mugadez. maziozame cardemonij de chescun i. quart' douce grayne & de paradys stour de queynel de chescun dim unce de toutes, soit fait powdour &c.

To make hippocras. Three ounces of cinnamon and three ounces of ginger. Spikenard of Spain the price of a denier, galangal, cloves, long pepper, nutmeg. Marjoram cardamom, a quarter ounce for each. Grains of paradise and cinnamon flower, a tenth ounce for each. So make the powder and use it.

Verdict: My five-year-old woke up and said, "What is that amazing smell?"  Both her and the two-year-old are chugging it like winos.  It's pretty spicy!  Anyone who said that medieval types had no conception of "hot food" has never had a good swig of this stuff.  Whew.  With alcohol, it would probably warm you right down to your bones.

Seeing as this is supposed to make a person feel choleric, I watched the children carefully to see if they were excitable, impulsive, restless, energetic, strong-willed, and full of a love of being charge.

They were.  It works!  SCIENCE.  

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