Serves 2-6, depending on how thirsty they are
|1 bottle plain red wine
||1/4 cup sugar
|1 Tbl honey
||2-3 cinnamon sticks
|a bit of ginger, cut up
||a small knob of galingale (optional)
|1-2 whole nutmegs
||5-6 cardamom pods
|several whole cloves
Put all of the spices into a small strainer, with a long handle.
Heat the wine gently in a small enamel saucepan, until it begins to steam
a little; do not let it boil. Add the sugar and honey, and stir until
they are well-dissolved. Place the strainer into the wine; reduce
heat and cook gently for several minutes. Remove strainer and set
aside; immediately pour wine into mugs and enjoy.
The same spices can be reused several times on successive evenings
before getting worn out.
Notes and Variations
A particular wintertime favorite of Justin's. This is a variant of
proper period hypocras, with a few tweaks. The period recipe would
usually have been made with ground spices, wrapped in a fine cloth; whole
spices are a bit more wasteful, but rather more convenient in my opinion.
The period version would also have been served either warm or cool, and
this version is reasonably tasty at room temperature, but I find it most
appealing quite warm on a cool night -- it's the very best relaxing winter
drink once you are in for the evening. If it cools, it reheats in
the microwave perfectly fine. Be warned, though -- it is very easy
to gulp this down, and since it's almost pure wine, it will carry a strong
The recipe is quite loose and flexible, and can be tweaked in many
ways. Most of the ingredients are optional; galingale is called out
as specifically optional because it is relatively hard to find. (Galingale
is a relative of ginger, so not highly necessary.) Do not, under
any conditions, use expensive wine in this recipe -- it's simply a waste.
I find that cheap burgundy (although it must be potable) results in the
best flavor mix.
Heavily adapted from Pleyn Delit, by Heiatt and Butler, recipe 127;
that is in turn adapted from Forme of Cury, a particularly good
14th century cookbook.