Hypocras is a medieval drink, dating from the days when the Roman Catholic Popes moved to Avignon. This is a refreshing and hearty wine punch which can be served either hot or cold, and will certainly add flair to a Medieval- or Renaissance-themed party!
Dry Red Wine (Syrah or a mixture containing Syrah and Cabernet is best--you want rich tannins)
Honey, Brown Sugar, or Sugar
Grains of Paradise
Mace (the spice)
Pour the wine into a heatproof dish with a tight lid that can later be placed in the refrigerator. Add spices and sugar or honey, and mix with a wooden spoon until the honey or sugar is completely dissolved. Cover and leave to sit in a cool place overnight. The next day, taste it. If it's too sweet or too spicy, add more wine. If it's not sweet or spicy enough, add more sugar or spices. Reseal and leave overnight. The next day, filter your wine by pouring it through a towel. (The original medieval recipe specifies filtering it nine times through a clean sock.) Seal tightly and keep in a cool, dark place. As with other wines, once you open it, try to drink it within a week. Serve hot or cold.
- For a shortcut, most pumpkin pie spice mixes contain ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Medieval recipes do not have precise measurements, so start with a small quantity until you work out the correct proportions to suit your taste. I like mine very spicy!