MC Logo


Recipe by Daniel Myers

Spiced wines have been popular for centuries, and the spices used haven't changed much since the 14th century. Instructions for making hypocras can be found in medieval cookbooks from several countries, making it one of the most common recipes.


2 cups red wine
1 tsp. powder douce
2 - 3 Tbsp. sugar, according to taste


Put ingredients together into a pitcher or other vessel with a pour spout, and stir until sugar dissolves. Serve warm or cold.

For a non-alcoholic version, use grape juice instead of wine and add one or two teaspoons of red wine vinegar for a bit of tartness. Depending on the sweetness of the the grape juice, the amount of sugar may be reduced or eliminated entirely.

PUR FAIT YPOCRAS. XX.IX. XI. 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 Hypocrase. Take a gallon of white wine, suger two pound, of sinamon ij d. ginger ij d. long Pepper ij d. Mace ij d. not brused, Graines ij d. Gallingall j d.od. Cloues not brused, you must bruse euery kinde of spice a litle, & put them in an earthen pot all a day, & then cast them through your bags two times or more as you see cause, and so drinke it.

HIPPOCRAS. To make powdered hippocras, take a quarter-ounce of very fine cinnamon, hand-picked by tasting it, an ounce of very fine meche ginger and an ounce of grains of paradise, a sixth of an ounce of nutmeg and galingale together, and pound it all together. And when you want to make hippocras, take a good half-ounce or more of this powder and two quarter-ounces of sugar, and mix them together, and a quart of wine as measured in Paris. And note that the powder and the sugar mixed together make "duke's powder".

Hippocras. Take four ounces of very fine cinnamon, two ounces of fine cassia flowers, an ounce of selected Mecca ginger, an ounce of grains_of_paradise, and a sixth [of an ounce] of nutmeg and galingale combined. Crush them all together. Take a good half ounce of this powder and eight ounces of sugar [(which thus makes Sweet Powder)], and mix it with a quart of wine.

5. SPICES FOR HIPPOCRAS. Five parts cinnamon, three parts cloves, one part ginger; half of the wine must be white and half of it red, and for one azumbre, six ounces of sugar, mix everything together and cast it in a small glazed earthenware pot and give it a boil, when it comes to a boil, [cook it] no more, strain it through your sleeve often enough that it comes out clear.

Published: 2011-04-20