A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Potus Ypocras

PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Goud Kokery | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Wine mulled with honey and spices


5. Potus ypocras. Take a half lb. of canel tried; of gyngyuer tried, a half lb.; of greynes, iii unce; of longe peper, iii unce; of clowis, ii unce; of notemugges, ii unce & a half; of carewey, ii unce; of spikenard, a half unce; of galyngale, ii unce; of sugir, ii lb. Si deficiat sugir, take a potel of honey.

- Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). London: For the Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985.


Hipocras Drink. Take a half lb. of cinnamon; of ginger, a half lb.; of grains of paradise, 2 ounces; of long pepper, 3 ounces; of cloves, 2 ounces; of nutmeg, 2 ounces and a half; of caraway, 2 ounces; of spikenard, a half ounce; of galingale, 2 ounces; of sugar, 2 lb. If there is no sugar, use 2 quarts of honey.


  • 1 bottle (750 mll) of an inexpensive, sweet red or white wine
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups sugar (OR: 1 - 2 cups honey)
  • 1 Tbs. each of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, white pepper, clove, nutmeg, & caraway seed
  • cheesecloth
Bring the wine and sugar or honey to a boil; if using honey, skim off the scum as it rises. Taste for sweetness; add honey or sugar as necessary. Remove from heat, stir in spices, and allow to sit covered for 24 hours. After sitting, the spices will create a thick residue which will settle to the bottom. Using a ladle, pass the wine into another container through a strainer lined with 2 or 3 layers of cheesecloth to remove the spices, being careful to leave as much of the spice residue in the pot as possible. Bottle. Make at least 1 month before serving. The older it is, the better.

Ypocras was a very popular Medieval beverage, and many different directions for preparation still exist. Also called Hipocras, the drink is named after the famous physician Hippocrates.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

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Potus Ypocras © 2000 James L. Matterer

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