Hypocras 1

Hypocras is a spiced red wine drink. It can be made in a number of way. Here is a surprisingly exact recipe from 1577. The recipe says it is a very old Greek recipe. I am pretty sure I have read that elsewhere as well.

Preparation of hypocrasThis recipe is from “Lægebog : I-VI” af Henrik Smith, 1577

“Denne Drick Ipocras kaldies effter Ipocratem læge/ som først den paafant/ oc idelige brugede/ oc findis almindelige i alle Apotecker berede/ oc den skal saaledis beredis.

Tag den beste Canel du kant faa/ halffandet lodt/ godt hvit Ingefær i lodt/ Galliga it halffit lodt/ støt disse småt til pulver/ leg det saa i it Glas/ lad der paa halfftredic potte god rød Vin/ oc Sucker saa meget/ effter som du vilt haffve det sødt til/ lad de saa staa en nat tilsammen.”

For your convenience I have re-calculated the measurements to teaspoons since most of us do not have a really accurate kitchen scales.  You should see the Excel sheet. I have also included the gram weights.

Use fresh/whole spices when you can, when making spiced wine, it just makes everything easier.

Smith also give the recipe for another version of hypocras with several ekstra spices.

Hypocras 1

A medieval spiced wine that was popular way up until the 1800's. This simple version of the recipe is really easy to make and quite tasty. Recipe from 1577
Course Drinks and beverages
Cuisine Historical cooking, Medieval, Renaissance
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 10 minutes
Servings 1 bottle


  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 9 teaspoons cinnamon 22 g
  • 6 teaspoons ginger 15 g
  • 3 teaspoons galanga 8 g
  • sugar to taste - other recipes shows about 100 g


  1. It is a good idea to heat a cup of wine with the sugar to dissolve it. Mix it with the rest of the mix.
  2. Mix the spices and the wine.
  3. Let it sit (over night)
  4. Strain the spices out of the wine
  5. Bottle the wine. The wine is drinkable right away, but I think it taste better a few days after it is bottled, as the taste becomes rounded and less sharp.
  6. The wine keeps well in a closed bottle.

Recipe Notes

Use whole cinnamon sticks. You can bash them up a little bit. I use fresh galanga and ginger, but it should properly really be dried roots - as a danish doctor would properly not be able to get a hold of the fresh roots. Good East Asian stores tend to have galanga,


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