Le marchand de vin rouge au Moyen Age.

Hypocras 2

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.

This recipe is from “Lægebog : I-VI” af Henrik Smith, 1577.

Somme giøre denne Drick saaledis/ Du tage fire lodt god Canel/ tu lodt Ingefær/ it lodt Paradiskorn/ it halfft lodt galliga/ Neglicker/ Muscate nøder/ Cubeber/ Cardemommme/ af hvert halffandet qvintin/ dem støde de smaa til pulver/ af disse Urter saaledis støtte tage de it lodt til hver halvlanden potte Vin/ oc it halfft pund sucker meller eller mindre/ effter som de ville at samme Ipocras skal vere god sterck oc sød til/ de blande oc Vinen Urterne oc Sucker tilsammen kaalde/ oc lade det saa løbe iginnen en Viden klarete seck/ der til besynderlige gjort.

Denne Drick er en lystig oc kaastelig Drick til gamle Mennisker/ oc serdelis som Vinteren om Morgenen fastendis drucket/ styrcker oc varmer den kaalde Maffve/ er oc god for Hiertens oc alle Seners kaalde Siugdomme/ Denne Drick skulle uge mennisker icke bruge for sin hede skyld”

Smith has two recipes, this is the second one. See the other one here – it is much simpler.

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.

All the spices are ground measurements. If they are not ground please do that very roughly in a morter. 1 teaspoon is 2,5 grams of most spices.

The wine keeps for about a month before the taste has changed enough to makes it less nice.

Hypocras 2

A medieval spiced wine that was popular way up until the 1800's. This version has a huge variety of spices and a very complex flavour. Recipe from 1577
Course Drinks and beverages
Cuisine Historical cooking, Medieval, Renaissance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 15 minutes
Servings 1 bottle


  • 16 teaspoons cinnamon 58g
  • 1,5 teaspoons cardamom 4g
  • 1,5 teaspoons Cubeb pepper Piper cubeba, 4g
  • 1,5 teaspoons nutmeg 4g
  • 1,5 teaspoons cloves 4g
  • 4 teaspoons galangal 10g
  • 4 teaspoons grains of paradise Aframomum melegueta, 10g
  • 8 teaspoons ginger 30g
  • 160 grams sugar 180 ml
  • 1 bottle red wine


  1. Mix the spices and the wine
  2. Heat a bit of the wine and dissolve the sugar in the hot wine. Mix that into the rest of the wine.
  3. Let it sit (over night)
  4. Strain the spices out of the wine
  5. Bottled it should keep well

Recipe Notes

Source: “Lægebog : I-VI” af Henrik Smith (1495-1563), 1577

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