Recipe: Potus Ypocras a Drink

Posted by Hedi Schreiber on

Potus Ypocras a Drink from 14th Century England

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.


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.

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