Seasonal Cheer - Recipes

Discussion in 'BOARDANIA' started by Joculator, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. Joculator The 'Old' Fool

    I admit, it might seem I'm joining the rest of the mindless morons who think Christmas preparations should start as soon as the kids go back to school in September, but...
    This is the time of year I start preparing my spiced wines to ward off the cold weather we hope won't be too severe over December and January.

    Most of the supermarkets will be stocking spiced wine over the next couple of months although they mostly have a flavour of oranges and a bit cinnamon.
    This recipe is one I have used for a number of years and is straight from the 1500's.
    It is called Ypocras and will certainly help to ward off any infections that may be floating around at the time.
    The original recipe called for a barrel of red wine and required between four or five pounds of spices. Here is the modern translation which I think will surprise you.

    Red Ypocras:
    Pour a bottle of red wine* into a large pan. Add about 2-3 cups of demerara sugar (light brown stuff) and bring to the boil. Add heaped teaspoons of ground ginger, white cardamom, ground white pepper, ground cloves, ground nutmeg and caraway seeds. Check for sweetness and add more sugar to your personal taste. Remove from the heat, leave to stand (covered) for 24 hours then once the sediment has settled, ladle most of the liquid back into the bottle. A kitchen sieve lined with a couple of layers of cheesecloth will allow you to filter and clean up any sediment left in the pan. Stopper the bottles and leave in a dark, cool place until the middle of December.
    * I prefer a Ruby Cabernet, it tastes slightly of cherries.

    White Ypocras:
    Pour a bottle of white wine* into a large pan. Add about 1.5-2 cups of clear honey. Bring to the boil and add heaped teaspoons of aniseeds, caraway seeds, ground cinnamon, ground white pepper and ground nutmeg. Take off the boil, cover and leave to stand for 24 hours before bottling and filtering the sediment. Store in a cool, dark place until December.
    * I prefer a Chardonnay.

    The ingredients may seem a little odd but the blended flavour when you eventually pour out small measures, which should be warmed in a microwave, will make this stand out from the commercial recipes.
    Serve with a couple of hot, traditional, sweet mince pies after you've been outside for a few hours - it really hits the spot.

    A friend of mine who is diabetic, has adjusted the recipe slightly and simply used a sweet white wine without adding the honey and she claims she can enjoy small amounts without adverse effects.

    If anyone has a traditional family recipe for a favourite seasonal drink I would love to try them out. Just add them to this post.
  2. Lyia New Member

    Sounds yummy. I think if wine is involved then its never too soon.
  3. Maljonic Administrator

    I made this little site a few weeks ago: Mulled Wine Recipe. It might have a couple of interesting recipes?
  4. Joculator The 'Old' Fool

    Cheers Mal, I notice the 1660 recipe contains cream. An early form of Bailey's one wonders.

    I might have to spread some of those over a few months, we only have a small recycling bin :D
  5. Hsing Moderator

    Oh, is it too late for these? If I want them to be ready at Christmas, I mean.

    I made some schnaps in mid September, a few bottles with blueberries and a few bottles with elder berries. They will be filtered into bottles soon and put in a cool dark place until late December, maybe even later. I ordered some nice, not too expensive bottles for them, and they'll go out as Christmas presents.
  6. Joculator The 'Old' Fool

    Last year I made up my wine around the start of November and it was still good even if it only had a month to develop it's flavour.
    I have since made a slight alteration to my original recipe. It said to add pepper to the mix. Unfortunately this stays in solution for quite a while and is hard to filter out. I have since used whole peppercorns in another batch and the mixture clears faster without losing it's bite.

    I may as well add this recipe while I'm posting.

    I call it the Black Death, and it's a wonderful way to bring peace to a cold winter's day when the family are visiting.
    The basic mixture is this...

    1 measure of Dark Rum
    1 measure of Whiskey
    1 measure of Vodka/ Schnaps
    2 measures of Blackcurrant syrup
    1 measure of orange juice.

    Place the whole lot into a cooking pan and add about 6-7 whole cloves, a 2cm piece of cinnamon and 5ml of lemon juice (lime can be used if you want a better zing!)
    Heat on a low setting until the liquid is nearly at a simmer and strain into a heatproof jug.
    Dampen the rims of a couple of wine glasses and frost them with granulated sugar (showmanship :D) then divide the liquid between the two glasses.
    Drink both of them or share one with a friend.

    Be careful if you're going to drive afterwards.

    My record was to have the Joculatrix' mother asleep in the chair for almost five hours last Christmas Day. At least we saw the Sound of Music and the Wizard of Oz without the running saga of great-aunt Ethel's trouble with her bunions :sad:.
  7. Hsing Moderator

    By the way, is the title "Seasonal Cheer" necessarily connected to alcoholic beverages? Or would this be the right place for non-alcoholic beverages and other recipes too? We used to have some nice recipe - threads in the past.
  8. randywine Member

    I think, like myself, there are a number of non-drinkers here. I would welcome non-alcoholic recipies.

  9. Joculator The 'Old' Fool

    Feel free to add whatever you want, I would imagine drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, or any other recipe you have a fancy for would be useful. Everyone has other celebrations throughout the year such as birthdays, anniversaries, engagments, weddings etc. so if you think you have a special recipe, let's hear about it.

    Prove you're all party animals. :D

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