Anne Willan's Ypocras (Spiced Red Wine)

By Genius Recipes
February 19, 2013
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Author Notes: In this variation on a technique from the 1300s, mulled wine gets the sangria treatment -- and stops simmering the booze away. In addition to sipping the sweet, spiced red wine, Anne Willan suggests, "Ypocras, diluted with an equal amount of water, is perfect for poaching whole pears or peaches, and a teaspoon of Ypocras in a glass of sparkling white wine makes an unusual Kir." Recipe adapted slightly from The Cookbook Library (University of California Press, 2012).Genius Recipes

Makes: 3 cups (750 ml)

  • 1 cup brown sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground mace
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground grains of paradise (you can find them online or substitute an equal amount of ground black pepper)
  • 1 bottle fruity red wine, such as Merlot (750 ml)
  • Cheesecloth
  1. In a medium nonmetallic bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, mace, cloves and grains of paradise. Add the wine and stir well. Leave for 10 minutes, then stir again to dissolve the sugar fully. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.
  2. Strain the wine mixture through a strainer lined with a double layer of cheesecloth into a bowl. A brown deposit will be left on the cheesecloth. Rinse it off and strain the wine at least once more through the cheesecloth to clarify it as well as possible. Store the wine in an airtight container (if you like, use the original bottle) at room temperature. It will keep for up to 1 month.
  3. Note: If you wish to grind your own spices, allow a quarter ounce or 7 grams per tablespoon.

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