This easy recipe for Medieval Wine is the perfect thing to make for a last minute foodie gift or for your Christmas and New Year parties at home as it is ready to drink within twenty four hours. You just knew it had to be one of my booze recipes right before Christmas, it would be rude not to inflict some sort of hooch on you as I have been doing it here for years, and let’s face it, it is Christmas after all!
A bit of history here….
Way back in the middle ages the rich drank wine and the poor drank beer or ale. Most people were wary of water so alcohol was very popular and fruit and berry juices were for upper class children. Milk was there for the poor.
Spiced or mulled wine was not only popular among the affluent, but was also considered especially healthy by physicians. Wine was believed to act as a kind of vaporizer and conduit of other foodstuffs to every part of the body, and the addition of fragrant and exotic spices would make it even more wholesome. Spiced wines were usually made by mixing an ordinary (red) wine with an assortment of spices such as ginger, cardamom, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and sugar or honey. These would be contained in small bags which were either steeped in wine or had liquid poured over them to produce hypocras and claré. By the 14th century, bagged spice mixes could be bought ready-made from spice merchants.
Keep it simple, make it easy!
I haven’t even bothered with spice bags to contain my flavourings I have just put them straight into a large jar with the red wine, honey and rosewater. I then left it in my larder for 24 hours before straining it through a double layer of kitchen roll (or muslin if you have it) and decanting into a sterilised bottle.
This Medieval Wine will keep for up to three months in the fridge. It can be served at room temperature, warmed like mulled wine or even chilled as was the style in Spain. Serve this in small glasses for sipping!
So there you have it, a wee bit of history and a good tipple too. By the way this recipe is just one of over 50 from my super Ebook Naughty and Nice Edible Gifts For Christmas.
- 750 ml/1 1/4 pint red wine
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 cardamom pods
- 6 cloves
- 1 tbsp sliced fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp rose water
- Pour the red wine into a large jar and add honey stirring well
- Break up the cinnaamon stick into a few pieces to release the flavour
- Crush the cardamom pods to release the seeds and break them a little
- Add these and all other ingredients to the jar
- Pop on the lid and shake well
- Set aside in a dark cupboard for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop
- Strain through a sieve lined with two layers of kitchen roll or muslin
- Decant into a sterilised bottle
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 months
- Serve at room temperature, warmed like mulled wine or even chilled in small glasses.
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