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Hypocritical Hyppocras

Some of you know that tomorrow there's an SCA event called "The Twa Corbies Tavern" and I'm in charge. There's been the normal amount of work involved in coordinating this, plus some extra roadbumps, and some completely unnecessary outside stress. We have a project that went live at work, so those of us involved are carrying pagers, and yesterday evening my pager went off. This was during the drive home on a major highway in rush hour traffic, and I got a little tense because the rules say you have to respond to a page within a set time, but I made it (eventually) to the next exit and pulled off that road into a parking lot to check the pager and see who I needed to call. No page. Pager clock says : "00:05 AM 01/01/00". In going over a pothole, the battery had briefly disconnected and then reconnected, and the pager beeps when you put in a new battery, to let you know it's working. So, extra stress for nothing.

What can help reduce stress is a nice goblet of warm spiced wine. (See, I did work in a relevance!) But most event sites won't 'allow you to have alcohol without a lot of extra regulations, and the SCA itself won't let it be paid for by the event. So tomorrow we'll serve "hypocritical hyppocras" which pretends to be what it isn't.

Hypocritical Hyppocras (Concentrate)

(2) 12-oz. cans of frozen purple grape juice concentrate (not "grape juice cocktail" but pure juice)
(2) 12-oz. cans of frozen white grape juice concentrate (ditto)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup concentrated pomegranate syrup
4 whole nutmegs
24 whole cloves
8 whole cinnamon sticks
4 pieces of dried gingerroot, about 1/2" long each
1 teaspoon grains of paradise, lightly crushed

The pomegranate and vinegar move it to the more acrid taste of wine as compared to grape juice. Concentrated pomegranate syrup can be found at health food stores or specialty markets. The grains-of-paradise can be found at some specialty stores, at spice dealers, or at brewers supply companies, or you can use crushed whole cubebs or even allspice berries for the not-quite-peppery taste. Instead of dried gingerroot, you can use a 2" piece of peeled fresh gingerroot, which is much easier to get, but I wrote up the recipe based on what I really used.

Thaw the cans of juice (but do NOT add water) and put in a slow cooker (or heavy non-reactive pot). Add the vinegar and syrup and mix well. Grate the nutmegs lightly all over to expose a fresh surface and add to the pot along with the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and grains-of-paradise. Turn cooker to low or medium and leave for 8-9 hours, or bring pot to a low simmer for 4-5 hours or longer. Let cool and strain out the spices. The liquid will keep in the refrigerator for weeks.

This makes 7 to 7-1/2 cups of  concentrate that must be mixed with water: about 1/3 cup concentrate to 2/3 cup water. It's intended to be served warm, but it's not bad when served cold either. If you have a kettle of boiling water, you can make this one cup at a time with the cold concentrate, without needing to heat the whole mixture on the stove.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
Mar. 20th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
You can? Wonderful! ^_^
Mar. 20th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
No booze = safe for meeeeeeeee
Mar. 20th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
this was always a very popular beverage at a certain French tavern. Your take on it is better and more scalable :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )