Name (also Hipocras, Hippocras, Hippokras, Hypokras, Ipocras, Ippocras, Ypocras) for a flavoured spiced wine that was heavily sweetened. The name is derived from the Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BC), because in the Middle Ages wine was thought to have medicinal or healing properties. Various substances such as cinnamon, cloves, orange blossom, ginger, cardamom, marjoram, nutmeg and pepper were used to flavour it, and sugar and honey were used to sweeten it. This makes it quite similar to a mulled wine. It was very expensive because of the costly spices at the time and was therefore only common in the courts of rich people and nobles. In Basel (Switzerland), a hypocras made from different types of red and white wine is still popular today as a traditional drink at the turn of the year. In France, there are some producers of ingredients for the preparation but also of ready-made bottled products. The pointed filtering bag or soaking bag made of muslin or felt, known as the "Manica Hippocratis" (Sleeve of Hippocrates), was used in the Middle Ages for the removal (filtration) of the substances used for flavouring. See also under special wines.
The glossary is a monumental achievement and one of the most important contributions to wine knowledge. Of all the encyclopaedias I use on the subject of wine, it is by far the most important. That was the case ten years ago and it hasn't changed since.Andreas Essl