When I first came across this Tisane – or tyffan as it has been transcribe, but I do think those were long ‘s-s’ and not ‘f-s’ (and it’s harder to write letters then you might think!) there was something about it that seemed …..familiar. It wasn’t until I had had re-read Good News and was looking for another recipe in the Good Housewife Handmaide that I had an A-HA moment – what if Edward Winlsow was using his handkerchief as a substitute for Ipocras bag?
Which begs the question – what is Ipocras and why does it have it’s own bag?
Ipocras – or hippocras – is a spiced wine. Whole spices like ginger and cinnamon are often boiled and steeped in wine, which is then strained before it is served.
“To make a Tyffan
Take a pint of Barley beeing picked, sprinkled with faire water, so put it in a faire stone morter, and with your pestell rub the barley, and that will make it tuske, then picke out the barley from the huskes, and set your barley on the fyre in a gallon of faire water, so let it seeth til it come to a pottle. Then put into your water, Succory, Endive, Cinkefoyle, Violet leaves, of each one handfull, one ounce of Anniseed, one ounce of Liquoris bruised, and thirtie great raisons, so let all this geare seeth til it come to a quart: then take it off, let it stand and settle, and so take the clearest of it, and let it be strained, and when you have strained the clearest of it, then let it stand a good pretie while. Then put in foure whites of Egs al to beaten, shels and all, then stir it ell together, so set it on the fyre againe, let it seeth, and ever as the scum doth rise take it off, and so let it seeth a while: then let it run through a strainer or an Ipocras bagge, and drinke of it in the morning warme.”
– (1594) Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchen. Stuart Press: p. 51.