Pilgrim Seasonings

Plymouth Colony Foodways: Notes and Recipes from a 17th Century Kitchen

Ipocras bags and handkerchiefs

January 27th, 2012 by KM Wall

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.


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4 Responses to “Ipocras bags and handkerchiefs”

  1. Truman Stant says:

    Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Cheers

    • KM Wall says:

      Hi – We’ve only been around a few months, and have a whiz bang Web Mistress as our trusty backup in all things techie. That said, there are several good, free websites for blog formats – go to a few and see what’s appealing. Also, if you read blogs, there’s often information to link for you to get back to to the creator site (I really am a Luddite – there’s an actual vocabulary for all this and it’s a language that I don’t speak.) My real expertise is 17th century colonial foodways; the blog is just a way to share with the people who aren’t physically with us. Good luck!

  2. Spot on with this write-up, I actually assume this website wants much more consideration. I’ll in all probability be once more to learn way more, thanks for that info.

    • KM Wall says:

      Thank you for your visit. Check out our other blogs – there’s always something new in the old here!

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