Concocted drinks include as broad categories: • Hippocras/pyment/claret: typically made from wine (rarely beer), sweetened with honey or sugar and flavored with spices. Hippocras was perhaps most strongly viewed as a digestive aid and featured prominently in feast menus. • Cordials: flavors and sweeteners added to alcohol after distillation rather than before (which I call waters). These drinks were officially most often medicinal in nature, eventually becoming more recreational, ending in the modern association of the word with an often sweet flavored distilled alcohol. • Medicinals: made from wine, beer/ale, or mead. These drinks typically add one or more ingredients of a medicinal nature (often roots and herbs) and macerate them in the drinks to produce a product with expected medicinal effects. • Distilled drinks made from lower alcohol fermented drinks and additions then distilled to increase alcohol content.
The unifying element is that the person who prepares the drink is not required to carry out fermentation.
Last updated August 16, 2023
Picture Credit: Wellcome Collection