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I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you mean exactly by "Nocino". Could you define what you mean by this?

I think sugar would have been used in something like this. While expensive, it was available and the distilled spirits would also have been expensive. These would have been "medicines", not for recreational drinking. But the same is also said about many pharmaceuticals today. :-)

Here are a few files in the BEVERAGES section of the Florilegium which might be of use in your quest:
Clarea-d-Agua-art (12K) 1/ 7/01 "Period drinks - Spiced Wines and Sweet
Waters" by Vicente Coenca.
http://www.florilegium.org/files/BEVERAGES/Clarea-d-Agua-art.html

bev-distilled-msg(142K) 10/25/09 Medieval distilled beverages. Distilling.
http://www.florilegium.org/files/BEVERAGES/bev-distilled-msg.html

Cordials-art (24K) 6/24/12 "Cordials, Brewing, and Vinting  using herbs
and spices" by Lord William Ismeade
http://www.florilegium.org/files/BEVERAGES/Cordials-art.html

cordials-msg (160K) 3/ 3/13 Period cordials and liqueurs. SCA creations.
http://www.florilegium.org/files/BEVERAGES/cordials-msg.html

Vodka-art (5K) 10/18/06 "Vodka-The Little Water of Life"
by Marija Kotok.
http://www.florilegium.org/files/BEVERAGES/Vodka-art.html

What "vinegar" issues are you talking about?

This could make an interesting A&S paper or project. Or an article for the Florilegium. :-)

Stefan

On Jul 9, 2013, at 12:18 PM, David Berg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> If I was a monk in an Italian monastery in the 14th century and I was making a batch of nocino for medicanal purposes, what would be my extracting liquor and what would be my sweetner? Sugar was a luxury good but refined and distributed from Venice. Would I choose sugar over honey or would the cost rule sugar out. Brandy was available by then in central Europe. Was Vodka also or was that limited to eastern Europe? If both were available which one would a monk use?
> Dammo

--------
THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          [log in to unmask]
http://www.linkedin.com/in/marksharris
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****