Liquid was used in the medieval kitchen in two important ways, to both cook with and to serve as drink.
Cider, Cidre, or Pommé - apple cider.
Cotignac - fermented juice of medlars or quince.
Murrey, Muré - wine from black mulberries or blackberries.
Perry, Poiré - pear juice.
Prunellé - juice of wild plums, blackthorn berries, or sloeberries
Water - used in cooking, but only when its purity was ensured. As a drink by itself or during eating, it was not as popular as it is today; other drinks were more readily available & desired. When water was consumed, it needed to be springwater, and from a spring that met specific regulations: the water must have a good flow & come directly from the ground or a rock, must be cold, must be free of pollution, etc. Bartholomew the Englishman in the 1200's ranked springwater from a northward flowing spring as being the best water to drink; in decreasing order came river water, lake water, & pond or swamp water. With these came the warning that water not from a spring was often poisonous and should always be boiled.
See this illustration of springwater being collected: http://www.godecookery.com/afeast/brew/brew025.html
Physicians noted that water (understandably) had the humoural properties of moist and cold. The stomach, in contrast, was seen as a sort of cooking pot or internal furnace, where foods needed to gently simmer their way into healthy digestion. Water taken during a meal would extinguish this cooking procedure:
Drinking and eating at the same time may be harmful, since water
Cools the stomach, and the food is liable to remain undigested.
See: Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum
For the most part, water was potentially unsafe and known to be so, and alcoholic drinks (considered more readily digestible, pure, & beneficial) were usually the preferred choice of beverage.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER: Coffee, Tea, & Cocoa. All three of these beverages became immensely popular only after the Middle Ages.
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