A summer drink made from raisins and lemon. Known at least since Thomas Blount's 'Glossographia' of 1656; "Stipone, a kind of sweet compound liquor, drunk in some places of London in the summer time."
Frequently reported from the mid 17C to the early 19C, it is of obscure origin; possibly a use of Stepney , the name of a parish in the East of London (OED).
Original Receipt in 'The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight, Opened ' (Digby 1669)
To make Stepony. Take a gallon of Conduit-water, one pound of blue Raisins of the Sun stoned, and half a pound of Sugar. Squeeze the juyce of two Limons upon the Raisins and Sugar, and slice the rhinds upon them. Boil the water, and pour it so hot upon the ingredients in an earthen pot, and stir them well together. So let it stand twenty four hours. Then put it into bottle (having first let it run through a strainer) and set them in a Cellar or other cool place.
Original Receipt in 'A Queens Delight in The Art of Preserving, Conserving and Candying', by WM, 1671 (WM 1671)
55. To make Raisin Wine or Stepony.
Take four Gallons of Spring-water, four pounds of Raisins of the Sun stoned, the juice of four good Limons, and the Rind of two cut thin, boil the Raisins, and Pill in the Water for half an hour or more, then put in the juice of Limon, and a little Spice, Sugar and Rosewater, and let it stand but a little more over the fire; then put it into an earthen pot, and beat it together till it be cold, then bottle it up, it will keep but a few days.
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