A stirrup cup is a "parting cup" given to guests, especially when they are leaving and have their feet in the stirrups. It is also the traditional drink (usually port or sherry) served at the meet, prior to a traditional foxhunt. The term can describe the cup that such a drink is served in.
In Scots the host may well, in inviting his guest to stay briefly for that farewell drink, call it a "dochan doruis" (from Scottish Gaelic deoch an dorais [tʲɔx ən̪ˠ t̪ɔɾɪʃ], literally "drink of the door").
In Anya Seton's Katherine the custom occurs frequently before English royalty and nobility leave on travels abroad or progresses. In G.G. Coulton's Chaucer and his England it is referred to in relation to the Canterbury pilgrims setting out. It is also used in a number of Rosemary Sutcliff's historical novels set in England after the Norman Invasion.
See also the poem "The Stirrup-Cup" by the nineteenth-century American poet, Sidney Lanier.
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