Jan 3, 2013

Make your own Cordials

I found these wonderful recipes in the Herb Mentor website.
Check them out You will find many good tips about Herbs over there!
There are three main steps to making cordials.
Steeping - in this step, the ingredients are steeped in the alcohol (usually vodka or brandy, but you can try anything you like).
Sweetening - typically a sugar syrup is used, but maple syrup is a great substitute.  Honey can also be used.
Aging - The flavors all improve tremendously with age.  Generally 2 to 4 weeks is good.  I like to leave mine longer, if possible.

  Kahlua Recipe, Susanna Reppert (therosemaryhouse.com)

  • 2 C water
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C dry instant coffee (a dark roast is best)
  • 1 fresh vanilla bean, chopped
  • 1-1/2 C vodka
Slice open and scrape the vanilla bean into the water. The more you scrape/chop the bean the more flavor you will release. Boil the water, sugar and vanilla bean together for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and slowly add the instant coffee and keep stirring.
Allow to cool and combine this sugar/coffee/vanilla syrup with the vodka. It tastes yummy right away but improves and mellows as it ages. If you want a cleaner product strain out the vanilla particles. If you want an even smoother taste add 1 t glycerin to the finished blend. Yield: about 4 cups.
Tip: Drizzle over ice cream. Oh my goodness....
Tea Liqueur, Susanna Reppert
  • 1 T good quality tea leaves, we like earl grey or darjeeling
  • 1 ½ C vodka
  • ½ C sugar syrup
  • Steep the leaves in the vodka for 24 hours only.
  • Strain, filter, and add sugar syrup. Ready in 24 hours!
It's Berry Good, Susanna Reppert
  • 10 oz package of berries, strawberry, raspberry or any berry (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 ½ C Vodka
  • ¼ C sugar syrup
  • Steep berries and the juice in the vodka for one week.
  • Strain and filter.
  • Taste and add sugar syrup as needed.
Note: Many frozen berries are pre-sugared.
And some of my own personal favorites:
Elderberry Cordial
  • 1pint fresh elderberries OR 1 cup dried berries
  • 1 pint 80 proof brandy
  • 1 pint Maple syrup
  • 3-5 cinnamon sticks
  • a few slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • the zest of one lemon
Put elderberries in a quart jar & muddle well.  Add cinnamon sticks.  Then add equal parts brandy & maple syrup until the jar is full.  Cover tightly.  Macerate for 6 to 8 weeks, shaking gently every few days.  Strain & bottle.
Chocolate Cherry Cordial
  • 2 pints pitted sour cherries
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 qt brandy
  • 1 qt maple syrup
Muddle cherries in 1/2 gallon wide-mouth jar. Add cacao chips, brandy & maple syrup.  Stir well.  Put on the lid and wait.  This needs to age for 6 weeks.
Nectar of Venus Cordial
This beverage needs to be made up early in January for use mid- February, but it will be worthwhile. The flowers give it a beautiful deep pink color, and can be served with ginger ale and lime slices.
The following ingredients should be placed in a ½ gallon jar with a tight fitting lid that allows for shaking. Be sure to label and date the jar. Put out of sunlight while it sits for 1-6 weeks. Shake occasionally. All herbs and flowers are dry.
  • 1 fifth of good quality vodka ½ c red rose petals
  • ½ c hibiscus flowers ½ c rose hips
  • ½ c spearmint ¼ c granulated orange peel
  • ¼ c cinnamon bark chips
After sitting this mixture is ready to decant. Strain through fine cheesecloth or muslin into a pitcher large enough to also hold the additional 5 cups of Grand Marnier and simple syrup (below).
  • 1 c Grand Marnier
  • 4 c simple syrup made from 2 c water, 2 c sugar.
  • 1 T either rose water or orange blossom water.
Add these ingredients to the vodka mixture and blend well. Allow this to rest for a couple of weeks so that the flavors can become well acquainted. Pour into beautiful bottles, cork, label, and enjoy.
Lavender Limoncello
  • Zest from 10 lemons
  • 1 fifth vodka
  • 1 cup lavender buds
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  1. First infuse the lavender in the vodka for 24 hours.  Strain.  If you leave the lavender longer, it gets too medicinal for my tastes.
  2. Next, infuse the lemon zest in the vodka for one week, and strain.
  3. Make a simple syrup with the sugar and water, boiling gently for 15 minutes without stirring.  Cool well, and add the infused vodka.  Allow this mixture to steep together for at least 2 weeks.  Serve ice cold.
  4. Substitute rose geranium leaves for lavender buds for a real treat!
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