Cordials from the Garden
Posted on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
More beautiful, boozy, fruity and herbal mixtures are filling glass jars on our kitchen counter. My latest garden mixology project are these cordials using fruits and herbs from our cocktail garden. From left to right:
Strawberry & Basil Mint Cordial
Plum, Sage & Ginger Cordial
Rhubarb, Hibiscus & Chai Cordial
These cordials with a vodka base have been infusing for a week so far. I pulled the basil mint out of the strawberries after a few days because the herbal flavor was plenty strong. The sage is due to leave the plum mixture any day. For certain by the end of week two. After two weeks, I’ll taste them all and decide whether to go another week leaving the fruit in the booze, or declare that the flavor is tiptop, and quit while I’m ahead. I’ll adjust for sweetness after the mixture has been strained, by adding some simple syrup. In the meantime, I’m giving them a gentle shake every day.
As for recipes, this is the eyeball-it school of mixology. I fill the jar halfway full with the fruit cut up into smallish pieces, especially the rhubarb. Cover with a decent quality vodka. Add your fresh herbs and/or a small amount of dried items, like the hibiscus, or several slices of fresh ginger. When it comes to the herbs and spices, start with smallish amounts. You can always add more or leave them in the infusion longer for a stronger taste. On the Rhubarb, Hibiscus & Chai Cordial, I simmered some of the rhubarb with a small amount of water and sugar to break it down and draw out more flavor. I also added some fresh chopped rhubarb to the infusion to brighten it up. You want your ingredients to be swimming in the booze, and not too tightly packed in the jar. The fruit, herbs and liquor combinations are endless. Plus it is so darn easy and fun to do.