I've demonstrated the simple, but beautiful recipe behind herbal cordials. You combine herbs and alcohol in a sealed jar, and let infuse over a month or so. The magic is in the time. You go about your life and then, all of a sudden, you remember your delicious healthful potion is in your cupboard ready to be enjoyed.
Today I want to share a recipe for a truly yummy cordial. I use a deep dark port as my menstrum (or solvent for extraction) which, when combined with the all the goodies - cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla bean, dates, almonds, cacao nibs, and orange zest - provides nostalgic aroma for mulled wine and warm nights by the fire in autumn. I realize we're in the final days of summer, but the homemade alchemist should start thinking about infusing and preserving for the fall months. So in between canning and pickling, take 30-40 minutes to make this yummy treat. The results will be a delicious, comforting after-dinner treat that will dazzle friends and loved ones.
- 1/2 c. raw cacao nibs
- 5 dates, chopped
- 2 tbsp. orange peel zest
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped almonds
- 1 vanilla bean pod, chopped
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, powdered
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom, powdered
- 2 cups alcohol (You could use vodka, bourbon, whiskey, or in my case - port!)
- 1/2 c. raw organic honey for sweetening
Combine all the ingredients (except the alcohol and honey) in a large jar. Pour the alcohol over, leaving an inch to the top. Store in a cool, dark cupboard for at 4-6 weeks to allow mixture to infuse. When ready, strain the solid bits out. Pour your honey into the jar with the infused cordial and shake to combine fully.
I like to drink a couple ounces (out of a port or madeira glass) after dinner to settle the stomach.
Keep cordial in a cool, dark place. Shelf life is 1-2 years.
(Adapted from The Herbal Kitchen)
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