1 tblsp. dried rose hips – crushed
10 oz. bag frozen blackberries – thawed
1 tblsp. dried gogi berries – crushed
4 tblsp. dried currants
6 oz. fresh raspberries
3 oz. fresh blueberries
1 large double sized basket of fresh strawberries
10 oz. fresh cherries
Wash fresh fruit.
Place all ingredients into a 1-gallon glass jar.
Cover fruit with brandy.
Let sit, in a cool, dark place for at least 1 month. (For this batch, I let the concoction sit for 2 months.)
Check it periodically and add more brandy as needed to keep the fruit submerged.
After the waiting period, pour the contents of the jar through a cheesecloth that is several layers thick. (I fold the cloth two or three times and secure it over a large measuring cup with a rubber-band. The goal is to strain out all of the solids.)
Carefully and gently squeeze the fruit within the cloth to get as much of the liquid out as possible.
Once you have the liquid strained, measure how much you have. Divide that number in half. This is how much sweetener you will add…give or take.
I had a little over 8 cups of decanted liquid.
I added 5 cups of honey – but could have added one more cup if I wanted it just a little bit sweeter. Taste test for sweetness levels.
The final step is to add 40 drops of food-grade lemon essential oil. Taste test for desired result.
Cordials made with fresh fruit should last for up to a year. The high alcohol content acts as a preserver.
Enjoy and Toast to your good health and happy taste buds!
A Missed One
We happened upon the shop in Salzburg toward the end of the day.
“Look!” We said, seeing the silly crow figures in the window. It was the same artist who had several pieces hanging in the apartment where we were staying.
We entered and chatted with Michael Ferner for a while. After telling us a few background stories about his art, the conversation led to his newest project – partnering with a local brewer to create a drink that features one of his fanciful crows on the label.
We bought several tiny sample bottles and a few small pieces of his work.
Back at our apartment, we cracked open one of the bottles to sample it. It was like drinking a bite of pie! It burst with sweet, fruity flavors and was highlighted by hints of lemon.
The train that we had to catch the following day was scheduled to leave early – before the shops would open. Thinking fast, my travel partner jogged several blocks back to Michael’s shop to buy a much larger bottle of the special drink.
I regretted not doing the same. Especially later, when I found out how much overseas shipping charges were going to be!
Fortunately, I was able to turn to one of my favorite food preparation staples. The Herbal Kitchen, Kami McBride
By following Kami’s basic cordial preparation instructions and using the fruits that I thought would work, I was able to get very close to that delicious flavor that I remembered.
**The amount of honey and the addition of lemon essential oil at the end makes all the difference.
Best of all, there is still enough time to make another batch before Christmas!