a strong, sweetened, aromatic alcoholic liquor; liqueur.
Last November Nico and I started our first cordial. We went to a cordial-making class that some sca people were having in Olympia and were told that we could use any clear liquor as our base. We used vodka, figuring that it was generic enough and probably wouldn't taste too badly, even though neither of us are really all that into vodka. And to flavor it we decided to use pomegranate and orange.
So the seeds of four pomegranates and the flesh and zest of two oranges went into the jug, followed by one regular and one smaller-sized bottle of Stoli. Cap on tight, shake shake shake, and wait. The vodka began to take on the pomegranates' color almost right away and deepened over time to a beautiful dark red. We let it steep for about 2 months, giving the jug a good hard shake just about every day.
After two months Nico did the hard part of straining out the by now extremely unappetizing pomegranate seeds and orange bits. All in all he strained it 6 times with butter muslin folded over again and again. Then it sat for another two weeks, and during that time quite a bit of sediment settled on the bottom of the jug.
Today I poured the cordial into a pot and threw out the sediment. I put the cordial over low heat and added about a cup of sugar. I kept stirring and as soon as the sugar was dissolved I took it off the heat and poured it into a clean jug.
Here's what it looks like now:
The flavor is pretty good; Nico claims he can taste the pomegranate and the orange separately but to me it just tastes bright and sweet. It's smooth and waaaaay better than plain vodka. I think we did well. I wish it was a little deeper red, though.
Next we might try just a straight-on orange cordial, sweetened with honey. I think that would be good to start now while citrus is still in season. Yum.