Homemade Cordials

by Maggie Battista on December 9, 2009

in All Recipes, Drinks, Featured, Food Gifts, Holiday


One of my favorite treats to shower upon friends and family (besides my holiday giftbox, of course) is a teeny bottle of my homemade cordials. I’m no cordial expert and, in fact, I’m not quite sure that I’m using the term correctly for these concoctions I scheme up. But I do feel quite cordial after a few sips, so I went with it…

The three bottles above are true delights. On the left, the golden syrup is a kumquat-infused vodka that’s bright and tart and refreshing. The pink liquid in the C. Donatiello bottle is my rhubarb-infused vodka, an experiment from last Spring that is now, finally, perfect, subtle and lovely. The honey-colored bottle at the top of the photo is my organic limoncello. (Sure, everyone makes limoncello nowadays, but mine is ORGANIC and thick and yummy.)

But you’ve seen my limoncello recipe. Let’s get to the other cordial recipes.

I’d love to say my cordial recipe is complex. In reality, it’s as easy as pie. It just takes patience, my friend. I started very simply. I had picked up some fresh kumquats and rhubarb from my local farm last spring. Yes, last spring folks. I made these cordials seasons ago but you could serve them within a month of stewing and marinating it its juices. I just waited longer. That’s patience, eh?

Take two very clean, wide-mouth, 1 liter bottles and fill them with freshly washed, sliced organic fruit. I chose kumquats in one bottle (sliced in half) and rhubarb in the other (sliced each stalk in half length-wise, and then into 2-inch chunks). Fill each bottle with about 1/2 cup organic sugar. Then, pour enough organic vodka to cover the fruit, leaving about 1 inch of room at the top of the bottle. Screw the lids on and shake the bottles vigorously, then store the bottles in a cool dark place, like the back of your pantry, so you don’t get tempted by it’s gorgeousness every day.

Don’t put it so far back though. You’ll want to shake that bottle every few days until you reach your desired fruitiness, or at least 1 month. The length of time is really up to you. The longer you let the fruit sit in the vodka, the smoother and more pronounced your fruity flavor. I pour the luscious fruity cordial of my labor into small glass bottles, wrapped with a bow. Friends are forever grateful.

As an aside, you can scheme up your own concoctions from anything. I just put some organic pineapple to sit in a bottle of tequila. I can’t wait until January to try that one… Happy cordial making!

Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. You may pre-order now.

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