To help augment the posts that rely on fermentation (much slowed by the chilly temperatures in my apartment), I’ve started some cordials and infusions to see me through the winter and into spring, and the first to be ready is this elderberry cordial.
I think I probably first stumbled onto the concept of cordials in the Redwall series, by Brian Jacques. In his case, the cordials are the generally non-alcoholic (albeit naturally fermented) sort. I plan to try out a few of those recipes as well, since traditional British fare fits very well into the world of Westeros, too. But first, the elderberries.
The immediate perk of this cordial is that it is ready to drink as soon as the berries are strained out. The color seeps from the berries almost immediately, and gradually darkens to a striking near-black purple. The flavor is incomparable for so young a cordial. Thick with honey and maple sweetness, a whisper of cinnamon, and the full fruity impact of the elderberries. This one’s going in the pantry for every future winter. I’m pretty sure it’ll cure what ails you.
And as an added boon, the strained elderberries can be added to a variety of recipes to be used again. That also means that you can enjoy those snacks with a little cup of cordial on the side.
Recipe for Elderberry Cordial
- 1/2 cup dried elderberries
- 1 1/2 cups 80 proof brandy
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup honey or maple syrup (I did half and half)
- 1/2 cup water