I was delighted to find this recipe, which dates back to 1717, in The Accomplished Housekeeper.
I made a batch, and after a few months was terribly disappointed to find it harsh and not at all pleasant to drink. Dejected, I put the bottle away, and wrote it off as a failure.
Happily, I recently rediscovered the bottle about a year later, and tried it again, hardly daring to hope. I found that it had mellowed beautifully, and settled out to a crystaline golden pink sort of a color. Light, fruity, and lovely, it’s everything that I could want in a raspberry cordial.
I hope there are fountains of this stuff in heaven.
The only catch is that I don’t know at what point during that year it became wonderful. I guess I’ll just have to make another batch to test it. What a shame…
Recipe for Historical Raspberry Cordial
“Pick two gallons of raspberries clean from the stalks, bruise them with your hands, and put them into a cask. Put to them eight gallons of good brandy, two pounds of loaf sugar finely beaten, and a quart of sack. Stir all well up together, and let it stand a month. Then draw it off clear into another cask, and when it is fine, bottle it: cork the bottles well, and keep it for use. –The Accomplished Housekeeper and Universal Cook, by T. Williams, 1717
- 4 cups fresh raspberries
- 1 gallon brandy
- .5 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sack
Smash berries, and put everything together in a large bottle. Let sit for 1 month, then strain. Allow to age for at least six months (a full year is better), then enjoy.