Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wild Blackberry Cordial

This article/recipe is from the Jul/Aug '04 issue of The Essential Herbal. Christie Sarles from radicalweeds.com wrote it, and it is a recipe that readers have stretched and changed to make all sorts of cordials that include different fruits and herbs.

Wild Blackberry Cordial

This delicious, nutritious, and very simple recipe literally spans the growing season here in northern New England, combining one of the glories of the late summer harvest with the very first taste of early spring. I make it in gallon batches and decant into interesting little bottles for holiday giving, but you can easily make less-- or more!-- using the same proportions of ingredients.

Pick enough berries to fill a clean glass jar in the size of your choice at least a third, and up to a half, full. I use about two quarts of berries for a gallon of cordial. If those lovely wild blackberries don't grow in your neighborhood, you can substitute raspberries or blueberries. The little wild blueberries will give your cordial a more intense flavor than the larger cultivated ones, but either way blueberries are relatively tough-skinned and you will need to macerate them - crush or grind coarsely - before adding the other ingredients.

Fill the jar to the top with equal parts of maple syrup and brandy. I usually use E&J brandy, but any decent variety of 80 proof brandy will do fine. As for the maple syrup, I like the dark, late-season Grade B syrup because it has the strongest maple taste and contains more minerals than the three lighter Grade A syrups produced earlier in the sugaring season. You can use whatever grade of maple syrup you prefer, but please make it real. Don't use the artificial stuff!!

Put the cover on the jar and shake to mix. Label, date, and leave the fruit to infuse for at least 10 days, and up to 6 weeks. Shake occasionally when you think of it. Strain out the fruit (marvelous over ice cream) and decant the cordial into glass jars or bottles. Keeps for years without refrigeration - but I guarantee it won't last that long!

9 comments:

Teresa said...

This looks great! I have been looking for a good cordial recipe and this looks very promising. I am going to try this. I always buy real Maple syrup, but it is always the amber Grade A. Where do you get the Grade B syrup? And, using the two quarts of berries what size glass jar do you start with?

Tina Sams said...

Christie is from New England, so I think it's easier to find Grade B there, although with the internet it is probably available through a search.
Two Quarts of berries would go into a gallon jug.
I'll bet cranberries would be good too!

ajna said...

On the west coast in the US, Trader Joes Markets have both grades of organic maple syrup for a very reasonable price.

jen said...

thanks for this recipe, i've used one other but wasn't impressed. I think this one will be a winner though. I love the simplicity of it and that you don't need cream of tartar.

can't wait to try it!

Maryanne said...

I'm thinking we have a wedding coming up next year and this in a fancy decanter with matching glasses would be a lovely gift.

Tina Sams said...

It would! Maybe elderberry :-). Medicinal purposes, don't you know sister...

Kelly Salasin said...

I used this recipe at the end of last summer too when I found myself loaded with wild blackberries. YUM! and thank you. What a treat it was to have this cordial--and memory of summer--throughout the long winter in Vermont

Twisted Pixie said...

If i was to want to make a Thyme cordial, would i just replace the blackberries with Thyme?? Or would it not work?

Tina Sams said...

Pixie, you can use anything to make a cordial, but it might taste pretty harsh if you're using thyme exclusively. I think I'd use lots of lemon zest, or maybe elderberries to round out the flavor.

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