Fruit Cordials

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See all that yummy juice at the bottom? Relaxation in a jar.

Sometimes I think about those cordial glasses. I wish I’d kept them. We came across the colorful collection of tiny glasses while cleaning out the my husband’s grandparent’s house. The glasses were tiny and dainty, stemmed, widely hued, on a little tray .

I didn’t drink cordials. Bleck! Overly sweet stuff. The cordial glasses were odd and fun and I thought about keeping them.

But I was trying to be restrained and practical. The pack rat in me wanted to take every treasure from that house and stuff it into every every nook and cranny of my house “just in case” I needed it sometime in the future. I’d already acquired a sewing machine and dining room ensemble, china and funky green mixing bowls, plus a myriad other things from their 90 years of life.

So I put the cordial glasses in the “to sell” box, so as not stuff them into some nook and cranny of my house. How I wish I kept them “just in case,” because just in case has come.

About 2 years ago in the middle of winter a friend gave me a small glass of strawberry cordial. I took it to be polite since Bleck! cordials are overly sweet alcohol.

It was the best drink I ever had.

Despite the chill outside, I could feel the June sun warming the straw-covered field, the scent of strawberries in the air.  I was hooked. The best part was she made the cordial herself.

Since that fateful day, I’ve been making fruit cordials with summer’s bounty. I just made my first batch of strawberry cordial for the year and I’ll be making more. Last year, the strawberry cordial never even made it to the liquor cabinet. Upcoming will be peach, blueberry, raspberry and cherry cordial.

Once you see how ridiculously easy this recipe is, you’ll wonder why you never made this before.

Strawberry Cordial

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Ingredients:

  • Strawberries
  • Sugar
  • Vodka
  • Large wide-mouth jar

Directions:

1. Wash and hull strawberries, then slice in half or quarters. If the berries are small, no need to cut them.

2. Place a layer of strawberries in the bottom of the jar. Sprinkle sugar over top. Layer more strawberries, then more sugar. Repeat until you get to the top of the jar.

3. Pour vodka into the jar slowly until it reaches the top of the jar. Put lid on tightly and store in a cool dry place for 2 weeks.

3. Strain out the strawberries and put in freezer for future use (more on that in the next post). Enjoy the cordial. If the cordial is too sweet, stir in more vodka. If the taste is too strong on the alcohol side, add more sugar.

There are no quantities for this recipe because you can do this with any size jar and any amount of fruit, be it strawberries, peach, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or any other fruit you want to try.

Last year's collection of cordials in the works: peach, strawberry, blueberry and raspberry. Sadly, they are all gone.

Last year's collection of cordials in the works: peach, cherry, blueberry and raspberry. Sadly, they are all gone.

The Bounty of 10 Local Dollars

Strawberry Picking!

Strawberries are in!

Strawberry Picking 5And so are the daisies and rhubarb. This is our pull from a morning’s work…2 buckets of strawberries, a bundle of rhubarb and a bucket of wildflowers all for $10. Can it get any better?

The kids and I packed up enough Strawberry Picking 6snacks for 3 days and headed to the strawberry patch for an hour and a half.

The snacks and the tractors on the farm kept my youngest occupied and off the strawberry plants. The camera–and photos below–plus the myriad weeds/wildflowers kept my oldest occupied.

The farm where we pick doesn’t spray any chemicals. So that field of weeds with the farm in the distance is actually the strawberry patch. It’s fun hunting for the berries among daisies and wheat. Plus, when the kids get bored of picking strawberries, they pick the flowers.

Strawberry Picking 4

Strawberry Picking 9Strawberry Picking 2Strawberry Picking 7Strawberry Picking 8

Blueberries for SalConicindentally we read Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey this week, a sweet little storybook about a girl who puts more blueberries in her mouth than in the bucket. That was our theme, too. But we did come away with enough for eating and freezing, and I have big plans to return so I can get more for jam and strawberry cordial (more on that to come in later days).

Enough procrastinating on the dish-washing and strawberry-hulling. And if you hear an explosion, that’s my making-rhubarb-sauce-in-the-pressure-cooker experiment gone awry. Wish me luck!