for instance...i made one with two of my besties, kelly and teya, one night on the new moon. we decided to have this one be called "unconditional love". we settled on using cocoa powder, damiana (an herb good for many things but widely used as an aphrodisiac), rose petals, etc. we had 3 mason jars, one for each of us, set up in a triangle where each of us were sitting. we had a big wooden mortar and pestle that kelly had brought back from mali, in the middle. we took turns grabbing pinches of each ingredient and as we would grind it in the mortar and pestle, we'd share a story, poem, or time when we gave or received (or wish we had) unconditional love. wow. very special were those moments. some of the most potent ever. sometimes we'd pull cards from the goddess deck for each one and write the name on the jar to infuse the beauty that she stood for into the cordial.
now days, i mostly do them alone. but they are still very special and i usually have an intention set, beyond a badass culinary pitchyao-chyao. the day we moved into are new home my son, loji and i, walked around collecting a bowl of huckleberries and raspberries. he and i made a simple raspberry, local honey and vodka cordial that night which was one of the yummiest of all time. we also made one with the huckleberries and fennel seeds...we agreed to call it Huck Fen. haha.
since i believe in quality control, i poured a bit of each of my plum cordials to sip and decide which recipe to share. if my words start tripping over each other...it's because these are so delish, it's easy to forget they are almost straight booze. mmmm.....so, there's the disclaimer. carrying on...
organic plum cordial with star anise and black peppercorns
- wash your plums. ;) the more the merrier. they should be soft, ripe, plump and very sexy.
- start chopping, pitting and fill up as many mason jars as you can. you want them to be pretty full, but leave enough space at the top so that your spirits can cover about an inch above your fruit.
- i used widemouth litre jars, but seriously, use what you have. i threw about 6-8 perfect beautiful star anise in each one. they are so awesome! if yours are broken up, it's all good. just put in a small palm full, you'll strain it later.
- pinch of whole peppercorns.
- 1/2 cup raw local honey. i know some of you are reaching for the plastic honey bear...don't do it. local honey is the jam! but i understand. just do one thing for me, if you use the boiled down, refined store bought honey bear kinda honey this time (it truly is all good, if you do), promise that next time you will use the good stuff and have a lil taste test. tell me how it goes. who knows...
- lastly, i use vodka in this one. again, better is better. but you don't need to go top shelf here. i use rusian standard. i love that matte bottle. i have used grey goose, sky, finlandia...use what you use. like i mentioned before, fill the bottle up so that the vodka covers the fruit.
- now...you want to store these in the pantry or a cupboard that is mostly dark and turn it upside down once a day for a week or two. this is important because if there are any air pockets, your fruit could go off. a little swish a day will insure this doesn't happen. this also gives the honey a chance to dissolve it's magic into your future blissful sips.
- then, use a strainer, cheese cloth or jelly bag to strain the fruit out. reserve this and i'll tell you what to do with it in a sec....ooooo....so good. don't mash them when you strain the fruit or your end product will have a lot of sediment.
- return the delish liquid back into clean jars and put them back in their dark home (the pantry) to sit for another 2 or 3 months to reach optimal yummy times.
i usually do a massive batch in september to sit until the holidays and give them as gifts. i save special bottles and dress them up with this's and that's. they like to feel pretty. they are magic potions. the bottles in the pictures below, i reused tissue paper, some twine and some salt dough stars that i made with my little guy. cute tags...key!
serve a couple ounces over ice with a splash of soda water or in little brandy glasses on their own for sipping. mmm, the nectar.
put the fruit into the food processor. you really want it to be drained as much as possible. blend into a puree and pour into ice cube trays. i like to use the square silicon ones because they look really cool and are easier to get out. because alcohol doesn't freeze, these will only freeze to a certain point, hence the straining as best you can. give them a couple of days in the freezer and if you need the trays, you can ejector seat those babies into a container or a ziplock bag and return to the freezer until you want to use them.
they are really awesome to pop into a sangria. i also enjoy putting one cube into a glass of white wine on a hot summer day. hello! that's a happy hour!