How to Make Cordials

Ever enjoyed a fruit-based cordial, like Chambord? Ever wanted to know how to make your own?


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    Decide on what flavor you want the cordial. Berries are popular, pears and plums work well, so does pineapple; almost any fruit will work.
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    Coarsely chop the fruit if needed; two cups of fruit per one quart mason jar works well.
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    Add one cup of sugar; white granulated sugar is standard. Brown sugar is also good.
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    Fill the rest of the way with vodka, brandy, or a mixture of the two.
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    Cap the jar, and shake vigorously, to dissolve the sugar.
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    Shake the jar daily, until the sugar stays dissolved.
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    Keep the jar in a cool place, preferably out of direct sunlight.
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    Wait for six months, while the fruit flavor infuses the alcohol.
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    Strain the cordial.
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    Re-bottle the now-finished cordial in an attractive jar, if desired. Label, and enjoy.


  • Citrus fruits such as tangerines and oranges don't make good cordials unless you use only the peel. For one quart of cordial, the peels from about 8 oranges is about right.
  • Dried fruits are not recommended for cordials.
  • Limes make an excellent cordial; you can either use just the fruit, which will give a good lime flavor but be yellowish in color, or quarter the fruit and toss it in, peel and all.
  • Sweeteners other than white granulated sugar or brown sugar can be used. Powdered sugar is best avoided, as it contains some cornstarch, which will make the cordial cloudy. Molasses and maple syrup both work (use 3/4 cup instead of a full cup); molasses will add a strong molasses flavor, maple syrup adds a delicate flavor. (Actual maple syrup was used, not maple-flavored pancake syrup.)
  • The fruit strained out of the cordial can be trashed, composted, used in fruitcakes, or put over ice cream. It does have a definite alcohol taste, and probably some alcohol content.
  • Straining can be done with cheesecloth, coffee filter (get it wet first, so it doesn't absorb a lot of the cordial), or a fine-mesh strainer for cooking oils.


  • Letting the cordials get too hot (example, if left in the back of a car during summer months) can result in them losing quality very quickly.
  • The cordials contain alcohol.
  • One quart jar of cordial will result in approximately half a quart of cordial.

Article Info

Categories: Alcoholic Drinks