Winter Wellness Cordial
Cordials are a delicious and easy way to incorporate herbs into your daily life. A cordial is generally known as a sweetened culinary herbal tincture. A tincture is made by infusing herbs in any type of alcohol. Combining a tincture with honey or maple syrup produces an enticing herbal preparation with a long shelf life. Depending on what is available, you may use fresh or dried herbs to make a cordial. When using fresh herbs, you will need to use a greater volume of fresh plant material since fresh herbs contain water and take up more space. When using dried herbs, you will use a lesser amount of plant material.
Here’s a recipe for a winter wellness cordial. This Douglas fir conifer cordial recipe will help to stimulate and support the immune system with contributions from elderberries and vitamin C-rich Douglas fir tips and rose hips.
- ⅔ cup whole dried elder (Sambucus nigra) berries
- ½ cup fresh rose (Rosa spp.) hips (or ⅓ cup dried)
- ½ cup fresh Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) tips (or ⅓ cup dried)
- 1 cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) stick
- 4 cups brandy (or enough to fill jar)
- Sweetener of choice, such as honey or maple syrup
How to Prepare
- Prepare the ingredients by finely chopping fresh herbs with a knife or grinding dried herbs using a mortar and pestle.
- Fill a clean glass canning jar with the herbal ingredients.
- Pour the alcohol over the herbs, covering them by at least 2 inches of alcohol.
- Put a lid on the jar, label it with the contents and date, and store in a cool, dark place to infuse for 1 month. Check it every few days, give it a shake, and make sure that the ingredients remain covered by the alcohol, and if they are not, add more alcohol until they are covered.
- After 1 month, strain the ingredients into a new, clean jar using layered cheesecloth, a muslin cloth, or a fine wire sieve. Compost the used herbs.
- Traditionally, ½ part sweetener is added to 1 part tincture to make a cordial. Measure the volume of the tincture and combine with add half that amount of sweetener. You may use honey, herb-infused honey, maple syrup, rice syrup, or make your own simple syrup. Stir to combine.
- Store in a tightly sealed bottle or jar in a cool, dark place.