What is a cordial? A cordial is an infused mix of a strong ingredients such as fruit or herb with sugar and water. A cordial can be had on its own with a few ice cubes, topped with still or sparkling water or added into a cocktail or mocktail. Can be loosely intertwined with sherbet or squash – I can’t get into the severe nitty gritties – all I know is this is pure gold to have in the fridge – to flavour and spruce up a regular glass of lemonade, add to your tonic water and lemon and best of all – to your gin and tonic!
The origination of cordial goes down to the basic: savouring and preserving the abundance of a seasonal item. And then, there’s also that bit for spiking up alcoholic drinks, infusing with herbs, bringing in that little bit extra.
So that’s exactly the motive behind this recipe at Kitchen Therapy. A charming young fellow has been working on his organic patches and hydrophonics, and he sent me over a bunch of spearmint leaves (along with so many other delicious goodies that literally saved our asses in the severe lockdown). These leaves are great to add into warm water or tea and especially helps those with digestion and flatulence problems. Now, none of us have it, and his leaves are so so powerful in flavour, that a single leaf could be brewed 4 times over! And I didn’t want to see the leaves go waste. Hence, the cordial.
Because spearmint is quite a strong powerful flavour, I wanted to cut it with a spicy ginger. You could also try cinnamon or vanilla pods. I gently bruised the ginger before adding in. You can replace the spearmint with fresh mint leaves as well.
- 30g fresh spearmint leaves
- 350ml drinking water
- 250g granulated sugar
- 2 inch fresh ginger, sliced and bruised
- Wash the leaves very well, removing dirt and stems
- Place into a covered glass container
- Heat the water and sugar together and stir a few times to dissolve the sugar (10-20 minutes)
- Switch off the heat and add the ginger pieces
- Let the water temperature come down a bit (it must not be boiling, or it will scorch the leaves)
- Pour into the container over the leaves
- Stir and then set aside, covered, to steep for 12 hours
- Then strain the cordial into your storing bottle
- Stays well for 4 weeks in refrigerator
- How to serve:
- On it owns: Pour 40ml of cordial, few ice cubes and a splash of still or sparkling water
- Lemonade: pour 20-40 ml into a glass of sugar-less lemonade
- Cocktail: pour 20-40ml into Gin + Tonic