Friday, June 15, 2012
Cordially Yours: Vodka gimlets, ahoy!
I'm not entirely sure where I saw it, but I read a wonderful article about making cordials, and decided to put up some of my own. It probably helped that my local produce store was selling large bags of key limes for 99¢! (See the spots? That's why they were cheap, but there's nothing wrong with them.)
I put 2 cups of sugar in a clean, washed canning jar, added the zest of about a dozen, and the peel of one (I wanted just a touch of the bitterness the pith will give), a few tablespoons of chopped crystallized ginger, and the juice of about 1.5 lbs of key limes (about 15-18 "regular" limes, depending on size. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved in the juice.
For the unleaded, you then add 1/4 teaspoon citric acid & distilled water to just about 1 inch from the rim. Secure the lid tightly and put it in the refrigerator. Steep it for 24-36 hours, strain through a sieve or chinois into a clean, non-reactive container (glass is best). Store in the fridge, too. The Internet says it will last about a month.
For the leaded (yay!), you then add a good, but not expensive, vodka to just about 1 inch from the rim. Secure the lid tightly and put it in the pantry. Visit it once a day, and shake it to make sure the sugar is staying dissolved. After about a month, strain through a sieve or chinois into a clean, non-reactive container (glass is best). The Internet says to continue to store it in the pantry and that it will only get better with time.
The collective wisdom suggest that an alcoholic cordial put up now would be best around the winter holidays. Nom, nom!
(I put a half cup less sugar in my leaded version, because I like a more sour taste.)
I also put up some Peach Cordial- one leaded, one unleaded. I used 1.5 C sugar, lemon zest, juice of half a lemon, and diced local peaches. The remaining process was the same.
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