Eat and Drink
Incredibly Easy Plum and Cherry Cordial recipe
And a cocktail you can make with each!
It's late summer and wonderful ripe fruit is everywhere. Sure, eating it is fine and all, but how about drinking it?
One of the many lovely and unexpected aspects of visiting folks in Greece is the quite ridiculous amount of alcohol they push your way.
You enter someone's home, and within moments there materializes a delicate little glass of mastiha liqueur or a homemade cherry cordial.
I've yet to try anything I didn't like, including the fiery moonshine tsipouro down in a mountain village in Arcadia. My bluff and cheery many-times-removed cousin had made it himself and was just tickled to be able to offer it to us.
I was especially taken by the fruit liqueurs. There was something so old-timey and civilized about them - and they were so delicious! And they pack a little kick, so dismiss them as "girly drinks" at your peril.
I decided to try my hand at making some back home. I made both cherry and plum varieties, and both were really not bad at all for my first try (not as good as the Greek ladies', though!).
Don't be tempted to use top-shelf liquor for this - the cheap stuff is fine, given that you're going to be using it more for it's alcohol than any subtleties you might want if you were making a nice cocktail with it.
Here is an incredibly simple recipe. It's a great way to use ripe summer fruit. You can experiment with other fruits, too - consider apricots or peaches. By fall you'll have a gorgeous drink.
The hardest part is waiting for it to be ready!
2 lb plums or cherries
2 cups sugar
2 cups vodka
1/2 cup brandy
You'll need a sterilized mason jar or two, a fine strainer, some cheesecloth, a wooden spoon and a nice, air-tight bottle to ultimately serve it in.
1. Wash fruit and pat dry, cut in half or smaller, and take out the pits.
2. Place in a sterilized mason jar, pour sugar over the fruit, and stir. Add vodka and brandy, stirring to partly dissolve sugar.
3. Cover the jar and place in a cool, dark place for 2 months. Gently shake the jar occasionally over the two months.
*Two months later*
1. Place a fine strainer over a large bowl and strain liqueur. Press the liquid from the fruit with the back of a wooden spoon or something similar, and discard the pulp. Re-strain liqueur through cheesecloth until it's clear. Transfer it to a nice glass bottle of your choice.
2. The liqueur is now ready for drinking, but for even better results (if you can stand to wait that long), keep the fruit in place and age for one more month.
But wait...there's more!
You can enjoy these as-is, of course, but you can also use them in these fabulous cocktails!
1.5 ounces gin
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce plum liqueur
½ ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake hard to chill and combine.
Strain out ice and shake hard again.
Fine strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of ripe plum and enjoy!
In a wine glass or flute, combine 1 ounce of cherry liqueur with 4 ounces of champagne, prosecco or your sparkling wine of choice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
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