cordial: it’s nice to meet you.

May 21, 2010

Grapefruit syrup 1Sometimes you’ll learn about something unusual to you, and then realize that in other parts of the English-speaking world, this something is quite common, though sometimes under a different name. It turns out my ginger soda that I posted about the other day is also known as a cordial or “squash.”

Squash and cordial are common in the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Ireland, India, Scandinavia, South Africa, Kenya, Australia, Israel, New Zealand and Hong Kong, and have a large market share in competition with fruit juices and soft drinks. Typically, squash is created by mixing one part concentrate with four or five parts water (depending on concentration and personal taste) directly into a glass or jug. – Wikipedia

Searching google for other definitions using the search “define:cordial” I confirmed that a “cordial” is also an alcoholic drink, and a type of candy.

Grapefruit syrup 2A search for the definition of “squash” only references the above wikipedia entry as a “squash” known as a drink.

I’m a bit obsessed with making syrups for my sodas or cordials. I had a few grapefruits I received in my last CSA box, and I don’t know about you but when I eat a grapefruit, it’s really all about the sugary juice. What better fruit to make a fruit syrup out of? I peeled them, sliced them, and layered them in a pitcher with sugar an equal weight of sugar. Here’s a picture of them when I started, and below is a picture of the mixture about an hour later. I’ll let this sit overnight so that all of the moisture is drawn out. I’m not sure that peeling them was the best idea, as the pith (white part) has bitter oils in it, and removing the skin has exposed more of it. The skin at least has aromatic oils that might have offset the bitter pith, and the skin might have slowed the absorption of the pith oils. I don’t peel the lemons when I make lemon syrup, but I did for the grapefruit. I guess I’ll know how it works in a little bit.

Grapefruit syrup 3Here’s a second photo taken at about the hour mark, at the same time as the one above, trying to get an image that better shows the syrup. It tastes great, by the way.

I’ve found a few other ginger cordial recipes I might try. I’m wondering why they both use cream of tartar. I guess I’m off to do more research!

Ginger Cordial at Recipezaar.
Ginger Cordial at Martha Stewart

By levanah