Spiced Honey Walnut Cordial

Cordial glass with golden liquid

What to do with a lot of brandy-soaked toasted English walnuts?  Let’s see…make butter brickle candy and coat it with dark chocolate, that’s what!

Have you tried this? Made it, tasted it?  What did you think?

The Recipe

The recipe is completely and utterly modern. The ingredients all existed over most of Europe in period (the recipe calls for English walnuts, but most walnuts would do). They were probably never put together like this. Cordials were not sipping drinks in period, they were tonics – and this one is all about sin. Thanks to Lady Reyne Telarius, who shared this recipe with Lady Isabella Henry, who gave it to me.

1 cup shelled English walnuts (I used walnuts from the baking aisle)

1.5 c brandy

1 cinnamon stick

3 whole cloves

1 c water

1 c honey (I used wildflower honey I had on hand)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp orange zest

1 tsp lemon zest

Toast walnuts. Place in ½ or 1 gallon container (I used large glass mason jar). Add brandy, close lid, and store in a cool, dark place for a month, shaking about once a week.

Use a fine mesh strainer to strain out walnuts. Discard (or put into butter brickle candy, which is what I did). Transfer liquid to clean container (a sterilized mason jar). Bring water and honey to a boil over medium-high heat and add cinnamon and cloves. Let stand until cool. Add vanilla, orange zest and lemon zest. Add syrup to liqueur, cover, and let stand for two days. Strain out solids and discard. The cordial can be served right away, but is better if it’s allowed to age at least a month. This batch is more than four months old.

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