Elderberry Cordial / Hyllebærsaft

A delicious old-fashoned recipe found on matprat.no
Elderberry Cordial / Hyllebærsaft

The big, heavy clusters of glossy black elderberries give a dark and aromatic cordial that tastes delicious both cold and hot. Elderberry cordial is just the thing to drink when having a cold – it is alleged to have an antitussive effect.

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Norwegian Raspberry Cordial / Bringebærsaft

A traditional recipe found on norsktradisjonsmat.no
Norwegian Raspberry Cordial / Bringebærsaft

Raspberries have been known and eaten as long as it has lived people in Norway. As far back as from the Stone Age, large amounts of raspberry seeds have been found in one place and it is probably waste after making something resembling modern cordials.

This recipe is from the book “Drikke fra Østfold” (Drink from Østfold), published by Østfold Associated Country Women in 2007.

Cordials were very popular in Norway when I was a kid back in the fifties and early sixties. At home both black currant, red currant, raspberry and bluberry cordials were made each autumn – Ted

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Summer Berry Cordial / Sommerbærsaft

A great recipe for berry cordial found on The English Kitchen
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Marie who runs The English Kitchen writes: Our soft fruit is going great guns in the garden at the moment.   It  all seems to be ripening at once.   We have never gotten so many strawberries as the bumper crop we are enjoying this year!   We  moved them into large pots on the patio, which seems to have agreed with them.  Trust me when I say that  I am not complaining!

With so much coming at once however, it can be somewhat of a challenge to use it.  At present I am drying strawberries, raspberries and black currants in our food dehydrator, and I have frozen bags of  them as well.   This weekend I decided to make a summer fruit cordial with some of them . . . something delicious for us to remember summer with in the colder months ahead.  The nice ones that you can buy in the shops are so very expensive . . . I thought it would be nice to make some of our very own.

A Cordial is a thick syrupy fruit drink, very concentrated.   It can be drunk on it’s own in small quantities, or mixed with sparkling water and poured over ice for a refreshing drink.  You can also make an alcoholic cordial:

If you are familiar with the Anne of Green Gables story, you will remember that on a lovely October day Anne invited her friend Diana over for tea in the afternoon.  Marilla had told her they could have the raspberry cordial that was leftover from the church social. Anne took the wrong bottle and the pair proceeded to get very drunk!

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Cranberry Cordial / Tyttebærsaft

A classic Scandinavian cordial found on tara.no443_tyttebærsaft_post

A delicious cordial that is  loved by both grownups and kids. This cordial is often made for Christmas here and in Scandinavia every IKEA in Scandinavia has their version in their shops the year round.

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Home Made Norwegian Cordials

I’ve posted a lot of different porridge recipes on this blog and what we usually drink with these porridge here is a drink made from either shop bought or homemade cordials. Every Norwegian grocer will have a wide range of cordials for sale.

In my childhhod, back in the fifties and sixties this was a usual drink for kids for any kind of meal really, sodas was just for special occations back then and home made cordials was quite common.

saftThese cordials could be made from a lot of different berries or fruits; plums, cherries, rhubarb, black currants, red currants, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries and more seldom cranberries or combinations of several of these. And most homes had a special kind of pan for making cordials, a lot still have and make cordials every autumn.

Both blueberry and black currant cordials served as a hot toddy are still believed to have a healing effect on the common cold. And when I was a kid one could buy hot black currant toddy at any given winter sport arrangement. And in my childhood all boys and girls were well behaved if promised “saft og boller” – cold drinks made with cordials and fresh buns.

Cordials have other uses than drink of course, they are great for making sorbets, dessert sauces, adding taste to home made ice cream and cakes. Besides they make a very good basis for liqueurs if you are short of time.

Cordial Pan

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The cordial pan is stacked like this; (1) at the bottom, (2) on top of that with (3) inside of that and (4) on the top. Steam from water boiling in (1) reaches the berries and fruit through the holes in (3) and raw cordial drips down into (2) and can be poured out via (5) which can be closed and open as needed.

What you get out of the cordial pan is called “råsaft” (raw cordial) and can be frozen for further use. To make real cordial you have to cook the raw cordial with sugar and a little wine acid. Both sugar and wine acid will work as conserving agents and will make the cordial keep for ages.