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Re: a Cordial Thank You
Poster: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy@abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
First of all, I wish to thank you for responding to my query on the
Merryrose. Getting good sources in this neck of the woods, especially on
alcoholic subjects, is pretty slim. This is the heart of the Bible Belt
and Ultra-conservative to boot. Luckily there is inter-library loan
available. I will be using this service to obtain the sources you and
A wonderful source, are some of the early English text collections that are
stored on microfilm. Many larger libraries, and larger library systems have
them, and you can learn a lot.
What I wanted to do was to document a cherry and rose cordial. I know
that flowers and herbs were used in period, though I am looking for
specific references to the use of roses, hopefully in the Mediterranean
Basin. I know that there is a rose cordial from Italy called Rosolio,
though I don't know if it is period or not. What I'm worried about is the
cherry part. I know that cherries were grown in Italy, but what worries me
is that you stated fruit cordials were introduced after period. Would it
be impossible then to document a fruit cordial for an A&S competition then?
To the best of my limited knowledge, I would say that adding fruit to
cordials is not directly documentable in period. Rose extraction, rose oil
and rose waters are all period items, and distillation is common.
I suppose that you could do what I would call a "documentation bank shot".
(:-) It is well documented that brandies, and other liqueurs were made from
concentrated grape and other fruit wines. This could be used to document
that concentrated spirits of fruit were created. These concentrated
alcohols were then used to create cordials by infusing with herbs. The
resulting flavors, if you had used say a cherry wine to make the liqueur and
then used that to make a rose cordial, might WELL taste similar (yet clearly
distinct) from using a clear alcohol base and fresh cherries with roses.
A reasonably fast web search turned up the following pages that might help
Rosewater distillation can be found in Platt.
You could argue that the ingredients are all period, and all used in making
strong drinks and cordials, and it is only the method that is distinct. And
truly, the only method that is unusual is the soaking of raw fruits in
I am not a Laurel (I have no arts awards...) Your Judges Mileage May Vary.
This sort of documenting around the edges is not something I am good at, I
(BTW, I once wrote a strongly worded essay exactly against this sort of
thing... you can find it off the Serve It Forth web page at
http://oldcolo.com/~memorman/tibor.html, if you want. But that doesn't mean
I don't know how. :-)
Oh, don't worry, I have no delusions about documenting the coconut
cream cordial. So I won't even try. Again, thank you to both you and
My pleasure. I won't tell you about my bizarre attempts at banana cordial,
then. (It tastes fine, but yuckier crud you have never seen during the
preparation stages.... bleah. Dark grey liquid with black bits floating in
it. The end result, however, is a beautiful straw colored liquid.)
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