[Tir-Medoin] Guild Night set for August 31st, 7 p.m.

Tressa tressarhiannon at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 22 17:40:02 PDT 2007

Greetings everyone...
  I've been asked to host Guild Night on August 31st.  It was proposed that I give a cordial class.  Of course, you can bring anything to work on, you don't have to be involved with the cordial making.  If you would just like to come and visit that's great.
  If you want to put up your first cordial, you will need to bring the following for the first half of the process and the second class will be needed about six weeks from now...
  I will be doing the final steps in putting up a cordial I have ready and will see which ones I can pull out for sampling.  You are welcome to bring your own brews of any kind to share.
  What you need to bring if you want to participate in the cordial class.
  1.  A tightly sealing container that will fit alcoholic base + your fruit/nuts/extracts/herbs 
  (Your amounts will be 1 part fruit/nuts/etc to 3 parts alcohol base. Your herbs, extracts and spices will be added as "seasoning", accents and to flavor)  
  I use large gallon glass jars, cleaned out with boiling water to sterilize them, but you can also make smaller batches with smaller size jars. To me, glass is important because plastic can give a bad taste to the cordial.
  2.  Whatever ingredients you would like to steep in your alcohol base.  
  You can use fresh fruit, dried fruit, extracts, nuts, and nearly all kinds of herbs and spices. Keep in mind that fruit with more pulp will be harder to strain.  Berries will need to have more sweetener because of their tannin, herbs and spices that are leafy are much easier to extract at the end if you put them in a spice bag first (a spice bag can be made with a small amount of cheese cloth, tied with string).  whole spices have always worked great.  I would avoid using ground spices because they will be hellish to filter out at the end. Nuts can be roasted or fresh. 
  3. Your alcohol base:  I use good quality vodka, I find that it is a nice neutral base to the flavors you want to put in it.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE VODKA.  
  In period, the flavors were distilled with the alcohol, and that alcohol was in texan language "pure dee moonshine".  We have period examples of vodka, brandy, and grain alcohol being used.  In these modern times, nearly any kind of liquor can be used.  I personally detest Everclear, but other people prefer it.  In my opinion it makes a cordial that is too sharp. 
  I would recommend either vodka, everclear, or brandy.  Make sure you buy a good quality unflavored liquor.  It doesn't have to be the most expensive, just not the cheap rotgut stuff.  

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