Hands up if you remember when cordial was for kids? It lived in our pantries in lurid two-litre plastic bottles with wholesome labels depicting all kinds of fruit—raspberries, lemons, limes or oranges. The problem was, most supermarket cordials tasted as if they contained more food colouring than fruit. As we learned to read food labels we were not reassured, and commercial cordial sales have been in decline for years. In April this year a Nielsen Homescan survey revealed that what was once a kitchen staple is now found in only half of all Australian households.
These days, cordial is for grown-ups but it’s not the cordial you remember. It’s home-made with real fruit, used judiciously to give a sophisticated, personalised touch to summer mixers, cocktails and mocktails.
Alyce Alexandra’s blood orange cordial is especially adult. “Just like the Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa, this beautiful summer drink perfectly balances sweet and sour, with just a touch of bitterness,” says Alyce.
Simply mixed with a little soda, it’s a refreshing afternoon spritzer; if you want to amp up that bitter edge, add a dash of Campari or try a measure of Aperol. For dramatic cocktail-hour impact, do as we’ve done here: mix with tequila and serve in a salt-rimmed glass (pictured).