Easy Homemade Gifts: Bourbon Cordials

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I am a Kentucky girl, and I am required by law to drink and love Bourbon. And I do. I love it. It is one of my absolute favorite things on this earth. Kentucky is home to 95% of the world’s Bourbon. Needless to say, I was born in the right state. Because of my predisposition to this golden liquid of the gods, I must warn you, DO NOT use fancy bourbon for these cordials. You are adding sugar, citrus and fruit to the Bourbon – these all ruin more expensive Bourbons that are meant to be drunk either straight, or with a little ice or water. I am serious about this, and I don’t want to have to send out the Bourbon police! It just means you can enjoy these sweet, delicious concoctions at even less cost.

I used Old Forester for these recipes which is a perfectly lovely bourbon for this mix (and it has a lovely bottle to boot, which went straight onto my Low Country style bottle tree in the garden).

These cordials make a great gift for any occasion. I usually try to bottle mine a couple weeks in advance, so I can finish all the preliminary shaking of contents before I give it to someone. Label the jar with the ingredients and instructions, and tie it up with a piece of cheesecloth so they can complete the finished product in a few months time.

INGREDIENTS
CRANBERRY PEAR BOURBON CORDIAL
1 Bosc Pear, cut into thick slices*
1 Cup Fresh Cranberries
Zest 1 Mandarin Orange
1 Cinnamon Stick
1/2 Cup Sugar
Bourbon to Fill Jar, about 3 Cups

*If you have a Wide-Mouthed Quart sized Ball jar you can usually fit the pear in whole for a nice look.

BLACKBERRY GINGER BOURBON CORDIAL
12 oz. Fresh Blackberries
2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, cut into large pieces
Juice and Zest 1 Lemon
1 Cinnamon Stick
1/2 Cup Sugar
Bourbon to Fill Jar, about 3 Cups

DIRECTIONS
1. Add Fresh Fruit, Citrus, Spices and Sugar to a Quart Sized Ball Jar, preferably Wide-Mouthed.
2. Pour Bourbon over all ingredients to fill jar. Tightly screw on lid.
3. Shake jar vigorously to dissolve sugar. Store in a cool, dark place for three months or longer. Shake occasionally during the first two weeks to ensure sugar is fully dissolved and to mix ingredients as they break down.
4. When aging is complete, unscrew top and strain contents through cheesecloth (you may need to strain a second time if there is still too much debris in your final product; I prefer mine with some chunky bits.)
5. Discard the solids and re-bottle liquid. Drink and Enjoy!

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