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Demands are higher on the summer garden's fruit and berry harvest. Summer fruits are called on to pack jams and jellies with flavor, sparkle in fruit pies and tarts, complete compotes and entice diners with a never-ending succession of fresh fruit desserts. If you haven't also tried your fruits and berries in making fruit cordials, you are missing a great opportunity to preserve the flavors of summer.
Fruit cordials are easy to make, allowing you to enjoy the natural rich flavors and color intensity of summer any time of the year.
Preparing fruit cordials is a time-honored endeavor; these drinks have been made and served for centuries. Early American settlers came with recipes and learned to adapt new-found ingredients to create old-world flavors. Fruits, along with herbs and spices, were commonly used to flavor the drinks served for pleasure or taken as potions for reputed medicinal benefits. A single taste of a cordial, packed with lush fruit flavor, should be enticement enough to continue this richly rewarding garden harvest tradition.
Fruit cordials are the perfect drink for both formal and informal occasions. For special events, serve guests your home-brewed liqueurs with pride. This old-fashioned drink lends itself well to being served with a certain amount of circumstance indicative of gracious hospitality - a pretty glass decanter, sparkling glasses, starched linens and delicate cookies.
A cool presentation on a hot day is equally fitting for this delightful drink. Serve it in a tall glass with ice, perhaps topped off with tonic or sparkling water, as a refreshing way to end a day's work in the garden.
In the kitchen, substitute your own bottled creations in recipes where other liqueurs are suggested. Try them sprinkled generously over fruit-filled crepes, used to moisten pound …