Traditionally, cordials were known as “home wine.” In Russia, there was a lack of vineyards but an abundance of fruit. This fruit was covered in sugar (longer ago, it was honey) after which it released its juices and began to ferment. Eventually — usually in one to six months — this resulted in a heavenly, fruity beverage with a low alcohol content (about 12 to 20 proof). Nowadays, cordials are stronger, made with vodka, but no less delicious.
- 18 ounces strawberries (about 2 cups) cut into halves or quarters
- ½ lemon
- ½ liter vodka
- 1 cup sugar
- Place strawberries into a glass jar, and squeeze lemon over them. Add vodka.
- Leave the jar in the sun to infuse for 1 week, shaking it once a day.
- After a week, filter the vodka through a cheesecloth and set aside strawberries. Put the vodka into the refrigerator for 3 days.
- In the meantime, make strawberry syrup: in a jar, mix sugar with strawberries. Close the jar and shake well. Keep the jar in the sun (or other warm place) and shake daily until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Squeeze the syrup mixture through a cheesecloth and mix resulting liquid with the vodka.
- Leave the mixture in the sun or other warm place for 2 to 3 more days until it becomes a cordial.