A GUIDE TO HOUSE CORDIALS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Want to know why cordials are trending with bartenders? From speeding up service to reducing wastage and adding complexity to drinks - cordials play a big role in every bar. Read further as we explore the most popular house cordial flavours and give delicious recipes you can try yourself.
Cordials: the unsung heroes of bartending
You guessed it – cordials are concentrated syrups made up of sugar, water, acid and flavouring from fruits or herbs. They add complex layers of popular flavours, making them perfect for creating cocktails and much-appreciated time-savers for bartenders.
liqueurs and cordials - what's the difference?
Liqueurs are liquors that have been flavoured and sweetened. The term is interchangeable with ‘cordial’, except in the UK where the term ‘cordial’ can also just refer to a sweet, non-alcoholic liquid.
There are four basic methods ofadding flavour and sweetness to cordials, and any of these can achieve the desired flavour profiles – for example, coffee and chocolate, or herbs and florals:
The most popular cordials in the world of cocktails
The flavour possibilities are endless when it comes to cordials because there are so many ingredients you can combine to create them. Below are the most popular cordials and their flavour profiles, so you can experiment away when making your own cocktails:
Coffee, Chocolate, Nuts
Spice, Herbs, Florals
- Elderflower cordial
- Ginger cordial
- Blood orange cordial
- Lime juice cordial
Cordial Trends for 2022/23
According to Reportlinker the cordial market is expected to grow by a huge $231.0mn between 2022-2026 – driven by a desire for simple and flavourful non-alcoholic and carbonated fruit-based beverages.
Why’s that then? Well this is largely due to rising consumer health-consciousness and the widespread availability of convenient, on-the-go non-alcoholic options. Cordials contain natural fruit nutrients, and the demand for these without artificial colours is also increasing.
Cordials have also become more climate-conscious as the leftover pulp from making the juices goes to farms as animal feed, making it a zero-waste process.
However, it’s important to note that consumers are turned off by highly-sweetened cordials due to health issues like obesity and diabetes, which may be linked to a high sugar intake. To tackle this, manufacturers can encourage consumers to choose drinks that are natural and gut-friendly, with low sugar and fruit-flower-based components like botanicals, herbs, exotic fruits, and elderflower.
In a nutshell, key cordial growth factors:
- Shift of consumer preference towards non-alcoholic beverages
- Consumers seeking more natural fruit flavours as added sugars in drinks are seen as a health risk
- Growing consumer desire to be more sustainable
Opportunities for bars
Now more than ever, bars and restaurants are looking for delicious serves that are easy and consistent – the introduction of cordials allows for this. They also provide benefits to the overall guest experience and promote responsible drinking by speeding up service and allowing bartenders to control alcohol consumption. Win, win.
What’s more, the pre-made ingredients help to balance the flavour while saving time searching for ingredients to add. For example, a lime cordial offers acidity to the drinks, often in lieu of citrus.
LET’S LEARN – HOW CORDIALS CAN HELP YOUR BAR BECOME MORE SUSTAINABLE! WATCH NOW
How to create your own elderflower cordial
- Place washed elderflower heads (x25) in a large bowl with zest of lemon (x3) and orange (x1).
- Boil water (1.5L) and add to bowl. Cover and leave overnight.
- Strain into a cooking pot with muslin cloth.
- Add: sugar (1kg), lemon juice (100ml), orange juice (50ml) and citric acid (1 tsp).
- Heat gently in the pot to dissolve sugar. Bring to a simmer for 3-4 min.
- Bottle and store.
Making your own cordials is a real craft and helps create flavoursome cocktails. The inclusion of cordials in drinks, like the highball, also help sbartenders control the amount of alcohol that goes into the drink. This is important because at a time when there’s an appetite for lower alcohol serves, demand for innovative and exciting house cordials is not likely to slow down anytime soon.
The Best Cordials for Delicious Cocktails
Cordials help create great cocktails, as they balance the flavour and add complexity to the drinks. Here are two crowd pleasers guaranteed to refresh every palate.
1. Peach cordial
2. Elderflower cordial
Peach based cocktail
The highball should be a light, flavoursome drink and, for warmer climates in particular, you can enhance the flavour of whisky with a carefully-made cordial.
Peach cordial is a great place to start. Made with freshly-brewed tea, fresh peach slices, cinnamon and thyme, it’s easy to make and – in combination withJohnnie Walker Black Label – it delivers a sweet and smoky duo you can’t get enough of. The flavours in these recipes will surprise your senses, with a mix of a fiery whisky and a hint of sweetness — the perfect combination.
Elderflower Based cocktailThe sweetly-scented, creamy-white flowers of the elder tree make a terrific aromatic cordial. With such an intriguing taste profile that complements many flavours, elderflower cordial is the perfect addition to your cocktail menu.
Highball or Goblet
25ml lemon juice
1 tbsp (15ml) elderflower cordial
50ml Tanqueray Dry gin
75ml chilled sparkling wine
Sprig of lemon thyme or a mint leaf
- Pour lemon juice, elderflower cordial, gin and ice into a cocktail shaker and shake.
- Strain the cocktail into two champagne flutes and top up slowly with sparkling wine and add your garnish.
Alcohol by Volume
- 50ml Tanqueray Dry Gin 23.5g
- 75ml Sparkling Wine 3.12g
For more cordial recipes and pairings, check out this recipe card.
- Cordials speed up service, help reduce waste and add welcome complexity to the flavour of a drink
- Using fruity flavours in cordials helps enhance the smoky notes of Johnnie Walker Black Label, creating a perfectly balanced flavour
- By adding cordial to a drink, bartenders have better control over alcohol consumption
- Creating your own cordials is a real craft that helps improve your overall serves – enhancing guest experience by adding flavour and freshness
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