The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Cordials & Chocolates workshop

When: Saturday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road, Canterbury
Cost: $60 general admission, or $50 for Village members. Ticket includes all materials and supplies.
Sweet fennel cordial
Recipe courtesy of Maria Noel Groves of Wintergreen Botanicals in Allenstown
8-ounce jar with a tight-fitting lid
1/3 cup dried herbs: equal parts star anise, fennel seed and Korean licorice mint (can be substituted for anise hyssop)
1/3 cup simple syrup*
2/3 cup good-quality vodka
In an 8-ounce jar, loosely fill 1/3 of the way with the dried herbs. Cover this until the jar is 1/3 to ½ full of syrup. Fill to the brim with the vodka. Shake well, then shake daily. Taste after two days, and strain through a metal hand-strainer when it tastes good to you. This cordial is usually ready within 2 to 7 days, though it can sit much longer. Store in a cool, dark, dry spot, like your liquor cabinet. Sip in a cordial glass or add to seltzer as a digestif.
*To make syrup, gently simmer two parts sugar in one part water until all the sugar is dissolved. This will keep for at least one month in the fridge.

Tasty infusions
Workshop combines cordial & chocolate truffle making

By Matt Ingersoll

 Learn new approaches to make-it-yourself gift giving at a special workshop combining cordial-making with chocolate truffles at Canterbury Shaker Village.

The Cordials & Chocolates workshop, which will be taught by clinical herbalist Maria Noel Groves of Wintergreen Botanicals in Allenstown, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“This is actually going to be a mashup of two separate classes that I teach,” Groves said. “I decided to combine the cordial-making class with the class on how to make chocolate truffles … because cordials are really fast to teach, but truffle-making often has more downtime.”
Groves said the hands-on class will start with a lecture on the basics of cordials and the health benefits of chocolates with herbal infusions. There are several kinds of herbs that combine well with chocolate, like peppermint, ginger, vanilla, lavender, cinnamon, basil and more, many of which will be explored during the class. These herbs are infused into the cream used to make the truffles before it’s melted and hardened inside the chocolate.
“Cordials are really easy [to make],” Groves said. “The truffles are more involved and take longer, but they are still not that difficult, so there’s no prior recommendation or skill level that I require for the class.”
Participants will bounce back and forth between the chocolate truffle making and the cordial-making while the herbs are being infused inside the chocolate. Groves said students will craft their own 4-ounce cordials using a variety of ingredients, like lemongrass, pear, apple, cranberry, ginger and various fennel-like spices. Cordials are made by combining fruits, herbs, sweetener and alcohol in a jar.
Due to liquor restrictions, Groves said participants will need to add the alcohol to their cordials at home. Most good-quality vodkas work fine, she said.
“There are different ways to make cordials,” Groves said. “Most people will sip them in a shot glass or a cordial glass … or you can add them to a seltzer or a cocktail, or even dribble them over ice cream or a pound cake.”
All materials to make the chocolates and cordials will be provided, but participants are welcome to bring any of their own. Groves said the class has become popular with people who are interested in taking a creative approach around the holiday season.
“These are great recipes … for people to make and give as gifts that they’ll bring out at Thanksgiving or Christmas,” she said. 

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