1990s Recipes + Menus

Provençal Sage Cordial

November 1990
There are hundreds of different species of Salvia, which most people know as sage, and probably dozens that would be appropriate in this recipe—Salvia officinalis (garden sage), S. elegans (honeydew melon sage and pineapple sage), S. melissodora (grape scented sage), and S. dorisiana (fruit scented sage) come to mind. The plant has been an important part of man’s historical pharmacopoeia and continues to be the subject of promising scientific research. We’re just happy to have one more use for the beautiful plant (not that we’ll ever grow tired of Sage Stuffing).

10 fresh sage leaves
2 cups vodka
1 2/3 cups sugar

Crush the sage in a mortar with a pestle until it is fragrant and transfer it to a 1-pint jar. Rinse out the mortar with some of the vodka, pour all the vodka over the sage, and let the mixture stand, covered, shaking it occasionally, in a dark place for 8 days.
In a saucepan combine the sugar with 2/3 cup water and simmer the mixture, stirring, until the sugar is just dissolved. Transfer the sugar syrup to another 1-pint jar and chill it, covered, for 8 days.
Pour the sage mixture through a dampened coffee filter into a 1-quart jar or 750 ml bottle, stir in the sugar syrup, and seal the jar or bottle tightly. Shake the cordial and serve it at room temperature or chilled. Make about 3 1/2 cups.
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