Along the Grapevine

Wild Cocktails



Crab apple Cordial

It’s another Fiesta Friday with The Novice Gardener, and although it has been a busy week with so many Olympic events to watch, I have managed to contribute some bar fare. After all, this is one party for which I don’t have to be the designated driver.

These recipes are, as often, not really recipes, but simply ideas of how to use the ingredients I have stored in the pantry/freezer/bar which this blog is all about – wild edibles. It is all very well to know what is edible, how to identify it, and maybe even why it is good for you, but it is just as important to know what can be done with it once you have it.

Anyone who has been reading this blog from last summer might remember that I made fruit cordials, all of them sugar and fruit in a 1:1 ratio, soaked in vodka for a few weeks, then strained and bottled. The fruits I used were grapes, crab apples and high bush cranberries. I also made some spruce infused vodka for which there is already one recipe posted. I have been enjoying all these since December, but luckily have not consumed them all yet.


Cranberry and Grape Cordials

I am not usually one for sweet or mixed drinks, but recently have enjoyed the odd cocktail in restaurants which has inspired me to try out some of my own formulas. I have limited myself to what I already have – no special purchases. I think this helps with originality as well as cost. I encourage you to do the same, and let me know what you come up with.

If the amount consumed is any indication, then the grape cordial is my favourite. The amount of sugar is right on – it is dry, but not at all sour. It makes a great little digestif all by itself, so I offer this with no frills – just straight up grape cordial.


The high bush cranberry has a very strong flavour on its own, and even with all that sugar is not sweet. It does benefit from mixing it with something to lighten, but not extinguish the flavour.


Cranberry Cream Cocktail

1 oz high bush cranberry cordial

1 heaping Tbsp coconut milk

1 oz pomegranate juice

5 oz. cold water

ice cubes

a few pomegranate seeds for garnish

Mix everything in a blender and strain into a glass.

The crab apple infused vodka has a wonderful apple flavour, but is a little sweet for my taste. Next time, a little less sugar. The flavour goes a long way, so it is possible to dilute it without losing its flavour. In this one, I just added a small can of ginger ale to 1 ounce of cordial and a splash of lemon juice to help cut the sweetness. I think a little ginger would be good too.


The spruce infused vodka has a very strong, dry flavour. Not so pleasant on its own.  I would call it an essence rather than a cordial. So I used very little and mixed it with sweet and cream, and it was perfect. Especially if like me you enjoy herbal drinks, such as Chartreuse or Fernet, this is a good one.

Spruce Cream


1/2 oz spruce infused vodka

1 oz Triple Sec

1 oz full cream (35%)

a pinch of nutmeg

Mix or blend all the ingredients and pour into a glass.

So bottoms up to all the guests this week at The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday. I hope you are inspired by the idea of making your own wild cocktails – and I would love to hear any suggestions you may have for names for these concoctions.


Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

15 thoughts on “Wild Cocktails

  1. Pingback: Happy Valentine’s Day! (also Fiesta Friday #3) | The Novice Gardener

  2. What great looking cocktails…especially enticing after a long week! I too infused a variety of fruits months back – thanks to this lovely post I’ve received the nudge I needed to start pouring! Thanks you 🙂


  3. And thank you. Hope you enjoy your own concoctions and share them with us.


  4. Cheers, Hilda! Will have to try making cordials and infused drinks one of these days. You always come up with the most unique ideas! 🙂


  5. My pleasure. Your parties are always such fun!


  6. I’m needing a wild cocktail about now. You’ve made some beautiful and enticing concoctions here. Thanks for sharing!


  7. Well, I am inspired for sure!! I am going to hunt around in my kitchen pantry to see what kind of wild cocktail I can make for my Valentine tonight! Thanks for the great ideas!


  8. What a brilliant little cocktail bar! I am pretty fascinated by the spruce infusion, as I think I said to you at the time.
    I have to say, you’re better at keeping your options open than me. I tend to go straight for the alcohol option, instead of thinking if I might be able to make cordial now and add the alcoholic element later ;).
    Last year’s wild cocktails were japonica brandy and sparkling wine; and a pretty brilliant sloe gin fizz.


  9. The first thing I think about when I see “cordial” is Anne of Green Gables and the part when she mistakenly serves Diana currant wine, thinking it was raspberry cordial. I love that story and this post. 🙂


    • Thanks. That is funny about your association with cordials. I have exactly the same, and wondered if the cordial in the book is anything like mine. No wonder Anne got drunk.


  10. I do not have a big sweet tooth (and that goes for drinks as well as food) so especially the craneberry cocktail looks heavenly to me!


  11. Thanks for the comment. I’m with you on that – sweetness so often masks the flavour of really good food, and drink!


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