To this day, Anne of Green Gables remains one of my favorite childhood literary characters. The feisty orphaned redhead that won the heart of millions of Canadian readers has never had a serious contender for taking over first place in my heart. I desperately wanted red hair – as fervently as dear Anne wanted to get rid of her own ginger locks- and to this day I sigh longingly when I see someone with fabulous red hair.
I was quite certain for the longest time that any daughter I had was going to be named Anne with an E, until probably the age of sixteen when all thoughts of children and beloved childhood heroines flew right out of my mind with the onset of high school.
My dog-eared Anne books are sadly long gone in what we now refer to as The Great Birthday Fire of my parents acreage barn but the sentimental mother in me simply cannot wait for the day my daughter is old enough to read the Canadian classics and we can go purchase new books for her together.
The day I learned that Anne of Green Gables had been turned into a TV movie was one of the most exciting of my life. The movie was made in 1985 and was on at Christmas time almost every year for a good 8 years, I would guess. I still remember being glued to the TV screen seeing my favorite redhead come to life thanks to the talent of actress Megan Follows, who simply could not have done a better job of being Anne.
One of the most memorable scenes of the movie is where Anne and her bosom friend Diana are having tea and being quite the adult ladies, you see. Marilla has told Anne that she is allowed to serve raspberry cordial to Diana and Anne has produced what she thinks is raspberry cordial for Diana to enjoy.
The bottle turns out to be Marilla's currant wine, in fact.
Even if you haven't read the book, you can see where this is going. Diana ends up three sheets to the wind, Anne is labelled a terrible influence and is forbidden to see her bosom friend.
How this is resolved is up to you to read in the most amazing books ever.
Reading the Anne series of books left me with a deep desire to drink raspberry cordial… and it's taken me twenty-odd years to do it.
I had to make my own, apparently, since it's not something I have come across in my travels yet.
Cordial recipes abound on the internet but there is nothing clearly definitive on cordials. Some are alcoholic, some recipes have you crush the berries and some simply soak the berries for 48 hours then strain the liquid that is left. It seems to me that cordials are mainly alcoholic, but in the books the Prince Edward Island version of the drink is non-alcoholic and I wanted to stay true to it.
I didn't want waste, so I knew that I wasn't a soak and strainer, I simply must capture all the juice in the berries. Alcohol definitely wasn't important as I wanted to make this cordial something to ADD to alcohol when company was over, but still have a great mixture to pour over club soda or seltzer for the kids to enjoy.
So this is my completely made up recipe. It might not have been what Marilla made, but I sure feel like Anne when I drink it.
Now I just need red hair….oh, the temptation, it's just eating away at me! Red hair for fall, doesn't that just seem so lovely and seasonal somehow?
This is a super sweet raspberry concentrate that isn't mean to be drank alone, even though I did try it of course. It's absolutely divine over a seltzer, perhaps with a wedge of lemon and you can even just thin it out with water and ice cubes.
I really hope that you enjoy this recipe! If you haven't, go and read the Anne of Green Gables books and make sure to share them with your children. Have an Anne of Green Gables tea party and sip this raspberry cordial with your little readers, laughing and exulting over that fiery redhead's loveable antics together.
- one four litre pail of freshly picked cleaned raspberries4 cups boiling water1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice2 cups granulated sugar1/2 cup of honey
- In a large non-metallic bowl, crush the raspberries with a potato masher or similar utensil.Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the crushed berries; stir in the lemon juice.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a cool, dark place for 24 hours.The next day, pour the crushed berries through a cheesecloth to sieve out the particles. This will take a while as you have to let the liquid slowly seep through the cloth.Place the liquid in a pot and bring to a boil on the stove.Add the honey and stir in.Add in the sugar to taste, but do not add more honey. Honey can override the raspberry taste in this recipe, but adding half a cup will gives it a gorgeous depth of taste that plain sugar doesn't.Boil the liquid another three minutes.The juice will last in the refrigerator a good month.If you want to can it, ladle the juice into prepared sterilized pint jars immediately, leaving Â¼-inch headspace.Wipe the jar rims and tighten the screw bands onto the jars.Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, or 15 minutes if you are more than 6000 feet above sea level. (Juice canning times from http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/apple_juice.html)Cool the jars, label and tuck away for winter!(This will yield four pint jars of cordial)