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When we first arrived here in Oz I learned that there is a local beverage that they call cordial (that is pronounced cor-dee-yal), though our English transplants friends call it “squash”. This all rolling out of a conversation about “pumpkin”, which really means butternut squash to us Americans. Actually all winter or hard type squashes are called pumpkin, just to totally confuse us. So Squash in the UK is Cordial here in Australia.
Back to the cordial. My first exposure led me to believe it was just a sugary syrup that made a sort of cool-aid, kind of like what we called bug juice at summer camp. Neil and I even snickered to ourselves as a woman in line at the grocery store told us the red cordial is good for upset stomachs. So ignorant, we thought.
Then I was reading about Bali Belly (Bali’s version of Tourista) and the article suggested that the returning Aussie with tummy trouble drink red cordial made from REAL raspberries- A new curiosity to explore.
We found some lovely red cordial syrup (yes it has sugar, but you only put about an inch in your mineral water or still water) made from pomegranate and lime, YUM! I was hooked.
Then, while visiting my friend, Rosemary (former English Woman, now Aussie), she served me Bickford’s Lemon-Barley Cordial in my water. More yum, but what was the barley about? More research and a song lyric running in the back of my head…The Kinks? no…Mary Poppins and the song where the kids request A Perfect Nanny! One of the qualifications for nanny is that she “never smell of barley water”.
As it turns out, in the UK folks have been making grain waters for just about forever and drink them when feeling unwell. Often, they are combined with citrus fruit juice. How did I get to be almost 60 without ever knowing about barley water?
Read about Barley Water in this article from the The Examiner:
Is Barley Water Healing and Nutritious?
Here’s a link to an article about the benefits of barley water:
Benefits of Barley Water for Skin & Hair Health
This week, to add to our exciting growth of knowledge, we have located several things to do with our over abundance of plums in the orchard…you guessed it, cherry plum cordial…stay tuned for possible results.
Articles we discovered on making your own cordials:
Cherry Plum Cordial Recipe
Love your tale about the cordials. Tho it does sound a great deal like what we used to call sodas when I was a kid in the 1920’s. As I recall, the candy store had jars of syrup and would take about an inch and mix it with seltzer. 3 cents for a small; 5 cents for a large. (called phosphates in the west).