Great Depression Recipes: Blackberry Cordial

Back in before my homesteading days, back in the day dreaming phase, I used to reread Anne of Green Gables. Just the book and I relaxed on a blanket, down by the creek in the shade of some ancient tree or another.

Also a fan of the Wonder Works movie, I remember being mortified by the raspberry cordial incident with Anne’s kindred spirit Dianna Barry. Anne not being familiar with raspberry cordial, accidentally serves Dianna Currant Wine or some such beverage. Dianna gets magnificently drunk and Anne is blamed.

All I can remember thinking is, “that would happen to me”

Anyway, on with our recipe. Try this recipe for blackberry cordial. Then enjoy experiencing the Anne of Green Gables series as an adult. No better way to spend a summer day.
Blackberry Cordial


1 Quart of blackberry juice ( Crush however many blackberries you need to yield one quart of juice.

1 pound of sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cloves

2 teaspoons nutmeg

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons allspice

1 pint of brandy


1. Crush enough blackberries to yield one quart (4 cups of juice)

2. Combine the berry juice with the sugar in a non reactive ( non aluminum ) saucepan.

3. Tie the spices in a cheesecloth and add the bag to the pan.

4. Bring to a gentle boil and keep gentle boil for 15 minutes.

5. Skim and cover the mixture until it cools.

6. After it is completely cooled, add the brandy.

7. Bottle and seal.

My notes claim it will keep for years. However, there is no mention of waterbath or processing time. So if you have ever made this or know anyone who has, please let us know.

Does it even need to be processed?

Will just cranking the lid on the mason jar be enough?

Please let me know so I can add the details.


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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The recipes I use call for vodka and rum. I make rhubarb cordial with vodka and you will never taste a smoother drink in your life although my blackberry cordial made with rum is a very close second. I have never sealed or canned them but I have Three bottles of a 3 year old rhubarb that will be used for a family get together and the blackberry of which I only have one left will be finished off at the same time. I use alcohol bottles with plastic lids or I place a small square of saran between the metal lid and the bottle. If I were to use regular canning jars I would also place saran between the lid and the jar. The only caution I would mention is to be anal about sterilizing and cleaning the containers. I hope you enjoy your concoctions as much as my family and myself enjoy mine.

  2. My grandma made blackberry cordial and left it in the refrigerator. She made it every year from her acre of blackberries. When I was young she always warned me away so as not to confuse it with her blackberry syrup she made for our homemade waffles and pancakes. Though she died before I wad old enough to try it everyone said it was great stuff. I am now looking for a recipe. My blackberries will be coming soon! Also I have a myriad of other kinds of berries ie, huckleberries, raspberries, currant berries, blueberries, strawberries…( started a small berry farm last year) any suggestions for their uses? I would be so very grateful.

  3. โ€œCover the berries with cold water and let boil a few
    minutes until done. Then strain, and to every pint of juice
    add one pound of granulated sugar. Put back on the fire.
    Tie up a little cinnamon, allspice and cloves in a thin muslin
    bag, and let boil with the juice until the latter is a pretty
    thick syrup, then take off, and when it is thoroughly cold
    add one-third as much good brandy or whisky as you have
    syrup. It is not necessary to seal it.โ€

    โ€”Echoes Of Southern Kitchens, Compiled and Published by the Robert E. Lee Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy No. 278, Los Angeles, 1916

  4. The Kerr Canning book has how to make blackberry cordial (before the alcohol is added), and they process it in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

  5. Oh, memories! I used to watch AoGG every time I went to my grandparents. Now being old enough to partake, perhaps I’ll give it a go. =)

  6. My husband makes beer, I make the wine in our homestead. Neither needs to be ‘processed’ as in canning. The alcohol contents prevents the growth of bacteria in most cases, but you have GOT to be absolutely studious in cleaning and sterilizing your bottles. I’ve made Rhubarb wine for years (also out of our garden), and love to see the look on peoples’ faces when I pull out the old glass top jars with the rubber rings and offer them a glass! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m waiting for my blackberries to come ripe and will try your recipe when I have enough. They seem to be coming ripe a half pint a day, so far. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for being here on line.

  7. While the word alone may have negative connotation, perhaps the focus shouldn be on the can do independant spirit of the era. If your self sufficient backyard hands you blackberries, entertain your friends and serve blackberry cordial

  8. Great recipe, but I don’t like the zen of attaching depression to the recipe. Looks yummy, though.

  9. New visitor here, come by looking for a hard boiled egg casserole. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m thinking that between the alcohol and the sugar, it may not need processing, but if you’re not sure, just test before you drink. If it smells or looks funny, let it go. I don’t think anything really grows in brandy, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I’ve been reading Anne with my daughter, and I’m sure she’d be enjoy making some blackberry cordial, although she’s a bit young for brandy yet.

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