Orange Cordial

Adapted from Apoteke: Modern Medicinal Cocktails, by Christopher Tierney and Erica Brod

A cordial is a mixture of spirit, flavorings and sugar. While it’s not the same as a liqueur, it serves a similar role in a cocktail, and it’s useful to be able to DIY in a pinch. The vodka base, flavored with orange rind and orange blossom water, is more neutral than a brandy- or rum-based orange liqueur, so it plays well in a wide range of drinks. In addition, the consistency will be lighter and less viscous than a traditional liqueur. Try it in drinks that typically call for orange liqueur, like a Cosmopolitan, Sidecar or Margarita riff.


Yield: 1 cup

  • 1 cup vodka
  • Rind of 2 to 3 medium-sized oranges
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/4 ounce orange blossom water

  1. In a large measuring cup, steep the vodka with the orange rind until a strong orange flavor develops, about 6 hours. Remove the orange rind and discard.
  2. Place the orange-infused vodka into a small saucepan set over low heat, and add the cane sugar, stirring to dissolve. Do not allow it to boil. Let cool.
  3. When cool, add the orange blossom water. Transfer to a clean, airtight glass container.